January 7, 2011

The Darlings Are Forever (Melissa Kantor) Review

Publisher: Hyperion Books (January 4, 2010)
Hardcover: 336 Pages
Genre: YA Contemporary
Book from Publisher*

From Goodreads. Jane, Victoria, and Natalya. Together, they are the Darlings. Best friends forever. 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 the friends begin freshman year at three different high schools in distant corners of New York City, they promise to live by their motto and stay as close as ever. The Darlings know they can get through anything as long as they have each other. But doing scary new things is a lot easier with your friends beside you. And now that the girls aren’t spending all their time together, everything they took for granted about their friendship starts to feel less certain. They can’t help but wonder, will they really be the Darlings forever?

THE DARLINGS ARE FOREVER, by Melissa Kantor, is definitely a girl-bonding book. Three best gal pals from New York City are entering high school, at three different schools. They make a promise that their friendship won't change, but without each other they are forced to find who they are as individuals. They encounter cliques, boys, and the desire to fit in.

Honestly in after the first chapter I didn't think I would like this book. I have an issue when too many characters are introduced in a book right away. I was confused who was who and what school they went to, etc. But after a few chapters, the girls started to veer off into their own mold in my head. I loved the structure of the book with each chapter being from one of the girl's POV, and Kantor left each chapter at a teetering point so I was anxious to get back that side of the story.

I was definitely surprised at this book and I am so happy I got the chance to read it. I felt these girls were so perfect for each other because they all had a special fit inside their exclusive trio. And although they were young, I didn't feel like Kantor was 'dumbing them down' to be silly teenage girls, they were really a joy to experience in their actually mature ways.

Along the line of being individuals were the girl's crushes. I enjoyed reading about how these boys in their lives would change the dynamic of the group. I have to say Colin and Jack were my favorites. Colin was absolutely an adorable nerd and I wanted Natalya to embrace that side of herself too. Then there's Jack (swoon) the artistic and charismatic boy that Victoria loved to pretend to hate. That's all I'm saying about that.

This book is a great story for women at any age. The friendships, fights, and romances that ensue will warm your heart and keep you wanting more.

Melissa Kantor's Website | Blog | Twitter

*FTC Disclosure: I received this finished copy from the publisher. I do not receive payment of any kind in exchange for a review. I do not receive monetary compensation from any book links in my review.
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