Review: Juniper Limits by Lora Richardson

Juniper Limits by Lora Richardson

Series: The Juniper Series #2

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary

Release Date: July 10, 2017

Format: eARC

Source: Provided by Author

Find it here: GoodReads | Amazon

Celia has spent her life waiting for the next crisis. When the tension at home begins to ease, she wonders if she'll finally be able to relax. Her father has stopped drinking, her cousin Fay has moved back to Juniper, and it seems like Paul might really care about her. But trust is an uphill battle for Celia, fighting against doubt the whole way.

Paul has been drawn to Celia for as long as he can remember, and she is finally giving him a chance to show her how he feels. But when Celia can't stop worrying everything will fall apart, and when things in Paul's own life take a turn for the worse, can they learn to rely on each other?

This time last year I was gushing about The Edge of Juniper, a gem of a novel that was everything I want in YA contemporary. I'm thrilled to share that author Lora Richardson has returned to the small town of Juniper, Indiana with a story that delves deeper and packs an emotional punch. 

"It's the good times that scare me."

Paul was beginning to understand.
"Because you can't trust the good stuff to stay."

Celia is a girl who is always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Because in her experience, it always does. Her home life is spent walking on eggshells - either escaping her father's drunken rages or anxiously wondering when the next one is coming. Even his recent bout of sobriety has her uneasy and unable to enjoy the new feeling of peace at home. When longtime friend Paul starts pursuing her, she doesn't trust that what he seems to feel for her will last. Nothing good ever does, right?

"Don't pretend you don't know. It has been thoroughly
 revealed by this point that I'm sweet on you, 
and I'm not scared to admit it."

Paul was a breath of fresh air. No swaggering bad boys here, just a funny, optimistic guy who was utterly irrepressible. Finally acting on his feelings for Celia, Paul was dogged in his determination to earn her trust - and her heart. Despite his buoyant personality, Paul's life wasn't without strife. His own home life was just as unpredictable as Celia's.

"It's hard when things that are my problem 
aren't within my control."

"Too much of life falls into that category."

What struck me about Juniper Limits is how absolutely realistic it felt. The dialogue always rang true and I loved the easy banter and humor shared between Celia and Paul. When it came to how Celia dealt with the stress at home, her reactions felt so believable. Between the sadly true to life situations Celia and Paul were dealing with, Celia's reluctance to trust not only Paul but anyone, and Paul's conflicted feelings about his mother, there was a feeling of authenticity that ran throughout the book. Richardson perfectly captured Celia's tough outer shell, her constant worry, her fear to hope for better, and the shred of hope she allowed herself to feel anyway.

"How are you always so sure of things?"

"The only thing I'm sure of is that expecting the worst 
doesn't change anything, so I'd rather hope for the best."

It's hard to rein myself in and not just gush about how much I enjoyed Juniper Limits. As with the first book, there is a certain sweetness about these characters and the setting that never feels overly precious. Richardson created a small town environment that that wasn't a cliché, but a place where I felt right at home. I was completely invested in Celia and Paul's story and wanted so much for these young people who were dealing with situations that that were far bigger than they could handle on their own. I loved watching as they learned to trust each other - and to rely on others, as well. 

What else can I say to convince you to give this special story a try?  If you love contemporary YA, if you love small town settings, if you love authentic storytelling, if you love a sweet guy who isn't afraid to tell a girl who he feels... get a copy of Juniper Limits and get ready to enjoy all of that and more.

4.5/5 STARS

Note: I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by the author in exchange an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion of the book or the content of this review.



  1. Oh this sounds good. "...if you love a sweet guy who isn't afraid to tell a girl who he feels..." Oh yea, you need more of this in romance I think. Sold me. :) Brilly review.

    1. Thanks Melissa! Having a YA male protagonist who isn't the troubled bad boy, but instead is a total sweetheart was so refreshing!

  2. You know, you can tell if a book is good when you can quote it so much. :)