Perennials by Mandy Berman is the coming of age story of two friends. Rachel Rivkin is a teenager from the mean streets of the city and Fiona Larkin is from suburbia. The two friends spend every summer together at Camp Marigold, the idyllic sleeping away camp where they forget they are from very different worlds. Until one summer when they return, as counselors, fresh from their freshman year at college. This summer is very different and Rachel and Fiona learn there may be some differences you cannot ignore. Suddenly when tragedy strikes while at camp, the two friends must decide if they will come together with support or allow the events of the summer to drive them further apart.
Perennials is a story about the point where childhood ends and adulthood begins with the event that opens their eyes to the cruel world. It is a story about one last summer of childhood innocence before the real world interferes. I really, really wanted to love this book. I usually love coming of age stories where the door on childhood must finally close. However, I felt Perennials had a great start and then there were so many characters to keep track of and side stories that I felt didn’t add to the main story of Rachel and Fiona. The tragic event in the story was a bit of a letdown for me. While the tragic event is sad, the build up to the discovery of this event, I think could have been better for more of an emotional impact. Despite my issues with the story, I feel that this book would be a good book for young adults and maybe even adults were remember summers away at camp.
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