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
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
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?