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 and a sorority, 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 going 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 realizes 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.
|Publisher:||Spencer Hill Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)|
|Age Range:||14 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Dahlia Adler is an Associate Editor of Mathematics by day, a blogger for the B&N Teen Blog by night, and writes at every spare moment in between. She is the author of Behind the Scenes, Under the Lights, Last Will and Testament, and Just Visiting. She lives in New York City with her husband and their overstuffed bookshelves.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
There were so, so many things to like about JUST VISITING, but the friendship between Reagan and Victoria was at the top of my list. There's no pointless drama between these two, and no overblown, dragged out arguments either. They butt heads without hating each other, and have each other's backs even when they're barely speaking. Their relationship changes a ton throughout the book--because of personal revelations and secrets they've kept and the differing visions they have for their futures--but the bond between them does not. I was kind of surprised by how many heavy topics were addressed throughout the story, but I thought Dahlia Adler struck the perfect balance between focusing on those topics and using them to deepen her characters. Reagan's family, for example, is incredibly poor, and she's struggling to save money for college while helping her parents pay their bills. Her problems frequently blind her to the problems of the people around her, but her behavior never feels unbearably selfish because it makes sense. Victoria, on the other hand, struggles with the choice between leaving town with Reagan and staying a couple more years to enroll in a community college program that's perfect for her. She feels like she's going to be letting someone down, no matter what she chooses, and that made sense to me too. Belonging to a supportive, loving family when your closest friend doesn't is its own kind of pressure, and that came across perfectly on the page. The highest praise I can give JUST VISITING is that it feels so much more real than most of the contemporary fiction I've read this year, and that realness is by far its best quality. Fans of upper YA should definitely check this one out.
Where do I even start? Just Visiting was the book I had in high school. And I do not say this lightly. This was not a perfect book - in fact, I actually put it down about halfway through and didn't pick it back up for months, but I am so glad I did. It was completely worth it. Reagan and Victoria are ready to get out of their small town. College looms, and the one thing they're agreed on is that they'll be together. But as they make their way to these different colleges, they soon realize maybe that won't happen either. First off, let me say that I totally regret not doing college visit road trips with my friends. That would have been so much fun (seeing as how we all ended up going in-state anyway). (Also I did not know you could sit in on actual classes, because I'm pretty sure that's not allowed at my school. Then again, we have small classes, not lecture halls. But I digress). I love that this was friendship book, as I think we definitely need more of them. Yes, there were guys and relationships, but at the core, this was about Reagan and Vic and their relationship with each other. Reagan has been dealt a pretty crappy hand. Everything she does is with her ultimate goal of getting the heck out of this town. Victoria doesn't have it terrible, but she her dreams are too big for the small town where no one gets her. But they both have terrible secrets. I loved seeing them work through the hurt and anger to realize that their friendship mattered more than any of that. Senior year is such a hard thing. People expect you to know who you are, what you want to do, and it can be terrible. Reagan and Victoria had to grow and mature and figure out what they wanted for their lives, not what other people wanted. And I loved seeing them learn to take charge of their own lives. I think that is something more teen girls need to see. And of course, the guys. They weren't perfect (ahem, Dev) but they were real. Being a teenager is hard, and I think that was perfectly captured. I loved seeing the girls work through, again, what they wanted. I also love the family aspect, as they were present and a big part, even if Reagan's were terrible. I loved this book. A lot. And I want to recommend it to every senior (and not senior) I know. It was honest, it was real, but also just a lot of fun.
There is no doubt that the book's strength is its focus on a strong, positive friendship. Reagan and Victoria's relationship is so solid and so important. So often, books focus on romantic relationships or on friends that tear one another down. While those are certainly real experiences, so many of us hope to have or have the kind of friendship that Victoria and Reagan do. I love how they complement each other while also being completely different. I think my best friend Jess and I are like that in many ways. While we definitely have some things in common, we're both very different people. Yet, she's one of the people I'm closest to, and I can't imagine how much more horrible high school would have been without her. Just Visiting made me think about all of my own experiences with her in high school, and while it wasn't quite like that of Reagan and Victoria, their friendship reminded me of how much I treasure my own, both now in college and before in high school. Another one of Dahlia's strengths is writing complex, intersectional characters who develop throughout the book. It's something that can become easy to expect from all books after you've read a book or two by Dahlia, but then you remember/realize that it doesn't carry across all books (which is sad and terrifying to think about and needs to be changed). But more than having these characters, I love how the different parts of them don't necessarily define who they are. Certainly, being Mexican is a huge part of her identity and shapes who she is, but there's more to her than being Mexican. It's a central theme but not the only one. Almost all of the bigger characters in the book are intersectional in different ways, but they are not token characters hoping to give the author and the book diversity points. Instead, it's genuine and reflects how many people in real life are. Dahlia also has a way of writing heartbreaking tensions and conflicts and excels at weaving a story in a way that makes you smile and laugh in one moment and cry in the next. There's just something I love about her writing and the way she tells stories. I hope she never loses that magic. Speaking of magic, she also writes the most amazing, magical romances and romantic scenes. *swoons* And I love how while it is a big part of the story, it's not all that there is. In fact, there's so much more said about "the future," the uncertainness of it. I completely understand that feeling as a high school senior of having to get ready to leave everything behind--all the friends and people you've known most of your life, your home, etc. Of course, not everyone leaves home and some people do stay friends, but again, it's not something you can know for sure. And choosing a college is difficult too--it has to be affordable, be in a desirable location, have your intended major (if you're going in with one), etc. It's so much and can be so overwhelming, but it's also so much better when you have a friend to get through it with you. And to see struggle in book characters can make the feeling so much more validating, can make some feel so much less alone. If you haven't read any of Dahlia's books yet, I'm not sure what you're waiting for. She always writes the most amazing stories that never fail to make an impact. Thank you, Dahlia, for writing this book. The world needs it; people who were like me in high school need it. And to all the high school seniors out there, you are not alone. You can make it through.
I am always looking for more YA books that deal with female friendship and Just Visiting was exactly what I was looking for. Riveting, romantic, realistic and raw, Just Visiting is a book that you must read. Victoria and Raegan have been best friends for the past couple of years. Stuck in the middle of small-town Kansas, Raegan can’t wait to leave her unkind town and the trailer park she calls home. Victoria would follow Raegan anywhere, and she can only picture a future with her awesome best friend. When they start visiting colleges and thinking more about their future, each girl has to decide what’s best for her and if their paths really are meant to be entwined in their future. Victoria and Raegan’s friendship was amazing. While they’re completely different people, and they may not always agree, I loved how supportive they were of each other. At times, they struggle to really understand each other and they get into fights, but what friendships are perfect each and every day? I just loved how realistic their friendship seemed and how they really learned to grow. The plot of Just Visiting was also pretty great. The beginning was a bit slow but by the end, I could not put the book down. (I may have stayed up until 2AM with a midterm the next day reading it but IT WAS WORTH IT). The romance was also pretty great. I loved Raegan & Dev (woohoo an Indian love interest) and they were just so adorably cute and confused and it was kind of amazing. I also really liked Victoria’s romantic side-plot, as hers wasn’t as clear-cut and did have some twists and turns, but in the end she made a choice that made her the happiest. My favourite part of this book is perhaps how realistic it felt. The main character make mistakes, they learn, they move on, they fight and they each learn what it means to be their own person. Teens make mistakes and they don’t know everything. I liked that there was really room for the characters to grow and for them to learn about themselves. I also liked there were realistic representations of what teens struggle with: working and finding money for college, sex and what that means, finding scholarships, sibling and family relationships, and so much more that can’t be put into a single sentence. Overall, I really loved Just Visiting and I recommend it to fans of realistic teen portrayals, contemporary fiction, and books that deal with the time in-between high school and university. It reminded me a bit of Roomies (not plot-wise but theme-wise) which is definitely one of my favourites so yay!
I read Behind the Scenes and liked it and then read Under the Lights, and I loved it. After Under the Lights I thought there was no way Dahlia Adler could top that book, not because I don't trust in her ability to write good books, but because I just loved Under the Lights so much. Then I read Just Visiting. I know without a doubt that this is easily my favorite Dahlia Adler book yet, as well as making it into my top favorites list of all time. (Now I need to go add this to all my end of the year lists). Something I did not expect going into this book was that it would almost make me cry. I don't typically cry reading books, so almost making me cry is as close as I get to crying at a book. I am always impressed when books are able to do that because it is so rare for me, and this book was able to do it, so I love it for that as well. First, I have to talk about Reagan because she is my favorite character in this book and I loved her so much. There were also so many times in the book when my heart ached for her and I just wanted to go and give her a hug and tell her everything would be okay. She has a super tough life. She lives in a trailer park with an awful mom, and a dad who's hardly ever there because he has to work all the time. And there are some secrets in her past that are absolutely awful. After finding out this secret of hers, it was easy to see why she was closed off some of the time, to even her best friend. I also loved how well her poverty seemed to be portrayed. The book showed how she could get application fee waivers, and it showed other things like how important scholarships were to her, and how she had to work to be able to afford things like gas money. I didn't love Victoria's character as much at first, but she quickly grew on me throughout the book. At first, she seemed to not really care about the school part of college, and instead only cared about parties, sororities, and boys, which is very much not me, so I didn't relate. Also, she wanted to study fashion, and me and fashion are not too words that are typically thought of in the same sentence. At first, it seems like her life is a lot better than Reagan's by far. Her home life definitely is better, since she has loving parents, including a deaf mom, who she speaks ASL to. But she has things in her past too. She is Mexican American, and that has made things tough for her thanks to people bullying her for her ethnicity, and people acting like she was an illegal immigrant and asking to see her papers. Now I'm going to talk about the friendship. This is definitely going to rank as one of my top female friendship books of all times. I think it could even be my top one, but I'd have to look through which other books had my other favorite friendships to be sure. This friendship experienced so much growth throughout the book. At the beginning, Reagan and Victoria were both keeping important secrets about their pasts from each other, though especially Reagan. Seeing how their friendship evolved once their secrets were out in the open was a beautiful thing to read about. Sure, it wasn't always easy. There were times when things were super weird and awkward between the two of them, and when they would fight, but it all read as very real to me. Throughout the book, Reagan dealt with a lot and Victoria was so supportive through everything, and I loved this and how genuine it was. This book is way more about the friendship than the romance, but there was a cute ship for