The Darlings Are Forever

The Darlings Are Forever by Melissa Kantor

Jane, the actress, has just started school at The Academy of the Performing Arts. She’s a small fish swimming in a sea of talent. But when she’s the only freshman to land a role in the spring musical, A Midsummer’s Night Dream, she finds herself more than just head over heels for her new school, she also finds herself head over heals for her Director, Mr. Robbins.Kantor has spun a true piece of realistic fiction with well-rounded and well realized characters. Readers will easily identify and relate to Jane, Victoria, and Natalya on some level. What is really great about Kantor’s characters is that they aren’t scandalous, they’re simple, everyday girls who encounter everyday problems with school, with boys, and even with budding and changing friendships.The Darlings Are Forever is just that – darling!

* I (obviously) really, really liked this book, but there was one very minor thing that bothered me: it’s written in third person. Persoanlly, I prefer reading books in the first person mostly because I find there to be some disconnect with the characters and the plot when it’s written from a third person perspective. In all honesty – this didn’t hinder the book at all, but it made it a big harder for me to get through (it took me over a week and a half to read it).

Victoria, the romantic of the trio, is more than that. She’s a Darling, she’s a baker, but she’s also the sweet, innocent daughter of soon to be elected Andrew Harrison. All she can hope for is that no one at Morningside realizes who her father is, but when she sneaks out to go to a fancy party where there’s booze and boys, will her parents find out? Will it be the end of her social life, or worse, will it be the end of her father’s political campaign?

And then there’s Natalya, the closet genius who’s struggling two very different, opposing worlds: her normal world full of good friends, lots of laughs, and chess no matter how uncool it is or a world of money, privilege, and the hottest parties. Will Natalya trade in her smarts and her fellow Darlings for a spot in the in-crowd, or will she be the same chess loving girl she has always been?

The Darlings, who’ve been lifelong buddies since grade school suddenly find themselves being pulled in three opposing directions. Are they strong enough to withstand the pain and anguish high school brings? Is their friendship strong enough to withhold the demanding changes and pressures their new lives have created?

The Darlings Are Forever* written by Melissa Kantor is an incredibly sweet and fun book to read. Examining the lives and the honest emotions of three high school freshman, older readers will find themselves reminiscing about their own experiences, while younger readers will be fantasizing about the glamor and pitfalls high school will offer them.

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