Title: The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones
Author: Daven McQueen
Date of publication: June 16th, 2020
Publisher: Wattpad Books
Print length: Paperback, 312 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Coming of Age
Edition: ebook (ARC)
You can buy this book from Amazon
Writing Quality 4.5/5, Character Development 5/5, ‘Couldn’t put it down’ – ness 5/5, Intellectual Depth 5/5, Originality 5/5, Overall 4.9/5.
Since I saw ‘The Incredible Summer of Juniper Jones’ on NetGalley, I was dying to read it, mainly because it was about to be published under Wattpad Books. If you know me in real life, or even if you have been following me for a while, you know that Wattpad has been a big part of my life. I used to stay up the nights to read fan-fictions and anything that caught my attention (4 years ago), and this book brought me a bit of nostalgia. Anyway, this novel has been a lot of things, but not at all bad!
“Wishing doesn’t change things.”
The story is about Ethan and his struggles in a town where people of colour are not welcomed. After getting into a fight, his father sends him to stay with his aunt during the summer. There he meets Juniper and becomes friend with her. Who would have guessed that only three months can have such a big impact on someone’s life?
It all played back in his mind: the stares, the women in the general store, the fight with Noah. All because he was colored. Here, he was a deviation from the norm – and that was a threat.
This book deals with heavy topics such as racism and bullying, but the story itself is quite playful and happy. I didn’t feel the pages turning while reading, but at the same time, I found myself crying because after all, racism is real, and so many coloured people are suffering because of it.
They find it in themselves to pick up and move on after the worst of tragedies. […] Despite it all, people are quite invincible.
The main characters are Juniper and Ethan, and they are very different. Juniper is trying to see the better side of people, and she is very energic and happy all the time. She manages to see the bright side in the worst situations, even if some might say she lost everything. Sometimes I wish I was like her… On the other hand, Ethan is mad with life, and he has a reason to be. Black people don’t have the right to be innocent. Since they are kids, they are forced to stand up for themselves, but at the same time they not allowed to make too much noise, not allowed to stand out, not allowed to live their lives.
“Making sense if for nerds and grown-ups. I am way more interesting.” (Juniper)
The storyline is complex, and the style of writing is clear and simple. It can be read without much effort, and I enjoyed that. It is not at all like the most Wattpad stories, and I very much appreciate that.
Then he remained there, washing away the tears and the old, invisible wounds that were peeling open again under the new, until it was all down the drain along with a thick layer of dirt and grime.
Overall, this has been a heartbreaking read. I cried and I laughed at the same time, and I do think this novel gave me a new perspective regarding racism and everything that comes along. I would definetly see this book in school libraries, and I do think kids will enjoy reading it.
“At some point, you just have to let it go. It wasn’t your fault. And you shouldn’t regret letting people into your life who changed it for the better, even if the didn’t say.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Daven McQueen grew up outside of Los Angeles, California. She graduated from Brown University, where she earned a B.A. in literary arts and economics. When she’s not writing, Daven can be found tap dancing, embroidering, cooking, and eating dessert. She lives in Boston, Massachusetts and works in education.