Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson (2005)
With a cover blurb of promising "a sweet and delicious read" from Ann Brashares, Peaches sounded like a perfect bite of fun. Unfortunately, it wasn't. I slogged through it, hoping it would get better, but it just did not. The slow start proceeded through to a slow middle, at which point the novel did improve, but not enough to redeem it.
The problem, I think, is that Anderson chose an omniscient third person narration style rather than focusing on one of her three protagonists' points of view. Birdie would have worked well; she's the sweet, shy, awkward girl whose father owns the nearly failing peach orchard. Instead, the novel bops between Birdie and two other girls, as they eventually develop a close friendship. Anderson tells more than shows, so even that friendship seems somewhat less-than-authentic. But that's just my opinion, and others may find the novel's plot more enthralling than I did.
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