The Darlings Are Forever Series by Melissa Kantor
Published between 2011-2012
So I’ve enjoyed Melissa’s books back in the day and I believe I had listed this series as a TBR because I liked her books. However, in a way, I think I have outgrown her writing now that I am in my mid-20s. I can’t believe I’m already this old…
Anyways, while I still found her writing style to be engaging and entertaining, I found the content of her books to be on the childish side. I didn’t connect with the characters as much as I would have liked and I found a lot of the arguments and problems to be a bit juvenile.
The three girls: Victoria, Jane and Natalya are all incredibly different and they’ve been friends forever but now they are starting high school at different places and they’re trying to overcome new friends and new places while maintaining their best friend status. Let’s just say that I found all of them to be tedious. For example, I did not like Victoria at all. I found her too timid for my liking and I thought she would have matured by the end of the second book but that wasn’t the case. She was so shy even with her friends and she let her friends take the fall when her parents found out about a certain incidence and then blamed her friends for her own mistake all because she couldn’t speak for herself. And the same thing happened with her boyfriend in the second book where her fear of speaking up caused a huge rift and she was all depressed for literally zero reason. I mean, I’m glad things worked out at the end but there was all this tension and drama nonsense.
As for the other girls, I found both Jane and Natalya to be incredibly slow but at least Natalya grew up at the end of the series. The whole thing with Jane was just crazy. She was stupid in the first book and then just even more stupid in the second book. She tried to come off as this smart girl and boy smart but in reality, she was probably the dumbest. I can’t believe the person she fell for in the first book – she was reading all these nonexistent signs and when her friend told her it probably wasn’t smart for her to like that person, she got all crazy and defensive. And then in the second book, the guy literally told her what was going on and she absolutely refused to hear it. The people around her even hinted that maybe he was right and yet again she refused to hear it. I was literally mind-boggled by it.
For Natalya, I found her annoying in the first book but at least I found her the most relatable out of the three. She was starting a new school and just wanted to have friends and she got sucked in with the popular girls by association with a certain politician’s daughter. However, she figured out at the end of the first book who exactly was more important and what kind of friends she wanted to have around her. And in the second book, with that boy drama, she made the right choice as well because she valued friendship over a boy. So, I guess, even though I didn’t particularly liked any of the three girls, I did find Natalya’s ending to be the most rewarding.
The ending was also a little disappointing – I was hoping that all of them would have a happy ending but only Victoria did. Granted, I approved Natalyas’ decision but still. And for Jane, well, in a way she got what she deserved but I think it would have been nice if she ended up with the guy I was rooting for. I felt that there was something between the two but I guess not.
Overall, this series was just okay – it was a fun summer read though.