The Way Home is a full-length young adult novel. The story is split between the perspectives of Theo and Ella, best friends from high school who are starting their freshman year in college. Neither is extremely excited about the start of the new phase of their lives; Theo struggles with severe anxiety and is just hoping to survive the four years; and dark memories in Ella's past don't seem to want to let her start over. A series of murders happening in town don't help their nerves at all, making it hard to focus on the "college experience." They were supposed to be there for each other... But then Ella goes missing, and Theo is left without a clue of where she went. While he searches for her desperately, she wakes up miles away from home, surrounded by strangers. In their efforts to find one another again, they instead find themselves presented with opportunities to study the impossible: magic. Things become stranger and stranger as murders, magic, police investigations, and ever-looming final exams begin to challenge Theo and Ella in ways they never expected. In writing this novel, I hoped to depict the transition from high school to college and the worries and wonders that come with it. The story is almost split directly in half, beginning with normal school life and shifting into the world of magic. The conflicts presented to the characters during the first half, such as grades, majors, and socializing, persist throughout the second half, but are also metaphorized once the characters begin studying magic. I chose to include a protagonist with an anxiety disorder because I believe mental disabilities are not represented enough in YA literature, though it is something that many high school and college students deal with. I wanted to create a character that could inform others and that students with similar mental disorders could relate to. Additional themes I deal with include newfound independence, individuality, growth, and friendship.