Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
Release Date: November 17th 2015
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.
As I was reading this book, I really did not expect to end up liking. I am so glad I kept reading though because things got better and I really ended up enjoying Just Visiting. It was fun, serious, and a really great friendship read. I loved the dynamic Vic and Reagan had and also the story both of them go through. I liked Dhalia's writing and I can't wait to read more from her when I finally get to her other books!
One of the main reasons I questioned my ability to actually finish this book liking it was the fact that I found the main characters really dry and...typical in the beginning. I was actually really bugged by Vic and how annoying she was and how Reagan was kind of a boring person. Over the course of the book though, they definitely get better as characters and by the end, I loved both Vic and Reagan. The character development that Dahlia was able to include was just awesome and saved me from not enjoying the main characters! Both of them have such different personalities and interests but are able to get along just fine. Sure, they got into disagreements every once in awhile (*cough* okay so maybe it was more than once in awhile...) but they always got through them so maturely and that is one of the reasons why I love their friendship.
I really enjoyed the plot and how much fun it was to read. I appreciate the fact that it didn't take place in one small city but also had a mix of different colleges. Reagan and Vic had such great adventures while they were visiting colleges and I had a such a fun time reading about that because not only were they great adventures, but I also got to learn more about Reagan and Vic. All the fun was definitely contrasted with the normal life they had in Charytan, which sounds like a place I would not wait to get out of. Sure, it's a pretty cute town but absolutely nothing went on there. If you were to put me in a while book in that town and not have drama in it, I would probably fall asleep, which is why I really appreciate the college visits and really getting out of& Charytan. The ending was a tiny bit surprising for me. It was really sweet, wrapped up the book very nicely, and really really showed how much these characters had grown. Their intentions had completely changed and at the point I could see that there was no doubt both characters had developed beautifully.
And one more thing I must mention before ending this review: I loved the diversity that went on with this book, race wise. Vic is Mexican and two characters come in and they are Indian and Chinese. Definitely not a huge ton of different races going on in this book but the fact that there was more color and diversity in Just Visiting let me enjoy the book a bit more.
I gave this book 4.5 stars because I really enjoyed it with it's awesome characters and fun plot but the characters did bug me a bit in the beginning.
One relationship I was pretty excited to be able to read about was Fitz and Reagan's relationship. Dahlia talks about their relationship throughout the book and mentions the after-math of it but I was honestly dying to know what happened so that everyone would feel so bitter against Reagan. The whole story was finally revealed and oh my gosh it is sooo messed up and I now understand why Reagan did what she did, but also understood why everyone was so mad at her. If you were to ask me to get married to someone I didn't 100% love, I would totally back out, I don't care how poor I am and how much money he has. Having such a huge commitment on a 14-year-old is insane. I really loved that aspect of the book and it was very well written.