Book Talk: Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler

Book Talk: Just Visiting by Dahlia AdlerJust Visiting by Dahlia Adler
Published by Spencer Hill Press on November 2015
Genres: Contemporary YA
Also by this author: Behind the Scenes, Last Will and Testament, Right of First Refusal
Format: ARC
Source: For Review
Amazon/Twitter
Goodreads

I received this book for review consideration from the publisher. This in no way swayed my opinion of the book. Pinky swear!

 

 

 

Want an “at a glance” look at what I thought? Check out my Review On A Post-It or my “Final Thought”

 

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Reagan and Victoria both cannot wait to graduate and leave their small town where Reagan won’t be ostracized because of a past relationship or have to deal with her parents and where Victoria won’t stand out for being Mexican and where she can pursue her dreams to do fashion design. They are in it together and started planning the post-high school life of their dreams by going on a series of college visits to choose together where they will end up. The college visits prove to be interesting. Reagan falls hard for a boy after keeping her heart pretty guarded over the past couple years but it seems like it could end in heartbreak and Victoria starts to really doubt if the path they are choosing is right for her future — something that could change the future of this friendship especially when faced with certain parts of their past they’ve kept from each other the whole time.

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*happy sigh*

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I really enjoyed Dahlia’s debut Behind The Scenes but Just Visiting blew me away and is definitely one of my most favorite contemporary YA books I’ve read this year! It’s just such an authentic story about friendship and love and that confusing time when that next stage (post-high school) is staring you right in the face. So compelling and so compulsively readable! I really just want to follow the next few years of their lives if I’m honest!

4 things that made this book such a win for me:

1.Exploring the feeling of approaching that “next stage” of your life: I feel like not enough YA books really get into the nitty gritty of the post high school tornado that happens in junior and senior year. When that next stage of your life is right before you and it’s terrifying because there are all these endless possibilities it seems and you don’t want to make the “wrong” one. Through Reagan and Victoria we see how tumultuous this time can be. Who are you? Who do you want to be? What do you want your future to look like? It’s overwhelming and I loved how Dahlia portrayed that through these two most vividly and I almost felt like I was thrown back to 2003/2004  standing on this precipice myself feeling like I’ve been thrown out into the middle of the galaxy without a map. Is college the right choice? Which one? What major? If not college, then what? Stay close? Go far away? ALL THE POSSIBILITIES.

2. The college visit shenanigans: I love road trip books and I really did find the college visits super fun and wished that I did my college visits with friends and not my parents. My own college stay in a dorm was SO not eventful at all (the girl set up me up with movies and left me alone in her room) so I was living vicariously through all their fun mishaps and adventures.

3. The bffship: OMG I loved Reagan and Victoria and how their friendship changed and grew in this book to become even stronger and better friends even if they had to have some hard growing pains in their relationship. It was SO PAINFULLY realistic. I just kept thinking of my own experience feeling like the future was pulling myself and a friend apart and throwing us on different paths and destroying the future we envisioned always. I loved how they learned to balance their own needs and desires with their friendship and also learned that important lesson of how to cope when you both are changing and figuring out who you are.

4. THE SHIP IS THE MOST SHIPPABLE SHIP IN ALL OF SHIPTOWN: Seriously I have not had such flailing shippy feels in a while. Greaaaaat kissing and tension and swoony moments and sexy moments (Oh Dahlia can write the sexy) but also like depth and exploration of serious things that can come up in a relationship. I really liked how Dahlia explored sex in a REAL TALK way in this book.

 

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factors+ characters, writing, plot, romance
–  nothing

Would you re-read or buy the book for your collection? As I was writing this post I reallyyyy wanted to reread it already so I’m a yes, I think. I definitely want to hand it to my 3 teen cousins and a niece who are in high school!! Think they would relate so hardcore.

a5contemporary YA lovers, fans of authors like Emery Lord/Morgan Matson/Sarah Dessen, readers who are wanting a book to explore college and post-high school decisions, people who are looking for a great ship to root for, fans of strong friendships, readers looking for sex positive books

a8I adore this book and wish I could follow these characters all through their post-high school lives. It was one of those books where I was just so HAPPY after reading it. Literally not one thing I would change about it — everything was so well done in this book and I loved some of the things that Dahlia explores in this novel without ever being heavy-handed! It was just one of those reads where you blink and suddenly you’ve devoured the whole thing.

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a8j* Have you read this one? What did you think? Similar or different from me? I would LOVE to hear regardless!
*If you haven’t read it, does it feel like something you’d be into?

 

 


The Perpetual Page-Turner

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 30 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 ice cream, listening to music with oversized headphones and having adventures with her husband and dog.

Comments

  1. Oh, this seems like a book that I would relate to, especially the part about college. I agree with you when you said that most books don’t really have that nitty-gritty part of graduation. I think people should realize that that part of every teenager’s life is scary as hell, and that sometimes we just get lost in the midst of trying to go to the “right” college, or trying to just please our parents.

    So, yes, I’m gonna pick up this book real soon 😀

    • YES exactly! And that’s definitely one of the themes in this book — making that decision for YOU and not for anybody else. It’s a scary time! SO MANY CHANGES. Everything at your possibility and it’s overwhelming. I feel like Dahlia portrayed it so well…even 10+ years later for me I could feel how real it was.

  2. I’m SO glad you loved this!!! Now I know I can read it… LOL. I was debating about it, but now that I’ve read how it’s about the whole “what do we do after HS” stuff, I am really pumped to get it! There are SO not enough books about college stuff. And I love road trips and BFFness. So YAY!!!

    • YES it was nice to see characters go through the process and really try to work out what they can do and explore these options and start to realize they can truly CHOOSE what path they take. I really think you will enjoy it!

  3. I saw a similar review raving about this book on Thoughts on Tomes vlog. I can’t wait to pick it up 😊 Thanks for the review!!!

  4. Oh this is super exciting. I’d never heard of this book but now I NEEDS IT. I have been all about contemporary YA lately, so I definitely need to get my hands on this book. Thank you so much for the fabulous review. Adding this to my TBR immediately. I am all about shiptown and bffship. Also, I totally agree that not enough books cover the whole “I have to decide my entire future now” thing, and it’s really important.

  5. I really enjoyed Just Visiting, and for all of the reasons you’ve highlighted! The way Dahlia portrayed the uncertainty of what happens after high school was BRILLIANT, as was her portrayal of their friendship. So, so good, and I’m so glad you felt the same way!