Jersey Tomatoes are the Best by Maria Padian

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This is a hilarious and heartbreaking story of two teen girls and the summer when everything changes for them. Both Henry and Eva are New Jersey natives and excellent athletes: Henry's a master on the tennis court and Eva is a graceful ballerina. When opportunity knocks for both of them the summer before their junior year in high school they throw open the door: Henry sees freedom from her overbearing father and a chance to build her talents on the court. Eva sees the chance to be the best as well as even more pressure to be graceful, lighter, more perfect on the dancefloor.

Soon, Eva's obsession with physical perfection leads her down the path to anorexia, and her health issues overwhelm everything else. But through it all these two best friends know that Jersey Tomatoes are the Best, and nothing will come between them no matter the distance.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Maria Padian

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MARIA PADIAN is the author of Jersey Tomatoes Are the Best and Brett McCarthy: Work in Progress, which was an ALA-YALSA Best Book for Young Adults. A graduate of Middlebury College and the University of Virginia, she has also attended Oxford University and the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. Born in New York but raised in New Jersey, she now lives in Maine with her family and their Australian shepherd, and was inspired by the events in her community to writeOut of Nowhere.
Published March 8, 2011 by Knopf Books for Young Readers. 352 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Sports & Outdoors, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Jersey Tomatoes are the Best

Kirkus Reviews

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The worlds of ballet and tennis provide an intriguing background for this story about two gifted best friends.

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Publishers Weekly

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Almost 16, Eva and Henry (don't ever call her Henriette) have been best friends forever, with a shared understanding of demanding parents and a deep love for their home state of New Jersey.

Jan 24 2011 | Read Full Review of Jersey Tomatoes are the Best


As she begins to grow as a tennis player, she also begins to thrive as a young woman, even finding a first love in the bargain and, before long, she scarcely has a moment for anything or anyone outside her secluded world of tennis, including best friend Eva.

Mar 26 2011 | Read Full Review of Jersey Tomatoes are the Best

City Book Review

Gone is the relentlessly bright girl who told me you could patch any hole in your heart with a little Pink Decadence.” Padian successfully integrates myriad themes relevant to teens: friendship, overbearing parents, loneliness, and acceptance.

Oct 05 2011 | Read Full Review of Jersey Tomatoes are the Best

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