Title: You Wouldn’t Dare
Author: Samantha Markum
Rating: 4.5 out of
When Juniper Nash Abreheart kissed Graham Isham for the first time, she had no idea it would nearly be the end of their friendship.
More specifically, she had no idea that the terrible, unforgivable thing she did to keep their summer fling a secret wouldn’t just ruin their friendship, but also Graham’s entire life. Now, months since the fallout, Junie and Graham spend most of their time sidestepping conversational landmines on the journey back to normalcy.
Junie is sure the strangeness between her and Graham is her biggest problem – until her mom hires Tallulah, her boyfriend’s surly teenage daughter, to work at their family café, and then announces they’ll all be moving in together at the end of the summer. The only bright spot ahead is Junie’s dad’s upcoming visit, just in time for her community theater production. And then poor turnout soon threatens that.
But when Junie starts to realize the feelings she swore to take care of last summer have lingered, saving her production and managing her hostile relationship with Tallulah might be the least of her problems. Graham isn’t just off limits – their friendship has been mended to barely withstand a breeze, and the gale force of Junie’s feelings could be just what breaks them.
The friendships in this story are what made the book so great! Juniper is…a very self-absorbed, selfish, and dramatic person. In short: not someone I could stand to be around very long. She is verbally manipulative and says terrible things without thinking (Okay, pretty sure we’ve all done that at some point, but she rarely seems to regret what she’s said—until someone gets mad at her. And usually she just gets defensive, not remorseful.). Did she learn and grow in this book? Maybe, but I’m not sure. This is still very much worth reading, just don’t expect Junie to be entirely likable.
Samantha Markum was born in St. Louis. You Wouldn’t Dare is her newest novel.
(Galley courtesy of St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review.)