Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Review: Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler

Rating: 5 Cups of Coffee
Reagan Forrester wants out—out of her trailer park, out of reach of her freeloading mother, and out of the shadow of the relationship that made her the pariah of Charytan, Kansas. 

Victoria Reyes wants in—in to a fashion design program, in to the arms of a cute guy who doesn't go to Charytan High, and in to a city where she won't stand out for being Mexican. 

One thing the polar-opposite best friends do agree on is that wherever they go, they’re staying together. But when they set off on a series of college visits at the start of their senior year, they quickly see that the future doesn’t look quite like they expected. After two years of near-solitude following the betrayal of the ex-boyfriend who broke her heart, Reagan falls hard and fast for a Battlestar Galactica-loving, brilliant smile-sporting pre-med prospective... only to learn she's set herself up for heartbreak all over again. Meanwhile, Victoria runs full-speed toward all the things she thinks she wants… only to realize everything she’s looking for might be in the very place they've sworn to leave. 

As both Reagan and Victoria struggle to learn who they are and what they want in the present, they discover just how much they don't know about each other's pasts. And when each learns what the other’s been hiding, they'll have to decide whether their friendship has a future.

Natasha’s Experience:
I wish I could have read this story four years ago when I was deciding what college to go to and what to expect when I was planning on leaving my comfort zone. I think that’s what I loved most about JUST VISITING; the characters find that the hardest part about leaving home is not knowing where you’re going, but it’s also the most exciting part about moving on to the next step in your life.

“It’s time to figure out what makes you happy and just do it. Worst comes to worst, you make a mistake and then you change paths. That's the best freaking part of being a teenager.”

Reagan and Vic are the real kind of best friends. They aren’t afraid to be honest with each other yet can’t help but have some secrets that they keep hidden. Reagan wants to leave her small town and just become something bigger; she needs an out and college can give her that. Vic wants the fun that comes with college – the parties, the people, and the independence. Together they decide to go on a series of road trips to find the best college for the both of them. The trips become more enlightening than they both expected. They grow and learn that maybe your next step isn’t the same step as the person beside you.

There are bits of this story that will make you swoon (because there is love, it’s just not a major character in the story) and there are other bits that will have you tearing up. It’s both equal parts lovely as it is real.

Adler gives you a story filled with road trips, hardships, unanticipated love, and a pair of best friends who want to find the perfect college to escape their disruptive pasts. You will laugh, cry, and feel utterly torn in two, all at the same time. A fascinating and authentic take on friendship and following your dreams, however far-fetched they may seem.


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About the Author

I'm an Associate Editor of Mathematics by day, a Copy Editor by night, and I blog at The Daily Dahlia, YA Misfits, and the Barnes & Noble book blog. I also write contemporary YA (The Daylight Falls duology) and NA (The Radleigh University series). Rec-ing books is approximately my favorite thing in the universe, with macarons being a close second. Come say hi on Twitter, where I'm @MissDahlELama!

1 comment:

  1. I love this, although I am a mom anf wife now. I could stilp read this and escape as if I were still young thinking about where I would have gone.