Retro Reads

Retro Reads Thursday: The Juniper Game

I was driving to work this other morning at about 6:30 and was pulling up to a red light and out of nowhere today’s Retro Read just bam! hit me. Like lightening! (If you can tell me where that quote is from I’ll love you forever!)

Do you remember you first book you read that had a minor bit of “sexy times” and you felt all grown up for reading it? I’m not talking about the romance novels of your mom’s (or dad’s… this is an equal opportunity blog here, people) that you might have swiped and sneak-read. I’m talking about an age appropriate book that had age appropriate sexy times and you felt age appropriate kind of excited about it.

The first book that I can remember reading that had all these things (and oh so much more!) was The Juniper Game, by Sherryl Jordan.

The Juniper Game centered around 14 year old Juniper, who is beautiful and popular and obsessed with all thing medieval. When she meets shy, slightly dorky new kid Dylan, who is an amazing artist BTW, she decides to befriend him for a little…. experiment.

You see, Juniper is telepathic. And not just “I can read your mind, oooOOoooOOooo” telepathic, I’m talking time traveling, see into the past, communicate through your minds telepathic. She sets up her first telepathic experiment, sending images to Dylan who then draws what he sees. And tada! It’s a success! And that’s when the real fun begins.

Through meditation the two are able to travel to medieval London, experiencing it first hand. But then Juniper gets too involved, too obsessed, with the experiment and begins venturing out on her own, threatening not only the past but the present.

Juniper was kind of my hero when I was younger and read this. I wasn’t much younger than she was, so I thought how COOL would it be to be like Juniper? To dress all free-flowing and hippie-like, to make my own spiced medieval wine and drink it out of a silver chalice, to have herbs and spices dangling around my room, my floor covered in hay to get that truly medieval sense.

And the minor sexy times? There was some heavy petting (for the early 90s, this was HUGE), some making out, some aggressive boyfriend behavior… I felt so adult reading this because clearly this stuff didn’t happen to nerdy girls named Candice.

All sexy times and cool role models aside, The Juniper Game offers a great look into medieval London, into witch hunts and the consequences they caused. It presents several theories of telepathy that sound really good. But overall, it had a great, what’s-going-to-happen-next vibe and, from what I can remember, kept me well on my toes!

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5 thoughts on “Retro Reads Thursday: The Juniper Game”

  1. I’m not sure I ever read anything with age-appropriate sexytimes as a teenager… which is weird. I remember picking up White Oleander from the library when I was in maybe 8th or 9th grade and it includes some inappropriate teenager and older man sexytimes. Around that age, I also read some other book that involved angel rapture or something. I was so embarrassed that I’d hide behind my bed to read the books and then hide the books when I wasn’t reading them. And by the time I was in 11th grade, I was the girl who brought the trashiest of trashy romances on the band trips… I guess you could say I like sexytimes in books.


  2. this sounds kinda cool! and no, unfortunately, i don’t remember the first age appropriate sexytime book i ever read, but i do remember that when I was sixteen, my mom gave me a historical romance to read (i don’t know why, i think maybe to teach me about sex without her having to have “the talk”). i’m curious, do you reread the retro reads or draw from your memory, cause if you just remember them, my hat is off to you. i think i’m getting old. ~dixie


    1. This is actually a really cool book and I remember liking it a lot. I read LOTS of historical romances as a teen – stole them from my mom – but they didn’t really teach me much about sex other than to have extremely high expectations. haha! I don’t really reread the books I write about; mostly I just remember them and say “oh yeah! I liked that!” and then look them up to get a refresher on them. I think the only one I’ve actually reread since starting my blog is The Giver. I think I’d like to reread them, but definitely don’t have that kind of time!


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