I’m a big fan of contemporary books, so this one seemed really interesting to me. It was nice to see that there are authors that take on some more serious subjects in their contemporary books. I love helping authors who deserve a lot more attention than they get. To see my thoughts on this book, keep reading.

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Cover

I really repeat myself when it comes to covers like this, but I’m still not a fan of people on the covers. This one isn’t bad though and looks sweet. I also love the font used on this cover.

Plot

When I first started this book and even after reading the description to it, I thought this was going to be the typical fluffy contemporary with the happily ever after. There is nothing wrong with that, but at times those books can all seem alike. The Edge of Juniper turned out to be something completely different and I was impressed by the path the author chose while writing this book.
Fay is in Juniper to stay with her Aunt, Uncle and cousins for the summer while her parents are away building a school in Haiti. This is nothing new for Fay, she visits every summer, only this time she is there for a longer period of time. The summer isn’t turning out like she expected it though. Her family seems different, she’s not sure what to think about her Uncle’s temper and her cousin Celia keeps ditching her to spend time with her boyfriend Ronan (who Fay really doesn’t like). Then she sees Malcom and is very interested, but Celia insists she should stay clear to keep the peace at their house. Something has happened between her Uncle and Malcom’s family, but she isn’t sure what. During the summer Fay finds out not everything is always as it seems, that not everything always works out, grown ups can disappoint us as well and sometimes there is no happily ever after.
I really enjoyed this book. At times it was difficult, because of her Uncle’s temper and my assumptions to what sometimes happened behind closed doors. It took me awhile to get into this book and not because I wasn’t enjoying the story, but that the characters were irritating me. I didn’t like how Celia was treating Fay and I wasn’t too fond of her Aunt and Uncle. As I read more I understood why everything felt that way and I really hoped Malcolm would save the day in certain aspects. Fay kind of has to grow up more than she would had she stayed home for the summer. The growth of her character and Celia was rather impressive. I will definitely be reading the second book.

Characters

Fay is a hapapy teenager and loves spending time with her cousin every summer. She is used to a loving home. Her parents trust her decisions and she doesn’t have many rules. This is the first time she’s staying with her Aunt and Uncle while her parents are off on a charity trip for the summer. That’s when she starts noticing things are different. Her Uncle is angrier, there is a lot of yelling and they’re sent away quite often. Malcolm is a guy she is interested in after seeing him a few times. Even though Celia says it’s better to stay away, she can’t help but go see him. After meeting everyone she doesn’t understand why her family wants her to stay away. This summer isn’t easy for her either. Her parents may get divorced and he’s not sure how to handle this. This is a summer she gets a different look at the world and isn’t sure what to think of it.

“Being at my aunt and uncle’s house had begun to condition me to have anxiety around adults. I had been growin accustomed to the ideas that anything I did could get me in trouble.”

Celia loves having her cousin around, but also wants to keep peace at home. She keeps telling Fay everything is normal and if they make sure to do certain things everything will be okay. Celia knows the way her father is acting isn’t okay, but there’s not much she can change. She tries her best to keep her brother safe. She knows she won’t be going to college until he’s at least old enough to take care of himself. Celia loves her boyfriend and wants him to love her. It seems it’s her way from trying to escape, but then again she doesn’t really know what a normal family looks like. When Fay starts questioning her father’s behavior, she becomes defensive. Until she can’t deny what Fay is seeing anymore.

“Things are dark for you right now. You’re walking in the darkness. I can’t pull you out of it. I can’t turn on a light. But I will walk through it with you.”

Malcolm thinks Fay is interesting and wants to hang out more. He’s a good kid, even has his own lawnmowing company with a friend to make money during the summer. Malcolm has a great relationship with his parents and doesn’t understand why Celia’s family wants to stay away. When he talks to his parents he’s really worried that Fay isn’t safe. He’s a really sweet guy who wants the best for everyone.

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I like that Fay moved back to Juniper with her mother. We will get to see all of the characters in the second book and I’m excited to see how this all develops. The second book is another one I want to read in January, so hopefully I will have the review for you soon.

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