Forward Me Back to You is a deeply emotional story about adoption, working through our anger, sexual assault, and telling our stories.
Katina King is the reigning teen jujitsu champion of Northern California, but she’s having trouble fighting off the secrets in her past.
Robin Thornton was adopted from an orphanage in Kolkata, India and is reluctant to take on his future. Since he knows nothing about his past, how is he supposed to figure out what comes next?
Robin and Kat meet in the most unlikely of places — a summer service trip to India to work with survivors of human trafficking. As bonds blossom between the travel-mates, Robin and Kat discover the healing superpowers of friendship.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
TW: Trauma, sexual assault, rape, human trafficking
Forward Me Back to You is one those books that takes you by storm. Dealing with Kat’s attempted rape, Forward Me Back to You is very much about her journey to deal with her own recovery, her fears, and her anger. At the same time it’s about Ravi’s struggles with his adopted parents, as well as dealing with issues in hist past that he doesn’t even have words for. It’s a book about figuring out what we want and the impact we want to make in this world.
I knew I was going to be drawn to Kat. She’s strong, intelligent, and empathetic, all while still dealing with her own trauma and nightmares. This portrayal of trauma was just fantastic to read about because it’s raw and genuine. Characterizing people as animals, fiercely passionate about martial arts, Kat is a force to be reckoned with – all while being tenderly vulnerable.
But what really took me by storm, and surprise, was how much I loved Ravi. I could relate to some of his struggles of being adopted, because I myself am adopted from China. The way he feels stuck between his adopted family and he shares a birth place with – tangled in a limbo of awkward conversations and imposter syndrome. At the same time as Ravi’s adopted status, Ravi feels like a side character in other people’s lives. And that just hit me close to home.
Forward Me Back to You is a tender book about recovery. It’s about looking at our past in order to move forward. All while portraying a beautiful story of family – Kat’s single mother, and Ravi’s adopted parents – and their relationships to their family – the ones they chose, and their biological connections.