The Darlings Are Forever
The Darlings Are Forever

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Series: The Darlings   

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Annotation: Best friends Jane, Victoria, and Natalya, who call themselves the Darlings, find their relationship tested when they start their freshman year at three very different high schools.
Catalog Number: #48587
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2011
Edition Date: 2011
Pages: 328 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-423-12368-9 Perma-Bound: 0-605-48726-X
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-423-12368-2 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-48726-0
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2010009767
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
Jane, Victoria, and Natalya have always been a tight-knit group, but the start of their freshman year brings major changes in many ways. Jane is going to a performing-arts high school, where she crushes on her drama teacher and considers acting on those feelings. Enrolled at a magnet high school, Victoria struggles with the pressures of her father's sudden national presence as a politician and the resulting personal scrutiny of her private life. Natalya is attending an exclusive girls' school, where the social pressure and wealth are daunting to the Russian girl on full scholarship. But the girls are committed to being "Darling" friends in spite of the challenges, trying to maintain contact through texts and calls even as they make new friends and develop romantic interests. With plenty of references to the New York City setting, boys, trendy clothes, and catty girls, this book entertains even while exploring a few serious issues. Somewhat predicable but nonetheless engrossing, this novel is perfect for younger fans of Kate Brian's Private series.
Horn Book
Best friends Jane, Natalya, and Victoria are starting freshman year at different high schools in New York City. In just two months, they develop crushes, make new friends, and attend "the party of the century." The girls' personalities are bland, but their desires to fit in and to succeed will strike a chord with readers in similar situations.
Kirkus Reviews
The themes of loss and change are explored throughout this tale of three best friends. Victoria, Jane and Natalya have grown up in the secluded world of their aptly named private school, One Room. On the eve of entering ninth grade at separate schools, this tight-knit trio makes a vow: that nothing will change among them. Soon, however, all three must face new challenges on their own. An aspiring actress, Jane is eager to prove her star quality at her performing-arts high school but gets sidelined by an inappropriate crush. Victoria is stunned to discover her actions will become fodder for the press when her father decides to run for the U.S. Senate. Meanwhile, as the child of Russian immigrants, Natalya finds herself struggling to fit in with her wealthy peers as the scholarship student at her elite school. Should she use the reflected fame of Victoria's father to garner new friendships? The third-person narration shifts from girl to girl as it sensitively explores their experiences. Kantor deftly handles the weighty topic of choice and personal responsibility in this thought-provoking tale. ( Fiction . 12 & up)
Publishers Weekly
Kantor (Girlfriend Material) offers a satisfying entry to the best-friends-until-high-school-separates-us genre, a good read for those who enjoy girlfriend stories told from alternating points of view. An adept exploration of friendship problems set against the backdrop of various New York City neighborhoods, it will appeal both to young New Yorkers and to readers who know the city only vicariously. Kantor's trio%E2%80%94aspiring actress Jane of Greenwich Village; brilliant Russian Natalya of Brighton Beach; and beautiful Victoria of the Upper West Side, daughter of a suddenly famous politician%E2%80%94have been schoolmates since kindergarten. Now attending different high schools, they face the challenge of preserving their closeness while navigating tricky adjustments to new schools and the delicate art of making new friends. Hovering over them like a fairy godmother is the spirit of Jane's late grandmother, who ""talked to them like the grown-ups they would someday be,"" and gave them their mantra: ""May you always do what you're afraid of doing."" The problems and crises that arise are credible and not always predictable, the dialogue rings true, and the girls are well-developed characters that avoid stereotype. Ages 11%E2%80%93up. (Jan.)
School Library Journal
Gr 8&11;10&12; Actress Jane, brainy Natalya, and perpetual good-girl, Victoria, best friends for years, are now about to start their freshman year at different New York City schools. It's going to be an odd year: not only are they about to have experiences apart, but it's also the first year without Jane's beloved grandmother, who took them all over the city and advised them to "always do what you're afraid of doing." The Darlings&12;as Nana called them&12;take her advice to heart and challenge themselves: Jane auditions for the main stage production at her performing-arts high school despite the fact that roles almost never go to freshmen; Natalya falls in with the rich queen bees at her exclusive private school in spite of her doubts about their sincerity; Victoria struggles to break out of the shadow her older sister left at her prep school. Overcoming their fears might push them to be their best selves&12;but not listening to them can lead to trouble, even among best friends. More than their individual situations, Kantor's focus is on their friendship, and on the sometimes-painful process of growing apart while trying to deny that anything has changed. The shifting dynamic among the three is believable, given that they've never been without one another before. The girls are easy to care about, and the message&12;that true friendships can change and grow and still be maintained&12;will appeal to fans of Ann Brashares's "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" series (Delacorte).&12; Brandy Danner, Wilmington Memorial Library, MA
Word Count: 75,386
Reading Level: 5.2
Interest Level: 9-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.2 / points: 11.0 / quiz: 142173 / grade: Middle Grades+
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.7 / points:19.0 / quiz:Q52481
Lexile: 780L

Jane, Victoria, and 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 each other. 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 they took for granted about their friendship starts to feel less certain. They can't help but wonder, will they really be the Darlings forever?

The first book in an exciting new series by bestselling author Melissa Kantor, The DarlingsAre Forever will speak to any girl who has ever had a best friend.


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