Juniper Berry by M.P. Kozlowsky
Juniper's parents are famous movie stars. Before they were household names, the Berry's spent a lot of time together and were very happy. Now Juniper hardly ever sees her parents who are always too busy. On the outside they look the same but Juniper believes something is terribly wrong.
The Berry's property is secluded to keep fans and media away. Juniper isn't allowed to wander too far and is home schooled. Her only companion is her dog, Kitty. One day she meets, Giles. He walked miles in hopes of figuring out what's going on with his parents. Quickly the two realize their parents are suffering from the same thing. They decide to work together to save them.
Juniper is a smart, curious and likable 11 yr old girl. When the story begins she's waiting up for her parents. Recalling the good times as her parents act strangely and indifferent toward her. Soon after Giles comes along.
They've been (very distant ) neighbors and strangers for years. Whether or not the two could've gone so long without meeting or at least knowing about each other doesn't bother me.
I do have issue with how easily everything falls together. I am wondering how much I can say here without giving too much away. I figure since there's a tree on the cover I have a little leeway. Juniper knows which tree is the source of evil before their search even begins.
I would've been okay with this is the author used the time saved to develop the villain. There simply wasn't enough action to cover up the lack of character depths. There were a few good visual scenes that involved the loss of blood. But it was too late, the author had already lost me.
The story was also lesson heavy handed. Juniper and Giles parents become easy targets thanks to not realizing what they had and desire to have all their dreams come true without working for it.
Mr Berry grabbed her hand. "The words will come. Only they'll be mine now, no one else's. It may not be what everyone wants, but that's okay I'll be doing what feels right to me, and I'll have you and your mother. That's what I should've known from the beginning.
"We were so lost," Mrs. Berry said. "We had everything and yet, nothing. This is what matters most, the three of us like this. We've missed out on so much. You've missed out on so much."
I picked the book up because of the cover, which had right amount of scary darkness. The story is bit of scary but not enough. This might be a good recommendation for a young reader who wants to read something scary but not too scary. Though Juniper Berry didn't work for me as much as I would've liked, it is very readable. I will definitely try the author again.