The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones is one of my absolute favorite books and one of the most tender and warm, yet fierce, gripping and compelling stories I’ve ever read. This beautiful book made me cry and laugh, it made me want to scream in frustration and it broke my heart, but it also gave me hope, and I loved every moment of it.
This is an exceptional coming of age story and fantastic debut by Daven McQueen. It’s a gripping YA historical fiction tale set in 1955, when Ethan Harper, a biracial kid, goes to stay with his aunt in Alabama for the summer. Ethan has been pretty sheltered, living in Washington with his white dad, so coming to Alabama is a whole new world for him. Ethan soon learns that being black in this town is not a good thing, and he’s feeling unwelcome, lonely and miserable, until he meets the town outcast, the red headed spitfire Juniper Jones. Juniper Jones (aka Starfish) is a character I will never forget. Her friendship with Ethan was so sweet and those two will have my heart forever!
“Good.” Juniper grinned widely, her teeth uneven between her rose petal lips. “Making sense is for nerds and grown-ups. I am way more interesting.”
This story is very happy and relatable with the summer adventures Juniper takes Ethan on; climbing tree, drinking milkshakes and looking at clouds. But at the same time, it deals with a lot of heavy topics like racism and bullying, with Ethan struggling with what it means to be black in this narrow-minded town. All along, there was this threat in the background of people who disliked (and even hated) Ethan simply because of the color of his skin, that made my heart beat faster. I almost held my breath at times, having a constant sense of dread and fearing for the safety of Ethan. The suspense kept me reading the book feverishly, wanting nothing else for Juniper and Ethan than the two of them having the best summer ever without having to worry about the evil some people are capable of.
I love it when a book keeps you at the edge of the seat from the very first sentence to the last, and when it opens your mind, gives you new perspectives and makes you think about it for days and days after finishing it. The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones certainly is one of those books. It’s a story about the evil of racism, but also about the joy and healing power of friendship, about compassion and about facing your deepest fears without losing hope. It’s a book that everyone should read! I am so grateful for the time I got to spend with Juniper and Ethan and I recommend this book to anyone. I know for sure that its’s a book I will keep in my heart forever.
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All 1 Star 2 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars 5 Stars Abbi Glines Abdi Nazemian Adam Silvera Aiden Thomas Aisha Saeed AJ Collins Alexandra Christo Alexis Hall Alex Kelly Alex Sanchez Alice Dolman Alice Oseman Al Riske Alwyn Hamilton A. Meredith Walters Amy Harmon Amy S. Foster André Aciman Andy V Roamer Angie Thomas Annabeth Albert A. Poland Ashley Poston Ashley Woodfolk Audrey Coulthurst Becca Fitzpatrick Becky Albertalli Benjamin Alire Saenz Beth Bolden Bill Konigsberg Briar Prescott Bri Spicer Brooke Skipstone Cale Dietrich Casey McQuiston Cassandra Clare C.G. Drews Chris Bedell Ciara Smyth Clarissa Pattern C.L. Beaumont Colleen Hoover Crystal Frasier C.S. Pacat Daven McQueen David Biddle David Yoon Dean Atta Debbie McGowan Debbie Rigaud Deborah Harkness Delia Owens D.G. Carothers Dhonielle Clayton Douglas Stuart Dustin Thao Elizabeth Acevedo Elle Kennedy Elle Wright E. Lockhart Emily M. Danforth Emily Mims Erin Watt Ernest Cline Eve Morton Everina Maxwell Evie Dunmore Felice Stevens Grace Williams Gwen Martin Hanya Yanagihara Hayden Stone Heather Truett Hettie Bell Holly Black Hope Irving Hudson Lin Ingrid Sterling Jacqueline Lee Jacqueline Woodson Jamie Deacon Jandy Nelson Jax Calder Jay Hogan Jeanette Winterson Jeff Zentner Jenna Evans Welch Jenn Burke Jennifer E. Smith Jennifer G. Edelson Jennifer Gilmore Jennifer Iacopelli Jennifer Kropf Jennifer Niven Jenny Downham Jenny Han Jeremy Ray John Green Julianne Donaldson Kacen Callender Kami Garcia Kara Leigh Miller Kasie West Kate Larkindale Katharine McGee Kathleen Mareé KD Casey Kendall Grey Kevin Van Whye Kiley Reid Kim Fielding Kim Holden Kim Liggett Kitty Bardot Kris Ripper K.S. Marsden Laura Hall Laura Pavlov Laura Silverman Lauren James Laurie Frankel Leah Johnson Lee Matthew Goldberg Leigh Bardugo Leylah Attar Lisa Williamson Liv Rancourt Liz Plum Lola Noire Mackenzi Lee Madeline Miller Maggie Doolin Maggie Stiefvater Malin Persson Giolito Malorie Blackman Margaret Stohl Marie Lu Mary E. Pearson Mason Deaver Matthew R. Corr Melina Marchetta Meredith Russo Miel Moreland Mila Gray Miranda Kenneally Moa Backe Astot M. Tasia Nancy Garden Natalie Haynes Nicholas Sparks Nicola Yoon Nic Stone Nina Kenwood Nita Tyndall Nora Sakavic N.R. Walker Penny Aimes Phil Stamper Quinn Anderson Rachael Lippincott Rachel Hawkins Rainbow Rowell Ray Stoeve River Braun Roan Parrish Roseanne A. Brown Ruby Moone Ruta Sepetys Ryan La Sala Sally Green Sarah J. Maas Sarah Waters Sarina Bowen Saundra Mitchell Sidney Bell Simone Elkeles Siryn Sueng Sophia DeRise Sophie Gonzales Stephen Chbosky Stephenie Meyer Susan Mac Nicol Suzanne Collins Tahereh Mafi Teagan Hunter Tiffany D. Jackson T.J. Klune Tomi Adeyemi Val Wise Veronica Rossi Veronica Roth V.E. Schwab Wesley Chu Victor Dixen Victoria Aveyard Xan Van Rooyen Yamile Saied Méndez