Goodbye Pepper Jones, it has been fun. A fun little series that I found earlier this year has turned out to be one of my favorite group of books this year. Pepper Jones and her friends at Brockton Public/UC have taken us on a journey through 5 cross country seasons in five different young adult novels. In Pepped Up Forever we say goodbye and get a quick look at what their life is like after the drama ends.
This is the fifth and final book in the Pepper Jones series, and it’s one you don’t want to miss.
Pepper Jones is ready to start breaking some records. She’ll be a junior in college, and if she wants to run professionally when she graduates, it’s time to step things up a notch. This time around, she knows it won’t be accomplished by ramping up her training. While Pepper’s hoping for a race day breakthrough, she wonders if there’s a mental barrier holding her back, and if so, how is she supposed to confront it?
Meanwhile, Jace Wilder wants Pepper back any way he can have her, but he’s reluctant to bulldoze his way into her life having already crushed her once (okay, probably a few more times than that) before. More scenes from Jace’s point of view in the book shed a new perspective into the character Pepper fans love to hate, and hate to love, delving into those layers he’s only given glimpses of in the past.
The Brockton crew is growing up. Zoe and Wes. Jenny and Rollie. Lexi and Brax. Bunny and Wallace. Pepper and ??? It’s time to find out what Pepper’s happily ever after will be.
To be honest, Pepped Up Forever was my favorite of the Pepper Jones series. I was not exactly in love with Pep Talks but I wanted to read it back to back with Pepped Up Forever and I was really glad I did.
Pep Talks ended us on a note where we didn’t like Jace, Pepper was all over the place & things seemed out of sorts at UC. We picked around a year and a half from where we left off and for the most part were still with the same crew of people. I liked that we were able to join Pepper on two seasons of cross country in college, although I wouldn’t mind another one!
I said this after Pep Talks and I will say it again here, I support ANY young adult novel that discusses eating disorders. I spent years in a gym as both a gymnast and a coach and I still follow the sport closely today. Eating disorders are HUGE in gymnastics and I loved that Ali Dean addressed them in cross country as well. On that note, I loved that we got to see Gabi back in action and happy with where life was taking her.
Gran is still my favorite character in the Pepper Jones series and I loved watching her fall in love with Wallace. I was happy to see her have a happy ending with her wedding.
As for Pepper & Jace. I was extremely hopeful that it would end well with them and it did. I felt like we wrapped up really quick after a lot of build up in the five books but I understand that with it being the last book Ali Dean wanted to leave us on a good note with all of our friends. I really felt like all of the story lines wrapped up nicely.
Thoughts On The Series
I believe I got Pepped Up (Pepper Jones Book 1) as a kindle daily deal back in April or May. I loved the book and quickly got hooked on it. The best part about this series is that they are an easy read. You can pretty much relax and just enjoy watching the high school/college drama unfold.
Not only do the books talk about relationships, running & every day life they also address issues that teen girls and teen boys face when pressured in a sport. There is discussion of over training, eating disorders, being pushed too far & what happens when you fail.
I think this was a GREAT series to read for young adults but especially young adult girls. Pepper is your average kid who has an extremely special talent that she gets to use every day. She learns a lot of lessons throughout each book and is someone that I think a lot of teen girls who are active in sports can relate to.
Get The Series
I haven’t heard what Ali Dean has up her sleeve next but maybe we can see Wes and Zoe’s relationship play out? Maybe it will be a completely different series? I’m excited to find out!