*May Contain Spoilers*
Jodi Lynn Anderson continues the story of three teenage peaches after the season has ended in The Secrets of Peaches, sequel to Peaches. After establishing a connection with Leeda, Birdie, and Murphy in the first novel, readers witness what happens after the magic of summer has dissipated.
Leeda further attempts to discover just exactly who she is as senior year of high school begins. After giving up her boyfriend and being manipulated and let down by her mother, Leeda is determined to find out what she wants and go for it. Readers will enter melancholy with Leeda as she lets go of her old self to make room inside for her real personality to surface. Though it's a sad year for Leeda, readers will connect further with her and her new ambitions, anger, and decision to stop putting up with so much B.S.
Birdie, still my favorite character, experiences a variety of adult actions and situations that she doesn't know if she's ready for. Birdie has her first intimate experience with her boyfriend, Enrico, and readers watch her deal with the unexpected feelings and worries that it brings about. This makes the reader-character relationship much more personal, thickening the bond into more of a friendship.
Murphy, the rebel, is dating Rex and applying to NYU so she can escape the small Georgia town. When she gets accepted, Murphy lies, pretending that she was rejected. Throughout the novel, Murphy examines the surprising importance of the relationships she has in Bridgewater. Readers watch as Murphy faces her fears of the future and the unknown.
With all of the "growing-up" stuff that the three main characters experience, it's hard not to connect with them. The emotional level of the book was heavy in sadness and worry,which transfers to the reader when connections are well established. With another novel waiting to wrap up the story of these peaches, readers will definitely care enough to see how it ends.
Rating: 3.5/5 Cups