Review of Juniors

Friday, 25 September 2015
Well, I see we're on day three of "Review Week" in which I try to catch up on my reviews. (Is it catching up if they're mainly September releases like this one? I just need to get these reviews up as soon as I humanly can.)

Book: Juniors

Author: Kaui Hart Hemmings

Publisher: Penguin (Putnam)

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Summary: Lea Lane has lived in between all her life.

Part Hawaiian, part Mainlander. Perpetual new girl at school. Hanging in the shadow of her actress mother’s spotlight. And now: new resident of the prominent West family’s guest cottage.

Bracing herself for the embarrassment of being her classmates’ latest charity case, Lea is surprised when she starts becoming friends with Will and Whitney West instead—or in the case of gorgeous, unattainable Will, possibly even more than friends. And despite their differences, Whitney and Lea have a lot in common: both are navigating a tangled web of relationships, past disappointments and future hopes. As things heat up with Will, and her friendship with Whitney deepens, Lea has to decide how much she's willing to change in order to fit into their world.

Lea Lane has lived in between all her life. But it isn’t until her junior year that she learns how to do it on her own terms.

Review: Did someone say Hawaii? (This book is set there.) Because I want to go there. I love when books make you want to travel to where they're set like this one did. (It helps that I've been wanting to go to Hawaii for a while now.)

What drew me to this book was the cover. Going in, I knew nothing about the book except:
  • It was set in Hawaii.
  • It has a beautiful cover.
  • Kai Hart Hemmings wrote The Descendants, which inspired the movie with George Clooney and Tris Prior (that I haven't seen). 
  • At some point over the summer, I was going to want to read this.
This summery read has all the elements of a summery book that will take you back to lying on the beach (or chilling by the pool). The realistic friendships, the Hawaiian backdrop, and it's a nice, light contemporary. (Unless Harlequin paperbacks are your thing when you're at the beach, in which case you should know this isn't that kind of book.)

I liked the friendship between Lea and Whitney. It was believable and I preferred their relationship to the one between Lea and Will. Yeah, the friendship was better than the romance.

As for Kaui Hart Hemmings's writing, it was lovely and the descriptions whisked me away to a mansion (because who wouldn't want to live in one for a day...or a while?) in Hawaii. I also enjoyed the way she used her characters to help develop the others. Lea brought out the best in Whitney and made a typical rich girl more likeable. 

Overall, this book is a cute, beachy read that will take you back to summer. (It's getting a little chilly already and someone take me back to the beach, please.)

***Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way affected my thoughts and opinions. They are my own. 

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