Title: The Darlings are Forever
Author: Melissa Kantor
Page #: 328
Source: ARC from the publisher (Title is just "The Darlings")
Summary (from the back cover of the ARC):
"Jane, Victoria, and Natalya have always been best friends. Together, they're the Darlings. They have matching necklaces, their own table at Ga Ga Noodle, and even a shared motto: May you always do what you're afraid of doing.
When they start freshman year at three different high schools in distant corners of New York City, the Darlings promise that they'll stay as close as ever, no matter what comes between them. But pretty soon, living by their motto and doing scary new things leads to keeping secrets from each other. Now, Jane, Victoria, and Natalya worry they might be losing their best friends. And there's nothing else the Darlings are more afraid of doing."
"The Labor Day sun was scorching, and as Jane waited for the light to change, she could practically hear her dark hair frizzing. It had taken her longer than she'd expected to wrap the boxes, and racing along the few blocks between her house and Ga Ga Noodle, where she was meeting Natalya and Victoria, had made her sweaty."
I've read a few things by Melissa Kantor in the past. The only one since the blog is The Amanda Project she did with another author. I remember thinking that this author was good - but not someone that I consider one of my go-to authors. But this book might actually change my opinion on that.
The story is about three girls who are just entering high school - they've been best friends from the beginning. The problem is that they're going to different high schools. Because of this, they start having completely different life experiences and they start to grow apart because of them. It's a fun story about friendship and what keeps it strong through crazy drama.
I was expecting it to be a little along the lines of Gossip Girl - you know, girls in NYC living it up. But really it's a story about friendship and girls making their way in the world. They are also a bit younger with starting HS. It gives them a new view of the world and how things work. I'd love to read more about these three girls and what happens to them in the years after this. (I've heard rumors that this is the start of a series... not proven yet!)
One thing that had me confused every once in a while was the change in perspective in every chapter. The characters were vastly different, so it didn't take me long to get back into whichever girl it was... but it still stopped me every time. I had to think - okay, which one goes to this school? What's she good at again? That was probably the only thing I would wish for to be changed. And it might not have helped that two of the names were very close to each other :)
I loved that each of the girls had a very specific thing she is good at. One is a baker, one is an actress, and one is super-smart. It gives them all a personality to build on - something that doesn't keep them apart or competing. Very cool idea. They've also got different types of relationships building outside of their circle. Seeing how those affect the threesome is a fairly realistic idea of what happens when friendships start to break apart.
I'll definitely be recommending this book to girls who are looking for realistic fiction - especially that middle grade girl. It's a wonderful story and I really hope for a second book to give me more from the characters. Check out the author's website for hopefully more news on that front. Great story and you should definitely give it a try!
Other Blog Reviews:
Candace's Book Blog
I Just Wanna Sit Here and Read
Christi the Teen Librarian
Readergirlz (the cover story)
MARJOLEINBOOKBLOG (interview with the author)