Monday, August 19, 2013

PEACHES by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Hi all!  I've been in a reading/reviewing slump lately.  Ugh.  As I understand, it happens to a lot of bloggers, but this was a first for me.  Anyway, I'm back and here to spread the word about the great (and not-so-great) books I've read J.

Three Georgia peaches are in for one juicy summer…

This book drew me mainly b/c it's set in the South.  I always enjoy a good Southern read, and this YA was the perfect book for a hot summer day.  Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson is a tale about three girls and a struggling peach orchard.

Birdie, my favorite character, is one of those MCs you can't help but like.  She's innocent and inexperienced--and trips over her own feet in front of cute boys named Enrico :-).  But Birdie has a courageous spirit that won't let her give up on her family's orchard even when all the odds are stacked against her.

Leeda, the good girl (who's still doesn't measure up to her perfect older sister), and Murphy, the too-smart-for-her-own-good bad girl, could care less about the Darlington Peach Orchard.  The girls have absolutely nothing in common--until one amazing summer changes everything.

One of the things I loved best about this book was the setting.  The Darlington Peach Orchard was a character as much as any of the MCs.  I really felt like I was there.  In the heat, tasting the sweetness of the peaches.  So many people depended on this place.  Picking peaches is backbreaking work, but the migrant workers do it b/c the orchard is their livelihood.  In one scene, an early frost threatens to destroy everything.  In a last act of desperation, Birdie sets fires between the rows of trees, burning any spare wood she can get her hands on.  Loved this scene.  It showed Birdie's bravery and also how everyone was connected to the orchard.

I also loved the friendships.  In the beginning, the girls are so separate.  Murphy loves to do wild things that'll probably get her into trouble; Leeda likes order and having control; and Birdie is just so innocent.  Their friendship develops through days spent picking peaches and nights out skinny dipping at the lake.  The orchard becomes a safe haven for all three of them.  It's like this magical place where everything else melts away.

The romance was sprinkled in at just the right moments.  Birdie and Enrico were so sweet together.  And poor Birdie!  This was her first experience with a boy she liked, and she had no idea how to tell him, and then???  He up and disappears back to Texas b/c peach season is over.  The three girls embark on a road trip, chasing Enrico and Birdie's happy ending… but you'll have to read to see how that meeting turns out ;).

Lots of humor, friendships, romance and Southern flavor.  Peaches was a great summer read--a great anytime read--and I'll definitely be checking out more of Anderson's work!

Happy reading,

Ninja Girl

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