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Summary

Malcolm Dearing has wide, wide shoulders and messy brown hair, and he looks at me with fire in his eyes. But my uncle says I'm not allowed to talk to anyone from the Dearing family. He won't tell me why, and neither will my cousin Celia.

I've told Malcolm I can't spend time with him, but he keeps showing up everywhere I go, saying things that make me want to get to know him. Trying to stay away from him is only making me think of him more.

I'm not sure how much longer I can hold out. Torn between my family's expectations and my heart, I'm not sure if the risk is worth it.

The Edge of Juniper is the first book in The Juniper Series, a collection of contemporary romances that will make your heart race!

©2016 Lora Richardson (P)2020 Lora Richardson

What listeners say about The Edge of Juniper

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Cute story, but...

The Edge of Juniper was an interesting read. Enough time had passed that I had forgotten what the book was about, so I was learning about everything as the story went. Learning about Fay and her will-they-won't-they-get-a-divorce parents, her having to spend the summer with her aunt's family in Juniper, her learning about the "feud" with Malcolm's family, Malcolm trying (and finally getting) to befriend her, her learning about some things that were going on in her behind the scenes with her uncle (namely alcoholism and domestic abuse/violence). And while there is a sweet romantic story in there, everything's shown through the eyes of a 16-year-old having her first boyfriend and spending the whole summer in a different town. It shows the effects of domestic violence in the family, and the different roles everyone takes (from the mom to the kids, some going with the flow, some trying to be the peacemakers, some shielding others, etc), while also being a YA read, showing all the emotions and feelings going on in their relationships (see Content for details).

The narrator did a great job with Fay and Malcolm's voices, as well as with Celia's (Fay's cousin) since they have a lot of conversations going on and yet it was clear differentiating between these two. She portrayed well the different emotions, be it the uncle's anger/yelling, Faye's melancholy, sadness, or even mischief, Malcolm's encouragement and calming presence, Celia's kinda passive-aggressive attitude, and so on. The only thing I wished for was a way to differentiate Fay's inner voice/monologue from the voice she uses when she's speaking to someone.

All in all, a "sweet" YA novel that were it not for some of the content, I'd give it a higher rating. I know there are a couple more books in this trilogy, so depending on the blurbs I'll see if I give them a chance, but if I do, it'll be some time before I pick up the next one.

Content:
Sex: not between the MCs, though there's a scene where they go swimming and she suggests doing skinny dipping. She ends up untying her top and if they make out after that, it's hinted at but not shown. However, it wouldn't take a lot to imagine it'd happen in their future. Between her cousin (Celia) and her boyfriend, yes. It's not shown either since it happens to a secondary character, but it's talked about before (planning the "surprise", and how to get condoms) and after it happens (how she felt/the emotional aspect of it). The book also begins with Fay and Celia watching a bunch of teenagers get caught by the cops while skinny dipping; and there's also a talk between the two about the value of a girl not being on whether she's a virgin or not. Also, towards the end of the book, Fay's mom buys her a package of condoms so she can be prepared just in case.
Language: yes. Lots of d*mns, sh*ts, son of a ...
Drinking: yes. There are mentions of beers, but it's more tied with the uncle's drinking problem.
Violence: yes, both as part of the domestic violence as well as the uncle picking a fight at a fair.

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Loved this YA novel

This is a great story about family and relationships. It's fun as well as moving and deep, and very enjoyable. I loved it!

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A nice story

This was a nice story but it didn’t grip me. There was nothing wrong, it is well written and narrated. I just found I couldn’t get lost in the characters or story.

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  • Crissy
  • 20-08-20

Loved this Realistic HEA!

I’ve found a new favorite author! This YA romance had raw emotion but not too intense. It showed how young love should be, how a girl should be treated and loved while involving two different common family experiences. The author did an amazing job building the characters. I was drawn in and hooked from the start. The narrator did fantastic bringing the characters to life! There was no confusion of what character was speaking and she created a seamless story to follow. I can’t wait to listen to the next book in the series!!! I received this audiobook free and am providing my honest review.

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  • Tara Alemany, Emerald Lake Books
  • 08-06-20

Matters of the heart

This was a hard book to listen to at times, more because of the heartbreak I felt for Fay, Celia and Abe than anything else. As Fay's parents take a last trip together to decide whether they're going to go their separate ways or not, Fay is sent to spend the summer with her aunt. Yet, the aunt's family includes an alcoholic husband who keeps the household walking on eggshells. Although she's forbidden to have anything to do with the Dearing family, she falls for Malcolm Dearing. And everything we see about that family is everything at Fay yearns for in her own life.

There's young love, yes. And it's intense and leads to a journey of self-discovery. But the part that stands out the most is the abuse at "home" with her aunt and uncle. Her cousins, Celia and Abe, have lived with the dysfunction long enough to navigate it well, but the whole thing is alien to Fay and leaves her wondering about everything she thought she once knew.

Can love last forever? What is family? Who can you trust?

The story is very well-written and I found myself wanting to know what happened next, making it hard to put down. But just be aware, if you choose to read this, that the edge of your seat feeling comes more from sympathy and fear than from anything else. I wanted the kids to be okay!