Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler
An ARC was provided by the author in exchange for review consideration.
Summary: Reagan Forrester wants out—out of her trailer park, out of reach of her freeloading mother, and out of the shadow of the relationship that made her the pariah of Charytan, Kansas.
Victoria Reyes wants in—in to a fashion design program, in to the arms of a cute guy who doesn't go to Charytan High, and in to a city where she won't stand out for being Mexican.
One thing the polar-opposite best friends do agree on is that wherever they go, they’re staying together. But when they set off on a series of college visits at the start of their senior year, they quickly see that the future doesn’t look quite like they expected. After two years of near-solitude following the betrayal of the ex-boyfriend who broke her heart, Reagan falls hard and fast for a Battlestar Galactica-loving, brilliant smile-sporting pre-med prospective... only to learn she's set herself up for heartbreak all over again. Meanwhile, Victoria runs full-speed toward all the things she thinks she wants… only to realize everything she’s looking for might be in the very place they've sworn to leave.
As both Reagan and Victoria struggle to learn who they are and what they want in the present, they discover just how much they don't know about each other's pasts. And when each learns what the other’s been hiding, they'll have to decide whether their friendship has a future.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: I love contemporary YA fiction so much, but only when it's done well. And I feel good contemporary YA novels are far and few between because most are too unrealistic or just not my thing. Well, thank goodness for Just Visiting. It had so many realistic aspects that I felt like I was witnessing something my own friends were going through.
Rae and Vic are best friends; they have been for about two years, and their main goal is to get out of Charytan, Kansas. I loved that Dahlia showed the college visit process. As someone who attends a small, Christian university, I can't say how accurate the colleges were. BUT, for the most part, the prospective weekends seemed similar enough to what I've heard and seen before. Also on the college side of things, I enjoyed that the girls didn't have everything perfectly figured out. Yeah, some high schoolers know exactly what school they'll attend and what they'll major in, but that was a little more iffy for Vic and Rae. AND Vic started to wonder if college was the right path for her, which I thought was fantastically relatable. (Not for me, personally, but other young readers.)
I kind of enjoyed the main romances. Rae meets a guy named Dave while they're visiting the first college, and they kind of click. Their relationship has a few too many miscommunications for me. Vic's sort-of romance with Steve was cute and realistic. I liked how things with that went.
Most of what I didn't like about Just Visiting was the amount of foul language. It's just not my thing. The sexual content was also a bit much for my tastes.
But, overall, I really did enjoy Just Visiting.
The Verdict: If you want a good book with a realistic friendship, look no further. I'd definitely recommend for fans of Open Road Summer and Since You've Been Gone.
Will I be adding this book to my library?: I'd like to.