Review: Juniors by Kaui Hart Hemmings

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As the first book I’ve read by Kaui, I enjoyed it quite a lot.
This story follows Lea Lane, a daughter to a single mother who is also an actress. She’s moved a lot in her lifetime and her mom’s career takes her back to Hawaii. The move into a guest cottage that belongs to a wealthy family, and old family ;friend.’ They have two children, Will and Whitney.
We follow her as she tries to build friendships and other emotional ties with those around her. I didn’t really get a good first impression of Lea and my opinion didn’t really change after reading the last page. I didn’t like how much she cared about what others thought of her. She was super gullible and I just wanted her to grow a backbone more than anything. She asked too many questions too so basically, she wasn’t what I look for in a favorite main character. And because this story focused on her, it put a damper on my reading experience.
The main reason why I give this such a low rating was that as much as I liked some characters, I didn’t connect to them in an emotional level, or in any way at all. I felt like there was a wall between me and them and I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it either.
I loved the relationship between Lea and her mother from the very start. It made me wish I was as close to mine as she was with hers. Their banter and interactions were believable. They were close, but the mother-daughter dynamic didn’t suffer in the process.
Cue in Will and Whitney West. I never liked Will. He always gave me a bad feeling in my stomach. I could’ve done without his appearances.
I honestly didn’t believe Whitney and Lea were friends until the very end. Their friendship didn’t feel real to me. They weren’t mean to each other but I would’ve called them acquaintances instead of friends. The way they interacted isn’t how I see friends interacting but, luckily, all that changed on the last chapter. The last few pages made me feel proud for how far they came in their friendship. I was all smiles for them so I decided to give this 3.5 stars instead of just 3.
My favorite character award goes to Danny, Lea’s childhood friend. Their friendship chemistry was my favorite thing to witness out of everything. He was genuine and kind, two major things any guy could possess. He showed me that he actually cared for Lea in his every action and I loved that. I really wished that this story focused on them instead of everything else. If there is ever a sequel, I hope Danny is the main focus!

3.5/5 stars

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