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Bend in the Road

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A teen rock star returns home to Minnesota and finds himself falling for a local farm girl in this steamy YA romance Seventeen-year-old Gabe’s life is a mess. His debut album—produced by his rock star dad—made him an overnight sensation, but his second album tanked, he just got dumped by his on-again, off-again girlfriend, and he’s desperate to come up with the money he ne A teen rock star returns home to Minnesota and finds himself falling for a local farm girl in this steamy YA romance Seventeen-year-old Gabe’s life is a mess. His debut album—produced by his rock star dad—made him an overnight sensation, but his second album tanked, he just got dumped by his on-again, off-again girlfriend, and he’s desperate to come up with the money he needs to fix a major screwup. The only place he can be free from the paparazzi and rumors is the family farm—the farm that seventeen-year-old Juniper’s family has managed since before she was born. When Juniper learns that Gabe’s about to inherit the farm, she worries that he’ll sell it. She comes up with a plan to get close to him and stop that from happening. At first, Juniper and Gabe couldn’t be more at odds, but the more time they spend with each other, the more they grow to like each other. Can they set aside their differences to do what’s best for the farm—and each other? Or will all the drama and secrets tear them apart?


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A teen rock star returns home to Minnesota and finds himself falling for a local farm girl in this steamy YA romance Seventeen-year-old Gabe’s life is a mess. His debut album—produced by his rock star dad—made him an overnight sensation, but his second album tanked, he just got dumped by his on-again, off-again girlfriend, and he’s desperate to come up with the money he ne A teen rock star returns home to Minnesota and finds himself falling for a local farm girl in this steamy YA romance Seventeen-year-old Gabe’s life is a mess. His debut album—produced by his rock star dad—made him an overnight sensation, but his second album tanked, he just got dumped by his on-again, off-again girlfriend, and he’s desperate to come up with the money he needs to fix a major screwup. The only place he can be free from the paparazzi and rumors is the family farm—the farm that seventeen-year-old Juniper’s family has managed since before she was born. When Juniper learns that Gabe’s about to inherit the farm, she worries that he’ll sell it. She comes up with a plan to get close to him and stop that from happening. At first, Juniper and Gabe couldn’t be more at odds, but the more time they spend with each other, the more they grow to like each other. Can they set aside their differences to do what’s best for the farm—and each other? Or will all the drama and secrets tear them apart?

30 review for Bend in the Road

  1. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    "Get in there and cry it out and start growing things again, because life is short and you've got to live in the sunshine." I'm having a really tough time rating this one, because I absolutely adored the small town setting, the atmosphere, and the storyline regarding the farm alongside the relationship dynamics between the families, but the romance portion of this book was 😴😴😴. It took me almost a week to read a book that I could have typically devoured in less than 48 hours, mostly because I jus "Get in there and cry it out and start growing things again, because life is short and you've got to live in the sunshine." I'm having a really tough time rating this one, because I absolutely adored the small town setting, the atmosphere, and the storyline regarding the farm alongside the relationship dynamics between the families, but the romance portion of this book was 😴😴😴. It took me almost a week to read a book that I could have typically devoured in less than 48 hours, mostly because I just couldn't connect to Gabe's character. I found myself more interested in Juniper's narration, and by the time the author started bringing the two together, I found my interest had fled out the back door. In fact, if this book was just a contemporary romance and took out the romance portion altogether, I think I would have rated it at least one star higher. If you enjoy small town, country vibes, definitely give this one a try for yourself. *Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Susan's Reviews

    Good writing as usual. Good characterization, but not a very action-driven story. The descriptions of Nature were a good read. Juniper Bell (aka Blue) was an odd but much-loved, "set in her ways" Farm Girl. Gabe was a hot-headed grouch and a loner and suffered from panic attacks - often in public, but he also loved performing in front of a crowd. Even he admitted that this latter "exception to the panic attack trigger rule" was an odd quirk. This story seemed to be going in so many directions... Good writing as usual. Good characterization, but not a very action-driven story. The descriptions of Nature were a good read. Juniper Bell (aka Blue) was an odd but much-loved, "set in her ways" Farm Girl. Gabe was a hot-headed grouch and a loner and suffered from panic attacks - often in public, but he also loved performing in front of a crowd. Even he admitted that this latter "exception to the panic attack trigger rule" was an odd quirk. This story seemed to be going in so many directions... but then it didn't. I was not going to review this book, because I personally requested an ARC of this novel- once on NetGalley, once on Edelweiss, and once directly from the publisher, and was denied three times. Ouch! I really enjoyed this author's two previous novels. This one wasn't bad, but, as I said, if you are looking for an action-driven story, you won't find much of that here, unless hiking trips and the dreaded "joint school project" count as action for you. I'm still rating this one a 3.5 out of 5 for the good writing skills, but GR does not allow for half points, so I am rounding down to a 3.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Melanie | pagesandtealeavess

    Bend in the Road by Sara Biren Publication Date: September 21, 2021 After paparazzi photos go viral of what appears to be Gabe on drugs with his girlfriend/life-long best friend, Gabe flees Los Angeles for safety of the small Minnesota town where his father grew up. There he encounters Juniper whose family is responsible for managing his father’s farm when he’s away touring. When Juniper learns that Gabe is about to inherit the farm and sell it she tries to get close to him to stop that from happe Bend in the Road by Sara Biren Publication Date: September 21, 2021 After paparazzi photos go viral of what appears to be Gabe on drugs with his girlfriend/life-long best friend, Gabe flees Los Angeles for safety of the small Minnesota town where his father grew up. There he encounters Juniper whose family is responsible for managing his father’s farm when he’s away touring. When Juniper learns that Gabe is about to inherit the farm and sell it she tries to get close to him to stop that from happening. The more time they spend together Juniper realizes that a lot of what she’s read about Gabe might not be true and Gabe realizes there might be more to life on the farm. I requested this book simply because the description describes it as a “steamy YA romance” and I was intrigued as to what that was like. Steamy it is not, at least from the perspective of a 30 year-old who reads a heck of a lot of romance novels. Even if I try to put myself in the mind of a teenager I don’t think I’d describe it as steamy. When I think steamy young adult novels, I think of the water scene between Reid and Lou in Blood & Honey or scenes between Rowan and Aelin in the Throne of Glass series. So if that’s what you’re looking for you might be disappointed. I however do think this is a super cute and heartwarming YA romance. I loved the tropey “rock star returns to a small town to find himself and ends up falling in love.” Swoon. It was made even more adorable by the fact she was a farmer. Gabe and Juniper had cute chemistry which kept me totally engaged throughout the book. Their differences and their problems they each face were not only believable but realistic. There was one thing that didn’t make sense to me was the fact that Gabe owes money which is the main reason he’s interested in selling the family farm but then at one point he brought in an architect to make the farm into a studio. How does he do that without any money? I was confused by this plot point. As always, my thanks to #NetGalley and #AbramsKids for an ARC of this super sweet book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Well, this was adorable. I loved Gabe and Juniper and their friendship and their slow burn romance. I loved the small town and Gabe's extended family and Juniper's friends. I actually wish we got a little more with them. And I would have liked a little more on the relationship between Gabe and his father - and his mother even. There was some communication issues that I wish would have been worked out sooner, but overall this book was adorable and I enjoyed it. Well, this was adorable. I loved Gabe and Juniper and their friendship and their slow burn romance. I loved the small town and Gabe's extended family and Juniper's friends. I actually wish we got a little more with them. And I would have liked a little more on the relationship between Gabe and his father - and his mother even. There was some communication issues that I wish would have been worked out sooner, but overall this book was adorable and I enjoyed it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Liza Wiemer

    One of the best YA contemporary novels I have read this year! Highly recommend. If it's not on your TBR list, add it!!! One of the best YA contemporary novels I have read this year! Highly recommend. If it's not on your TBR list, add it!!!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sharley

    I liked the backstory of our famous rockstar and made you really pot for him…. But juniper needed more and she frustrated me with her lack of character development. The small town setting was idyllic and beautiful, perfect for this YA romance. The love story itself was sweet and the friends to HEA was a slow burn and then BOOM. Maybe a little too quick from lovers to forever for some but the slow build in their friendship made up for that, just maybe a bit more steam ;) required for me to love t I liked the backstory of our famous rockstar and made you really pot for him…. But juniper needed more and she frustrated me with her lack of character development. The small town setting was idyllic and beautiful, perfect for this YA romance. The love story itself was sweet and the friends to HEA was a slow burn and then BOOM. Maybe a little too quick from lovers to forever for some but the slow build in their friendship made up for that, just maybe a bit more steam ;) required for me to love this story.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Samantha (WLABB)

    Rating: 4.5 Stars After a string of poor decisions, Gabe sought refuge on the family farm which he was due to inherit come his 18th birthday. Juniper, whose family managed the farm, was worried Gabe’s lack of interest will result in him selling the property. She employed a “keep your friends close, and your enemies closer” approach, but with time and proximity, a genuine friendship began to grow. I don’t know if I have mentioned this before, but I love Sara Biren’s books. This was my third, and it Rating: 4.5 Stars After a string of poor decisions, Gabe sought refuge on the family farm which he was due to inherit come his 18th birthday. Juniper, whose family managed the farm, was worried Gabe’s lack of interest will result in him selling the property. She employed a “keep your friends close, and your enemies closer” approach, but with time and proximity, a genuine friendship began to grow. I don’t know if I have mentioned this before, but I love Sara Biren’s books. This was my third, and it was another solid hit for me. At this point, I know a Biren book will usually elicit some tears, but will also leave me smiling with a warm heart, and that’s what happened when I read Bend in the Road. There was just something about this book that hooked me and kept me turning those pages. I started it, and if I hadn’t had to go to work, I would have read it straight through. I can definitely attribute that to the characters, the adorable romance, and all the farming business. I bet that surprises you, but for some reason, my city-girl heart cannot resist stories featuring farms. I loved Juniper straight away, even if she did make some snap judgements. Her drive and ambition were admirable, and the woman was a workhorse. She was super focused on the farm and how to make it better. Her dedication was something to envy. Gabe was a bit harder to love. He was in a really bad place at the beginning of the story, and even if I kept hearing that refrain from the Woody Woodpecker cartoons and felt like he had options, I was ok with him doing his thing as it seemed to be part of his journey. Gabe had a lot of personal issues to work through. Some were intertwined with others, and I felt for him. He was dealing with abandonment, people lying to him, being used – that’s a lot for someone his age. Add on professional pressure, and it was easy to understand why he was hiding out. Confession, I love seeing Minnesota through Biren’s eyes. I have never been to that state, but I have developed a warm affection for the place via these novels. I truly adored being on the farm and was enthralled by all the things mentioned about farming as Gabe and Juniper worked on their business project. It was such a charming setting, and Biren utilized it in the story very well. THE RULES OF STONE & WOOL FARM 1. Always tell the truth 2. Act as a Steward for the animals, the earth, and our livelihood 3. Plant with hope, grow with heart, harvest with gratitude 4. Give, and it shall be given unto you – Luke 6:38 5. Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air – Ralph Waldo Emerson Overall: I loved this so much, I just couldn’t stop reading! I loved the farm, the hiking, the musical moments. I simply had a wonderful time with these two! The ending was so sweet too. It made the happy tears flow. *ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Edelweiss Interesting, but a bit too young adult for my middle school readers. I think I wanted to read this mainly because the cover looked like 90% of the teen titles when I was growing up in the 70s!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Katy Upperman

    A pitch-perfect, slow-burn romance combined with loveably complex characters and the most charming farm setting, this story made my heart soar. Absolutely loved it!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of Bend in the Road in exchange for an honest review. I'm not going to lie, straight-person farm romances are definitely not my genre so I may not be the best authority here, but this one seemed well done! Biren does a good job of sticking to a lot of the hallmarks of the straight-romance genre while still giving her characters (Juniper in particular) clear, distinct character voices and motives. It seems like the Goodreads page for this somehow got c Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of Bend in the Road in exchange for an honest review. I'm not going to lie, straight-person farm romances are definitely not my genre so I may not be the best authority here, but this one seemed well done! Biren does a good job of sticking to a lot of the hallmarks of the straight-romance genre while still giving her characters (Juniper in particular) clear, distinct character voices and motives. It seems like the Goodreads page for this somehow got combined with one of Biren's previous works so just for clarity, this review is about Bend in the Road, not whatever book a character named Ben is from.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Bittel

    This is the third book I have read by Sara Biren and they continue to get better and better. This is a wonderful YA romance but is also filled with the pain of losing your way, losing those you love and rediscovering who you are. This is the story of Gabe, a teenage rockstar who has fallen from grace. When he returns home to the family farm in Minnesota, he is reunited with Juniper Blue, a friend of the family and the girl who challenges him like no one has before. This is their story, but it is This is the third book I have read by Sara Biren and they continue to get better and better. This is a wonderful YA romance but is also filled with the pain of losing your way, losing those you love and rediscovering who you are. This is the story of Gabe, a teenage rockstar who has fallen from grace. When he returns home to the family farm in Minnesota, he is reunited with Juniper Blue, a friend of the family and the girl who challenges him like no one has before. This is their story, but it is also one that focuses on the relationships between fathers and sons and mothers and daughters, as well as friendship andn grief. I really enjoyed Biren's writing style and the way the characters developed and I can't wait to read the next book she writes! Thank you netgalley for this arc in exchange for my honest opinion.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Forever Young Adult

    Graded By: Brian Cover Story: Same Old Song Drinking Buddy: Backstage Cooler MPAA Rating: PG-13 (drug use, language) Talky Talk: Favorite Tune Bonus Factor: Farm Living Bromance Status: Cousin’s Friend Read the full book report here. Graded By: Brian Cover Story: Same Old Song Drinking Buddy: Backstage Cooler MPAA Rating: PG-13 (drug use, language) Talky Talk: Favorite Tune Bonus Factor: Farm Living Bromance Status: Cousin’s Friend Read the full book report here.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Deanna (A Novel Glimpse)

    Original review: A Novel Glimpse Sara Biren may have only have released two books prior to Bend in the Road, but those two books made her an auto-buy author for me. I adore her writing style, the heart she brings to her stories and characters, and the places she makes me fall in love with.  I was immediately pulled into this story. I loved the fallen teen rock star returning to his grandmother's farm to hide from his mistakes and celebrity status. The farm and small Minnesota town setting brought Original review: A Novel Glimpse Sara Biren may have only have released two books prior to Bend in the Road, but those two books made her an auto-buy author for me. I adore her writing style, the heart she brings to her stories and characters, and the places she makes me fall in love with.  I was immediately pulled into this story. I loved the fallen teen rock star returning to his grandmother's farm to hide from his mistakes and celebrity status. The farm and small Minnesota town setting brought a warmth to the story even when the weather was cold outside (my location and in the story). I adored all of the characters and the plot had me flying through pages to find out what was coming next for Gabe and Juniper. Gabe was a troubled seventeen year-old. Despite being famous, life hadn't done him many other favors. He had his talent, but his relationships were kind of messy and he was in a tough spot with money. I liked that he was tying to right a wrong, but the way he was going about it had him and me both worried. I loved the way he blossomed at the farm and how his friendships and relationship with his father grew and brought him the peace he was looking for.  Juniper was a young woman who couldn't imagine life outside of her beloved farm. As the daughter of the farm's manager, all of Juniper's memories of her father are there as well as her family's livelihood. Gabe showing up and possibly selling her favorite place wasn't something she was okay with and she wanted to do everything she could to keep it, even if that meant giving up her hatred of Gabe and being his friend. Gabe and Juniper had a fun enemies thing going at the beginning of the story. Their disdain for each other was perfect. The type of relationship they had changed slowly throughout the story. I loved getting to see the progression through the stages of enemies to friends to more than friends. Things might have started out rocky for them, but they ended up sweet. I also loved how through their relationship they both came to some realizations about themselves and their decisions. That growth made their story all the sweeter.  This book wouldn't have been quite as fun without the friendships and the small town they were made in. Ted and Amelia cracked me up. So did Bunny and Youa. I even liked Chloe Horrible. Then, there were the parents. I loved how Laurel was supportive of both Juniper an Gabe. Chris hadn't always been the best dad to Gabe, but I loved seeing him show up in this book.  So, yeah. I really loved this book. I could picture everywhere Juniper and Gabe went. I sympathized with them both. I adored them as enemies, friends, and then more. Their growth as not just a couple, but people made me happy. This entire book was fun to read. It's made me even more excited for Biren's next book. It can't come soon enough for me.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Elisha Jachetti

    BEND IN THE ROAD by Sara Biren is a YA contemporary romance told from two perspectives. One is from Gabe, a rockstar with famous parents, who just had a very public breakup and failed album. The second is from Juniper, a girl who lives on Gabe’s family farm in Minnesota and manages it with her mom. When Gabe comes to hide out on the farm to reevaluate his life, he finally has the opportunity to get to know Juniper. The two couldn’t be more different, but as a surprise to both, they begin to enjo BEND IN THE ROAD by Sara Biren is a YA contemporary romance told from two perspectives. One is from Gabe, a rockstar with famous parents, who just had a very public breakup and failed album. The second is from Juniper, a girl who lives on Gabe’s family farm in Minnesota and manages it with her mom. When Gabe comes to hide out on the farm to reevaluate his life, he finally has the opportunity to get to know Juniper. The two couldn’t be more different, but as a surprise to both, they begin to enjoy each other’s company. As they get closer though, the big question that silently haunts them is whether Gabe will sell the farm for the money he desperately needs, displacing Juniper and her mom and breaking her heart forever. To start with, the design of this book is excellent. The cover is gorgeous and makes me want to step right onto the page and be there in the field with the setting sun— and in a certain way, reading this book allowed me to do that. The text is printed in a burgundy color, as opposed to black, which is not only special, but adds to the rustic, small-town feel. All of that, in addition to the writing, creates such a romantic, simple, and close-knit vibe to the entire story, and I absolutely adore the setting of this novel, both where it is in the world and also on their specific farm. The relationship dynamics between the different families are also interesting, and I loved learning about Juniper’s and Gabe’s parents, as well as Gabe’s relatives. Ted is one of my favorite characters because he feels so real and reliable. That being said, I wish that the reasons Gabe and Juniper didn’t initially like one another was more fleshed out and sharpened earlier on, because it kept me from connecting to the characters. Later in the book, I started to understand more why they may have held grudges, but in the beginning, they just seemed mean, which made it hard to relate to them. If their reasons for not liking one another were stronger from the beginning, the coming together later on would’ve been a sweeter victory. Overall, though, BEND IN THE ROAD is a perfect getaway for anyone who wants to escape city life, even if it’s only in their imagination. Review originally published on YA Books Central: https://www.yabookscentral.com/index....

  15. 5 out of 5

    Poppy

    There is a lot to like about Sara Biren's new novel 'Bend in the Road'. Gabe Hudson has hit a rough patch. After a critically acclaimed first album, he has hit the headlines for a poor second album and his ex-girlfriend entering rehab (again). Gabe also finds himself in money troubles after lending said ex-girlfriend a huge sum he is afraid he will never see again. Cue running off to rural Minnesota to hide away on his grandmother's farm. Here, he starts to get to know Juniper who teaches him a There is a lot to like about Sara Biren's new novel 'Bend in the Road'. Gabe Hudson has hit a rough patch. After a critically acclaimed first album, he has hit the headlines for a poor second album and his ex-girlfriend entering rehab (again). Gabe also finds himself in money troubles after lending said ex-girlfriend a huge sum he is afraid he will never see again. Cue running off to rural Minnesota to hide away on his grandmother's farm. Here, he starts to get to know Juniper who teaches him a great deal about appreciating life and finding happiness in the natural world. Will he sell the farm and go back to his former life or find happiness in a simpler existence? I like the characters in this novel and loved the small town rural setting where everyone seems to be related and look out for each other. It felt like a joyous little rural community I would love to just get lost in. I also enjoyed getting to know Gabe and Juniper, in particular their fractious initial relationship blossoming into something much more romantic. It was nice to see Gabe grapple with his demons and find a way to balance his love of music with connecting with his true self. The pacing at the end was where the book lost me slightly. Biren does a great job of turning Gabe and Juniper's bickering into something more sparky and flirtatious. However, this descended into deep love, and planning for the future, in about five pages which felt slightly unrealistic, particularly given the pair have not yet graduated from high school. I loved how they grew as people due to their relationship but perhaps the note we leave them on needs to be toned down slightly (or have a nice little skip forward epilogue so we can see how they navigate their new-found circumstances when they are older and wiser??) Overall, a heart-warming read with likeable characters and a lovely community setting, let down slightly by the very end. 3.5 stars. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher who provided an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  16. 4 out of 5

    G

    4.5? I have read Sara's previous novels (which are amazing) and this one doesn't disappoint. Bend in the Road is less angsty in comparison, but just as good! I love Juniper who is proud to be a farm girl and embraces a slower lifestyle. She has such positive relationships with her mom and friends which was really sweet to read. Oh my god, her friends are a hilarious bunch and definitely the type of people you wanted by your side in high school. Chloe Horrible was well horrible, but the author do 4.5? I have read Sara's previous novels (which are amazing) and this one doesn't disappoint. Bend in the Road is less angsty in comparison, but just as good! I love Juniper who is proud to be a farm girl and embraces a slower lifestyle. She has such positive relationships with her mom and friends which was really sweet to read. Oh my god, her friends are a hilarious bunch and definitely the type of people you wanted by your side in high school. Chloe Horrible was well horrible, but the author does humanize her a bit and while a typical "mean-girl" she wasn't vicious... Gabe and Juniper are so cute together. A famous hot-shot rockstar boyfriend? 😳There is a little haters to friends to lovers trope! They both resent and dislike each other during their first meeting. However, scheming Juniper decides to befriend Gabe in order to save the farm and thus their friendship begins! Juniper keeps Gabe grounded and shows him what the life of a regular teen is like. Additionally, Gabe's parents have matured and gotten their life together. It was heartwarming to see Chris acting more like a father to Gabe especially when you see how absent and neglectful they were prior. Whoever wrote the marketing line definitely did not read the book because the steam level was really a big, fat zero (which is fine, but just misleading!) Also, let's talk about the design of the book interior! Gorgeous front matter and end papers! The text was also beautiful burgundy color and I wish publishers would take note that it doesn't take much to add a little pizazz to books. I know the author's previous books had the same treatment and let me tell you how that really factored in my decision to picking it up! The pearlescent jacket was cute too, I guess 😅. Notes: - Juniper's friend is Hmong/white.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    Gosh! I feel as though I've read this one before, but I'm sure many teen readers, especially girls, will swoon over the romance even though it's obvious from the start where everything is going. Seventeen-year-old Gabe Hudson, the son of a famous singer and an actress, now divorced, flees LA after embarrassing footage and a video of his girlfriend appear online. He's also reeling from the failure of his second album, disappointing after his promising first one. He figures that he'll hide out on Gosh! I feel as though I've read this one before, but I'm sure many teen readers, especially girls, will swoon over the romance even though it's obvious from the start where everything is going. Seventeen-year-old Gabe Hudson, the son of a famous singer and an actress, now divorced, flees LA after embarrassing footage and a video of his girlfriend appear online. He's also reeling from the failure of his second album, disappointing after his promising first one. He figures that he'll hide out on his family's farm in Minnesota until things die down. The farm is run by Juniper Lee's mother, and Juniper, a wholesome country girl, loves everything about it--its rules, its round barn, the animals, and the land. She has never been fond of Gabe because of his standoffishness and how he rebuffed her offers of solace after her grandmother died. But when she learns that Gabe has inherited part interest in the farm and seems likely to sell it to a developer, she decides to turn on the charm and help him see the merits of this land and his possession. Slowly, the two of them develop feelings for each other, but Gabe has secrets and a looming debt that seems insurmountable unless he sells the farm. What I liked most about the book was Juniper's love for the farm and the farm life although she might have been a bit too good to be true. As for Gabe? It was hard to like him or understand him or how he drifted so far from his family's origins. I'm still not sure how he'll end up resolving his competing interests and goals as the story concludes. It is easy to see how celebrity and fame can cause someone to change and lose sight of whom they really are and what matters, of course. Still, I never doubted that the two of them (Gabe and Juniper) would end up together, but for its intended audience, that won't matter since they'll enjoy the romance.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Casie

    Gabe needs to duck out of life in LA for a bit and re-calibrate (or maybe just breath in some fresh rural air that isn't laden with failure and cameras). His hide-y hole happens to be the family farm and home of Juniper. While they were aware of each other growing up (Junipers family manages the farm). They weren't exactly friendly. Now they find themselves pushed (by proximity, and a school project) together. It isn't instant 'magnet attracts'. Especially when the future of the farm becomes Gab Gabe needs to duck out of life in LA for a bit and re-calibrate (or maybe just breath in some fresh rural air that isn't laden with failure and cameras). His hide-y hole happens to be the family farm and home of Juniper. While they were aware of each other growing up (Junipers family manages the farm). They weren't exactly friendly. Now they find themselves pushed (by proximity, and a school project) together. It isn't instant 'magnet attracts'. Especially when the future of the farm becomes Gabe's responsibility. Juniper has some strong roots, figuratively and literally (girl loves her horticulture). She doesn't want to be suddenly uprooted and decides to switch tactics with how she interacts with the disgruntled rock star. Her plan is working but maybe too well as Gabe is also relaxing into midwest mode. Maybe she likes this new Gabe? Maybe Gabe realizes Junipers life ambitions aren't so boring after all and farm life could even be appealing? The HEA isn't as smooth sailing as you'd think. But the future is definitely looking up.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I loved the small-town setting and want every place to be real so I can visit Juniper’s favorite overlook, the round barn, and every restaurant mentioned. The characters were relatable, the kind of people you know, especially Juniper, who is basically me, with my comfortable routines. This was a great observation from Juniper about Gabe after she gave him a ride to his first day of school: Everything about him looks out of place here with our cracked and rutted parking lot, rusty pickup trucks, fla I loved the small-town setting and want every place to be real so I can visit Juniper’s favorite overlook, the round barn, and every restaurant mentioned. The characters were relatable, the kind of people you know, especially Juniper, who is basically me, with my comfortable routines. This was a great observation from Juniper about Gabe after she gave him a ride to his first day of school: Everything about him looks out of place here with our cracked and rutted parking lot, rusty pickup trucks, flannel shirts, hiking boots. We are such a cliché. (74) Juniper judged Gabe before really knowing him and he did the same to her. Their growing friendship over the course of the book, as they bond over nature and music and the farm, was very sweet. …the river changes constantly yet remains the same (59) I enjoyed their growth, with Juniper stepping outside her comfort zone and Gabe realizing he wasn’t alone anymore, and both of them figuring out what “home” meant to them. If you’re a fan of quiet YA (with lots of kickass music references thrown in), definitely check out this book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    **Thank you to NetGalley for this eARC in exchange for an honest review.** As a Midwestern girl, I love how Sara Biren's books are set in Minnesota. Her newest story takes place in a small rural town on a family farm which I could completely relate to. This story follows seventeen year old rock star Gabe as he leaves LA for his family farm to escape a relationship scandal and a second album that tanked. He is reunited with Juniper and her mother who have managed the farm his entire life but whom **Thank you to NetGalley for this eARC in exchange for an honest review.** As a Midwestern girl, I love how Sara Biren's books are set in Minnesota. Her newest story takes place in a small rural town on a family farm which I could completely relate to. This story follows seventeen year old rock star Gabe as he leaves LA for his family farm to escape a relationship scandal and a second album that tanked. He is reunited with Juniper and her mother who have managed the farm his entire life but whom he hasn't seen since his grandmother's funeral several years prior. Gabe is set to inherit the farm on his eighteenth birthday and Juniper is convinced he will sell it. The farm is all she knows and she is desperate to save it from being sold to a developer. Gabe is desperate to get his hands on some cash to fix a major screw up he made back in Cali. Can Juniper get over her distaste for Gabe to protect the farm? Check out Biren's latest YA in September.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Maggie

    Thank you so much to NetGalley and ABRAMS Kids for an advance digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. As always, all opinions stated are entirely my own. I enjoyed this book. It was a really fun, cute, and quick read but also had an added layer of depth to it. The book is about a teen rockstar being forced to move back to a family farm after he has trouble with his celebrity girlfriend and produces a flop second album. He rediscovers himself at the farm and forms a special re Thank you so much to NetGalley and ABRAMS Kids for an advance digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. As always, all opinions stated are entirely my own. I enjoyed this book. It was a really fun, cute, and quick read but also had an added layer of depth to it. The book is about a teen rockstar being forced to move back to a family farm after he has trouble with his celebrity girlfriend and produces a flop second album. He rediscovers himself at the farm and forms a special relationship with a girl named Juniper. He learns more about himself, his family, and the farm. I thought the book was good and most of the characters in the book were pretty likable. My only complaint is that I wish the book went more in-depth with some of the characters and storylines in the book. There were also some issues I felt needed a bit more resolving at the end of the book. All in all, it was a fun read that I would recommend to YA contemporary fans.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sara Oxton

    Bend in the Road by Sara Biren a surprising five-star rad. I will be honest I was surprised how much I loved this story, as I was a little worried when I realised the age of the main characters, as if not done well they can be a little immature, but honestly the maturity of these characters despite their age blew me away. They aren’t always the most sensible, but they have heart and behave like most of us would. Juniper Blue was so good you could see why songs were written about her, especially Bend in the Road by Sara Biren a surprising five-star rad. I will be honest I was surprised how much I loved this story, as I was a little worried when I realised the age of the main characters, as if not done well they can be a little immature, but honestly the maturity of these characters despite their age blew me away. They aren’t always the most sensible, but they have heart and behave like most of us would. Juniper Blue was so good you could see why songs were written about her, especially Gabe, I could see why he would write beautiful music, troubled souls usually do. Never before have I wanted to go to the Midwest so much, the descriptions of Stone and wool farm, as well as the town. This has been a great story, and I have enjoyed reading so much, I will be certain to check out this author again.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Laura's Book Addiction

    “I love you Juniper. I love everything about you, even when you’re extra salty, especially when you’re extra salty.” Ive been a long time Fangirl of this author and her beautiful books. But this book was just so much more and I’m completely head over heals in love with Juniper & Gabe. I want to Hike and sit by the fire and I want to watch these two characters fall in love all over again. Grief, anxiety, hate to love and hope with the most important thing forgiveness with yourself. I can’t wait fo “I love you Juniper. I love everything about you, even when you’re extra salty, especially when you’re extra salty.” Ive been a long time Fangirl of this author and her beautiful books. But this book was just so much more and I’m completely head over heals in love with Juniper & Gabe. I want to Hike and sit by the fire and I want to watch these two characters fall in love all over again. Grief, anxiety, hate to love and hope with the most important thing forgiveness with yourself. I can’t wait for my hardback to arrive and see what colour the ink is this time. Also to add a copy to my personal library. It’s going to look so pretty with the authors other two books. *I was gifted a copy from the publisher & netgalley for review in exchange for my honest review.

  24. 5 out of 5

    KC

    This was a cute read. The plot was straightforward and easy to follow, it was a little cliche in places but it was interesting and enjoyable to read. I felt that the chemistry between Juniper and Gabe could have been a little deeper but it was fine and their interactions got progressively cuter. I enjoyed Juniper as a character much more than I did Gabe and felt that she had a lot more depth and character development. Overall I enjoyed this, it was a quick read and I'd be interested in reading m This was a cute read. The plot was straightforward and easy to follow, it was a little cliche in places but it was interesting and enjoyable to read. I felt that the chemistry between Juniper and Gabe could have been a little deeper but it was fine and their interactions got progressively cuter. I enjoyed Juniper as a character much more than I did Gabe and felt that she had a lot more depth and character development. Overall I enjoyed this, it was a quick read and I'd be interested in reading more from the author. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this in exchange for an honest review.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Erlinda Tribou

    Another beautiful book from Sara Biren. Gabe is a young rock star struggling after a failed second album and very public and recorded/reposted breakup with his actress girlfriend. He flees to his family’s farm in Minnesota to hide. Juniper is living her routined life on the same farm with her mother and full-time farm caretaker. Gabe’s unexpected appearance makes Juniper worry about the future of the farm. Gabe finds out he is inheriting the farm and selling could solve his money problems. Will G Another beautiful book from Sara Biren. Gabe is a young rock star struggling after a failed second album and very public and recorded/reposted breakup with his actress girlfriend. He flees to his family’s farm in Minnesota to hide. Juniper is living her routined life on the same farm with her mother and full-time farm caretaker. Gabe’s unexpected appearance makes Juniper worry about the future of the farm. Gabe finds out he is inheriting the farm and selling could solve his money problems. Will Gabe sell the only place that has ever felt like home for Juniper? To ensure her future at the farm, Juniper befriends Gabe. You make more friends with honey than vinegar, right? But befriending the enemy may lead to both falling hard. Will attraction save the farm or will something deeper occur? This book, like Biren’s others, is much more than a love story, Biren invokes all of your emotions when you read her books and Bend in the Road is no different. This book feels like a beautiful fall painting and a snuggly blanket around a fire. Complex and stunning. As always, I recommend Sara Biren’s books.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Chloë Hughes

    Thank you NetGalley and Amulet books for sending me this E-Arc in exchange for an honest review. This was utter perfection. Just last week I told someone my YA romance phase was over but this honestly blew every other YA book I’ve read out of the water. It was mature, beautiful, realistic and poetic. I was rooting so so hard for Gabe and Juniper. I loved their love. The setting was beautiful, the farm was right there in front of me and I felt like I was living this story. Juniper has to be one of Thank you NetGalley and Amulet books for sending me this E-Arc in exchange for an honest review. This was utter perfection. Just last week I told someone my YA romance phase was over but this honestly blew every other YA book I’ve read out of the water. It was mature, beautiful, realistic and poetic. I was rooting so so hard for Gabe and Juniper. I loved their love. The setting was beautiful, the farm was right there in front of me and I felt like I was living this story. Juniper has to be one of my favourite characters of all time. She’s quirky and beautiful and inspiring. A real role model for young girls and women. Sara, this is gorgeous and you should be so proud.

  27. 4 out of 5

    John Clark

    Smart and sympathetic story of Gabe, a famous teen musician and Juniper, a quiet country girl in love with the farm she and her widowed mom care for. The boy has a huge painful secret and is smarting from the betrayal by his celebrity girlfriend as well as the inaccurate and glaring stories in the press and on social media. When Gabe escapes L.A. to lick his wounds at the Minnesota farm Juniper and her mother manage, he's desperate, but as time goes on the soothing effects of country life, coupl Smart and sympathetic story of Gabe, a famous teen musician and Juniper, a quiet country girl in love with the farm she and her widowed mom care for. The boy has a huge painful secret and is smarting from the betrayal by his celebrity girlfriend as well as the inaccurate and glaring stories in the press and on social media. When Gabe escapes L.A. to lick his wounds at the Minnesota farm Juniper and her mother manage, he's desperate, but as time goes on the soothing effects of country life, coupled with the inevitable pull between he and Juniper, forces Gabe to re-evaluate almost every aspect of his life. Reading along as that happens is an extremely satisfying experience.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Stacy Udo

    This is a sweet romance set on a small town farm, between a home-town farm girl and long-lost Rockstar friend. The story is a pretty typical enemies to lovers tale – boy comes “home” to recover from one of many fame scandals; he’s in dire need of money, so selling the farm seems like the best option. Girl makes it her mission to treat the boy with “honey” in order to keep him from selling her home. There are many familial ties between the two, making the situation more complicated. Along the way This is a sweet romance set on a small town farm, between a home-town farm girl and long-lost Rockstar friend. The story is a pretty typical enemies to lovers tale – boy comes “home” to recover from one of many fame scandals; he’s in dire need of money, so selling the farm seems like the best option. Girl makes it her mission to treat the boy with “honey” in order to keep him from selling her home. There are many familial ties between the two, making the situation more complicated. Along the way the characters bicker, disagree, form a true friendship and an eventually romantic love. This story is very sweet - anyone looking for a warm, feel good read will enjoy this.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Christine Ayala-Zierke

    Ok, the first two books were good. This one, there are no words.... When is your next book coming out? I cannot get enough of this author! I recommended one of your books to one of my students. She then proceeded to read the next one. Now. Well, now, since we waited (both of us) forever and a day for this one to come out; we are bursting at the seams! She (my student) told me this is probably the best book she reads all this school year, and frankly, I have to agree with her! This is a must read Ok, the first two books were good. This one, there are no words.... When is your next book coming out? I cannot get enough of this author! I recommended one of your books to one of my students. She then proceeded to read the next one. Now. Well, now, since we waited (both of us) forever and a day for this one to come out; we are bursting at the seams! She (my student) told me this is probably the best book she reads all this school year, and frankly, I have to agree with her! This is a must read. P.S. thank you for including a full chapter on Pizza Snatch!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Netraa

    This book was really cute and I really enjoyed it! There were a so many swoony moments and the town girl- meets city guy trop was so cute ahhh I liked both the leads, although I felt at times that Gabe was too cheesy at moments and the I felt like the problems created in the end seemed out of place. I felt like Juniper did not even hear what he said (im not gonna tell u what that was but i felt it was not natural) and I really did not like how they both handled things. But keeping that aside i re This book was really cute and I really enjoyed it! There were a so many swoony moments and the town girl- meets city guy trop was so cute ahhh I liked both the leads, although I felt at times that Gabe was too cheesy at moments and the I felt like the problems created in the end seemed out of place. I felt like Juniper did not even hear what he said (im not gonna tell u what that was but i felt it was not natural) and I really did not like how they both handled things. But keeping that aside i really enjoyed this book!

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