Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Secrets of Peaches

The sequel to Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson, this title picks up almost immediately where the previous book left off. Summer at the orchard is winding down and Murphy, Birdie, and Leeda are starting their senior years in school. Having been home schooled on the orchard for all of her life, Birdie knows exactly what she'll be doing once school is over and instead of trying to decide what college to go to like the other girls, spends her time missing Enrique, her boyfriend that has returned to Mexico. Leeda, much to her own dismay, agrees to be the county's annual Pecan Queen, simply to appease her mother, who appears to be ill. Murphy insists she is going to NYU after school and spends her time trying to convince her boyfriend, Rex, to move to the city with her.

The girls focus a lot of their time on typical teenage worries such as boyfriends, college, and money. When each girl is faced with difficult decisions, they lean on each other to make the right choices for themselves, rather than what the world seems to want from them. Each of the characters are very comparable to real girls and readers will be able to identify with at least one, if not all of the girls. I found myself in Birdie...always wanting to do what is right for my family, forgetting that my life was also about me. Other girls may find themselves in Leeda, where her mother controls her life and appearances are extremely important, or in Murphy who is just lost and trying to find her way.

After completing Peaches, a couple of weeks ago, I had to go out and get the sequel almost immediately. The first book was, in my opinion, the perfect "teen girl" novel and I had very high hopes for the second. These books are very reminiscent of Ann Brashares Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series and I think that is one reason I love them as much as I do. If you have a teen girl, know one, or just love young adults novels (like me!), then give these two novels a try. They won't disappoint!

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