Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH (January 4, 2011)
Main Characters: Jane, Victoria and Natalya all 14 yr-old freshmen
Author's Website: http://www.melissakantor.com/
Buy the Book: Amazon
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?
Jane, Victoria and Natalya have been friends since they were 5 and began attending school together in NYC. Now they are about to begin their freshman year at 3 separate high schools. Jane is thrilled to be attending the Academy of Performing Arts. Natalya was honored to be accepted at the prestigious Gainsford Academy. And, Victoria is enrolled at Morningside Magnet High School. While each of the girls are excited about their new schools, they are also concerned about what it will mean to their friendship. How will they find time to go to school, do homework, be involved in extracurricular activities and still find time to spend together? Jane has her eyes set on being in the cast of the main stage production even though only one freshman has ever been chosen. And it didn't hurt that Mr. Robbins, the director, was so young and good-looking. Victoria is dealing with being in the spotlight since her father is running for the U.S. Senate and also trying to step out of her older sister's shadow and find her own place. Jack, the cute photographer from the school newspaper, might be just the person she needs to help her. Natalya is wondering how a girl from a working class family will fit in with the kids from some of the wealthiest and most well-known families in the city. Will they like her for who she is or because she is friends wit a future Senator's daughter? Each of the girls will face unforeseen challenges and decisions that will test not only their friendship but also their own core values.
I liked these girls. Each one was an individual and was a nice girl trying to do the best she could be. I also liked the challenges that each girl faced in the story. They seemed to be real problems that high school girls would face. The situations weren't huge, overly dramatic issues like sex, drugs, illegal activity, etc, but things like fitting in, making friends, loyalty, trustworthiness and so on. I found myself wondering if these were the thoughts and activities of young 14 year olds or if they would have been more consistent with girls a couple of years older. The difference may be that I was raised and raised my children in small-town Midwest whereas these girls live in NYC and have freedoms that seem unrealistic to me.
I would recommend this book to younger teens.
Make sure you check out Melissa's website, it is really cute!
- Sexual Content: Mild
- Profanity: Mild/Moderate
- Violence: None
- Other Notables: Mention of underage drinking/partying