Review: The Darlings Are Forever by Melissa Kantor

Book Title/Author: The Darlings Are  Forever by Melissa Kantor
Publisher/Year
: Hyperion 2011
Genre: YA Contemporary
Series: Yes — The Darlings In Love
Other Books From Author: If I Have A Wicked Stepmother, Where Is My Prince?, The Breakup Bible, The Amanda  Project, Girlfriend Material, Confessions of a Not It Girl

Amazon| Goodreads | Melissa Katnor’s Website |

I checked this out from my wonderful library. LIBRARIES ARE COOL, y’all!

 

 

Jane, Victoria and Natalya have always be best friends — they do everything together and have been through everything together. They’ve always had one another by their side through the years at their tiny private school so the girls are nervous as they begin 9th grade at different high schools without each other in Manhattan. They vow to still be as close as they’ve always been and not grow apart but as they begin to navigate their new lives they struggle with balancing their friendships plus all the new things life has thrown at them. Jane feels the pressure of trying to land a leading role at her performing arts high school and figure out a crush she shouldn’t have.  Natalya lands herself a spot at an extremely prestigious school with some of the wealthiest families but she tries to fit in with the popular girls without letting on that she’s a scholarship student and not actually rich. Victoria tries to blend in at her new private school — which is hard to do with her dad running for office & her sister’s legacy at school. As the girls navigate boys, peer pressure, fitting in and making friends, they realize trying to keep the closeness of the Darlings in tact is harder than they realized.

I don’t know about you all but sometimes I just wander the library and pick up something I’ve never heard of and give it a try. I picked this one up on a whim, thought it sounded fun and cute and checked this baby out! What a pleasant surprise this was! It was very reminiscent of The Sisterhood of The Traveling pants in that it was a very friendship oriented book (YAY!) with romance and general high school pressures weaved in. It was cute and fun and not really over the top — lots of realistic situations and a little bit of drama (especially with a dad who is in the political spotlight and one of them who is falling for a teacher sort of figure — I’ve totally had a crush on a younger teacher in high school. LISTEN, his ass looked mighty fine in those Banana Republic pants he wore). I can’t say it was particularly a standout or a favorite but it satisfied my need for something fun and light as I’d been reading lots of darker type stuff that weighed heavy on my mind.

It definitely was a bit of a younger novel being that they are starting out their 9th grade year so I’d keep that in mind for you older readers. However, I really enjoyed reading about each of the girl’s transitions into their new high school lives and the issues they faced. I really loved their friendship and rooted for them to stop taking each other forgranted and figure out how to balance their friendship and their new friends and love interests. To be honest, I really enjoyed watching them grow on their own and have to be courageous and bold without one another. I really loved Victoria’s storyline the most I think — but a lot of that was how sweet her romance was!

I had mentioned how this book made me want to find a close-knit group of girlfriends and it’s true — the loveliness of their friendship and how they worked through all the changes in their lives made me want to go all “GIRL POWER”! Speaking as a girl who has had a hard time keeping relationships with my gal pals, it was such a wonderful story to read as they come to terms with their changing lives and try to find out where their former besties still fit in. Such a relatable plot! And I LOVED how the girls were always trying to reach out and do things that they were afraid of doing and I feel like that’s such a good message no matter what age you are! It’s easy to let fear take over and continue to do the same things because you feel complacent. They had a motto they said but I can’t recall what it was and unfortunately the book is back at the library!

 

 

The Darlings Are Forever was such a fun book about friendship, growing up and living boldly despite how much things scare you. Definitely a great book if you love books about enduring friendships between a VERY close group of young girls — a la Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. I loved the ups and downs of the girl’s life in New York City as they try to navigate through their new high schools without each other while they face many normal pressures! A pinch of drama, some cute romances and a big feeling of girl power made this such a fun read!  It felt a little young to me at times, being that I AM 27 years old, but it was still totally fun and I would think that younger readers of YA would LOVE this one especially! Won’t say it was a favorite but it was the kind of fun, light read I needed! Definitely recommend to younger YA readers!

 

For Fans Of: The Sisterhood of the Traveling pants-esque stories, books about friendship, cute & fun reads with not too much angst

The Darlings series Melissa Katnor

 

Let’s Talk: Have you read this one? Heard of it? Which girl did you like to follow the most? Did YOU have a close knit group of girl friends/or do you still? Any other good friendship type books you’ve read and enjoyed?

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 28 year old married lady who is in denial that she's actually that old. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating gelato, listening to music with oversized headphones and teaching her niece how to be as awesome as she is.

Comments

  1. I haven’t read this one, but I’m adding it to my TBR. In the book I reviewed today, it was kind of a similar situation where I read it because I needed a break from all the heavy/dark/depressing issue books I’ve been reading lately. I need books like this that break up the otherwise intense stuff I read. Sometimes it’s just nice to go back to basics and read about friendships without all the drama. :)

    Also — “LISTEN, his ass looked mighty fine in those Banana Republic pants he wore.” — LOL! I can so relate here.

  2. Awww, this sounds adorable. I’m not sure if it’s one that I’ll ever get to, just because I tend to prefer the older age group YAs, and I generally like my realistic fiction of the variety that has most people reaching for their tissues (though not me, except because of my allergies).

    What I love about this, though, is the focus on the friendship more than romance. Too many ‘friendships’ in YA exist solely so the heroine can infodump or weep to someone, or be envied and betrayed by someone jealous. This reminds me a bit of Smart Girls Get What They Want, though that one skews older, in its focus.

  3. I haven’t heard of this one, but I will definitely have to add it to my list! I love friendship-centric books, and I haven’t read a good one in a while.

    I’ve totally had a crush on a younger teacher in high school. LISTEN, his ass looked mighty fine in those Banana Republic pants he wore

    LOL! No judgment here; it happens! I speak from current experience.

  4. I recently discovered my library! I’m poor and a book addict so this place is like Disney Land in Texas. Only drawback… someone lost the 3rd book in the Han Summer Series! Just when I was getting into the series…

  5. First of all: YES. Libraries are amazing and I get about 99.5% of my books from mine; I don’t know what I would do without it.
    I also really enjoyed this book and agree that it was interesting to watch them grow separately. My favorite girl was Natalya but I was most interested in Jane’s storyline.

  6. Aahh, this sounds ADORABLE! I loved The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, although the last novel was my favorite by far, probably because they were older, but I’m curious to check this one out. I haven’t read a novel with such strong friend relationships since Melina Marchetta’s Saving Francesca, so thanks for putting this on my radar! Wonderful review, as usual, Jamie! :)

  7. This is such a great review — and I totally agree, we all need something a little light and fun now and then =P I burst out laughing when I read your comment about your high school teacher … and then, upon further reflection, realized that my husband is the one that the teenage girls are now crushing on, since he’s the young, fun teacher at his high school *sigh* How times have changed ;-)

  8. I haven’t read this one or heard of before but it sounds like a lot of fun, glad to hearyou enjoyed it. “I’ve totally had a crush on a younger teacher in high school. LISTEN, his ass looked mighty fine in those Banana Republic pants he wore.” Ha! ;D

  9. I like to pick up a younger YA or MG book on occasion because I love do love friendships as the focal point, and the novels geared toward younger teens seem less intense. I get tired of reading about how the male love interest is desperately in love with the female protagonist but is conflicted about it for some reason or another. It’s a nice break to read about just cute crushes and romances once in a while! Awesome review!

  10. Sounds perfect for my 12 year old! Today is Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day so this could be the perfect choice!

Trackbacks

  1. […] February 18, 2014 Genres: Contemporary YA Format: ARC Source: For Review Other Books From Author: The Darlings Are Forever, If I Have A Wicked Stepmother, Where's My Prince?, The Breakup Bible, Confession Of A Not It […]

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