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Calmer Girls has been released! My debut Young Adult novel is a coming-of-age tale set here on the island of Newfoundland in the summer of 1993.
Sixteen-year-old introvert Samantha Cross is falling in love for the first time. There’s only one problem: she’s falling for her older sister’s boyfriend, Ben Swift.
The explosive sequel to Calmer Girls, Calmer Secrets, will be released in March 2017, and you won’t want to miss it.
So, Who Are the Calmer Girls?
What is this book all about, you ask? Here is the pitch I submitted to publishers:
It is the summer of 1993 in Newfoundland and Labrador and one year into the cod moratorium. Samantha, a sensitive sixteen-year-old devastated by recent losses, discovers first love and a possible escape from her despair when she meets magnetic Ben Swift. However, there are problems. He happens to be the new boyfriend of her biggest adversary and life-long irritation, her sexy sister, Veronica. Then she finds out the boy driving the vintage Thunderbird has some complex and mysterious issues of his own.
In this fresh coming-of-age debut, CALMER GIRLS, Samantha Cross and her fractured family move from quiet Calmer Cove into the jarring urban culture of St. John’s. Our heroine forms a friendship with Ben in spite of her sister’s objections. Tensions between the siblings escalate, and Sam is torn between doing what she thinks is right and acting on her heart’s desire.
This realistic Young Adult novel allows an honest and introspective glimpse inside a teenage girl’s self-deprecating, sometimes humorous angst. Navigating the obstacles of individuality, sibling rivalry and parental divorce, Samantha ultimately learns poignant lessons about love, betrayal and sacrifice.
5 out of 5 Stars…”A realistic YA novel is a rare find today…I love a good fantasy/dystopian novel as much as the next girl, but it seems they are taking over the YA genre. Calmer Girls…was quite refreshing, and…exciting. The story follows Samantha, who is living through the summer before her sophomore year in high school. She has been forced to leave her beloved childhood home with her mother Darlene and her sister Veronica, due to loss of employment opportunities. To make things worse, her father has separated from her mother, and …Samantha also has to deal with traumatic memories of her grandmother’s deterioration after her Alzheimer’s diagnosis……Part of what was so interesting about this book was the setting. It was set during the early 1990’s, and that isn’t a time period that I have run across very often while reading. The time period left room for a lot of interesting musical and fashion references that helped visualize the time period vibrantly. It was also set in Newfoundland, where the author is from. I don’t remember ever reading a book set here, and the author did an excellent job painting a picture in my mind of the scenery and landscapes.
All of the characters in Calmer Girls were sympathetic, and I became quite invested in their stories as they intertwined. I would recommend this book for anyone who is interested in reading YA novels…it has everything that is needed in the genre. A sequel novel is forthcoming, and I cannot wait to read what happens next in these characters’ lives!” —Sarah Morris, Reviewer for Amazon, Goodreads, and Barnes & Noble, December 30,2016
Five Stars… “Great Book!!”
— Amazon Customer, Amazon.ca
5 out of 5 Stars… “Solidly Rooted in Time and Place”
— J. Gill, Amazon.ca
“This book really grabbed me. If you have experienced or are experiencing adolescence or have any Newfoundland blood in you, you will feel at home with this book. The description of the plot provided by Amazon only hints at all of the twists and turns of the story. And then there are the more “mature” scenes…
Samantha and Veronica have an uneasy relationship, then Ben enters and sparks and consequences fly. The book provides vivid descriptions and is solidly rooted in time and place. The story moves along smartly and you are always curious about what will happen next.”
5 out of 5 Stars… “I really enjoyed this book.”
— Amazon Customer, Amazon.ca
“I really enjoyed this interesting, well-written book. The girls (and their mom) were so real to me I didn’t want it to end! Looking forward to the sequel.”
Five Stars… “Can’t wait for the sequel!”
— Melanie Froude, Amazon.ca
5 out of 5 Stars… “A Wonderful Story set in Newfoundland”
— Amazon Customer, Amazon.ca
“A wonderful story. Set in Newfoundland, I really enjoyed how Jennifer Kelland Perry’s descriptive writing gave such a visual of the St. John’s neighbourhood in which the sisters live. Many teens and young adults would easily relate to the thoughts, experiences and family struggles of these “Calmer Girls” and will have trouble putting this book down!”
— D. Mills, Amazon.ca
“Great read! Really enjoyed this book! Brought me back to my teenage years growing up in St. John’s, Newfoundland. I can certainly relate to the main characters as I moved from outport Newfoundland to the province’s capital as a young teenager. Well written! I cannot wait for the sequel.”
5 out of 5 Stars… “A Well-Told Story of Teenage Angst”
— Carrie Rubin, Author — Amazon.com
“…It was easy to relate to these well-drafted characters and the difficulties their lives posed. From parental divorce and a move to two teen sisters falling for the same boy. Lots of drama with real-life consequences make this an important read for teens of a similar age. But with its rich description and ability to take the reader back to his or her own youth, adults will enjoy it too. I also loved the setting of Newfoundland, Canada. Took me to a place I haven’t read much about before.”
Five Stars… “Life is Never as It Seems”
— Kath Unsworth — Amazon Australia
“From the first pages I related to Samantha, the shy teen in a new town. The soured relationship with her confident and brash big sister. The fact she has a crush on her sister’s good-looking boyfriend. She is in a difficult place; it happens. Throw in a broken mother at the helm of this dysfunctional family. Samantha’s wild decisions all seem to make sense, in a melancholy way. This novel touches on the subject of dysfunctional families… It’s a story about young love and the choices we make under difficult life circumstances. Jennifer Kelland Perry has woven a well-rounded, yet believable tale, with strong characters and a wanting to see this girl find her happiness. But life is never as it seems. The story though resolved, leaves you curious to know how they deal after such tragic events…What will Samantha and her sister Veronica do next to bring some normal back into their lives? Is their relationship destined to disintegrate further after everything that occurs? As this is Jennifer’s debut novel I have no doubt that her next book will be just as captivating, especially for YA fans. I will be eagerly waiting to see what she does next.”
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In between working on novels, I update Jennifer’s Journal, my hangout for sharing everything I love about life on Perry’s Point and my corner of the world in general.
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