Monday, February 7, 2011

Book Review: The Darlings Are Forever by Melissa Kantor

The Darlings Are Forever by Melissa Kantor

Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Hyperion Books CH
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1423123689
ISBN-13: 978-1423123682
Source: Provided by the publisher for an honest review (big thanks to Hyperion!)
Cover: This is an adorable cover and works so well with the novel. What I love most is the on the backside of the book are each girl's face closeup and her name so you can refer to it in the beginning. Awesome!
First Sentence: "The Labor Day sun was scorching, and as Jane waited for the light to change, she could practically hear her park hair frizzing."

Mini-Review: A contemp with real charm geared for the younger YA audience

Book Summary:
Jane. Victoria. 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 one another. 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 the took for granted about their friendship starts to feel less certain. They can't help wondering--will they really be the Darlings forever?


With a market crowded with dark paranormal romances, a lot of the younger teenage audience is forgotten. This is absolutely a novel for them.The Darling Are Forever follows three girls as they go their seperate ways for their first year in high school. Filled with a girl for every teen, a bunch of real life situations, and the power of real friendship, I defy any reader not to be charmed up until the last word.  

Victoria is the plain jane type of girl. She doesn't think there is anything special about herself but she's wrong. Victoria was the even center, the one that held the other two girls together, and she was my favorite. I felt like she was the most grounded of the three and I related to her problems the most. She was a bit of a baby but I could understand why she acted the way she did and it seemed the most plausible to me. Plus, I fell in love with Jack right along with her.  

I liked Natalya because she was intelligent but she also bothered me because of that same fact. I felt like Natalya was too smart to end up in the situation that she did. She had found some good friends that were nice to her so I don't see why she decided to dump everyone else because the popular girls decided to talk to her. It would have been one thing if she didn't figure out why they liked her but she knew that it was because of Victoria. I guess if I'd had a bit more of an inkling that she was unhappy with who she was or what she came from in the beginning of the novel, it would have made more since for her to head down this path.  

I think we were supposed to be mad at Jane while reading the chapters that followed Natalya but I couldn't be because I really thought Jane was right. Jane doesn't really have a sensor and she felt like something was off with Natalya so she told her. Good for Jane. Though Jane's big mouth and reckless abandon did get her in trouble, her character added the spice to the novel that it would have otherwise been lacking. I really enjoyed being in the theater with her and found myself most engaged in those chapters.  

The plot was predictable but it was okay. I was expecting these girls to end up spreading apart from each other only to be pushed back together when they realized this. Even the way they did it was predictable. But the writing was charming and so were the characters so it didn't bother me. I do feel like this one is definitely for younger audiences and at times I felt The Darlings boarded dangerously close to being a bit preachy. The "moral of the story" wasn't covered up too much. But again, for younger audiences, this isn't a bad thing. Plus it was written well and the pages were easy to turn so it will definitely keep interest.  

I gave this one a 3.5 because while it was a great contemp, it was a bit young for my taste. I should say that this in no way means that it wasn't well written or adorable. It was absolutely both. It just wasn't my cup of tea but I'm absolutely happy to have read it. With a great cast of girls that any teen can relate to, a well written plot with something to say and a whole lot of fun, The Darlings Are Forever is a charmer.



  1. I had been thinking about reading it, but I think it would probably be a little too young for me too. The video made me laugh - too cute.

  2. Sounds like it might be a great fit for some of my 8th graders--might have to recommend to our librarian to check it out.

    Thanks for the review!
    The Book Swarm


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