book review

The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones|ARC Review

Top Ten Tuesday-53

48077645Title: The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones

Author: Daven McQueen

Publication Date: 5 May 2020

Pages: 312

Rating:

Synopsis: It’s the summer of 1955. For Ethan Harper, a biracial kid raised mostly by his white father, race has always been a distant conversation. When he’s sent to spend the summer with his aunt and uncle in small-town Alabama, his Blackness is suddenly front and center, and no one is shy about making it known he’s not welcome there. Except for Juniper Jones. The town’s resident oddball and free spirit, she’s everything the townspeople aren’t―open, kind, and full of acceptance.

Armed with two bikes and an unlimited supply of root beer floats, Ethan and Juniper set out to find their place in a town that’s bent on rejecting them. As Ethan is confronted for the first time by what it means to be Black in America, Juniper tries to help him see the beauty in even the ugliest reality, and that even the darkest days can give rise to an invincible summer.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy to review but all thoughts are my own

Spoiler Free Review

This book follows Ethan who is a sophomore in high school and after an incident he is sent to live with his aunt and uncle in Alabama. Once he arrives its quickly brought to the surface that he isn’t wanted there, all because of the color of his skin. While reading this book there were parts where I just got angry and wished I could just shelter and protect Ethan and Juniper.

Ethan is an enjoyable character to follow. Before coming to Alabama he had a bit of a sheltered life, meaning he wasn’t very aware of the discrimination down in the south. As the story goes on he becomes more attuned to the injustices going on surrounding race and it hurt my heart at times seeing what he had to go through and witness.

As much as I liked Ethan, I found Juniper to be a much more enjoyable character, she is someone I would love to be BFFS with! Juniper is just filled with so much positivity and energy. When she meets Ethan she decides then and there that they are going to become best friends and have this amazing and invincible summer together. While Ethan is faced with discrimination Juniper tries to give Ethan reasons and adventures to stay positive.

The author weaves in heavy topics like discrimination while also not weighing down the book with the heavy topics by including all the great and fun moments Juniper and Ethan have on their adventures. This book is joyful at times and heartbreaking at others; it is a good book that I think everyone should put on their every growing TBR.

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