Study Guide

Joel Vaughn in Serena

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Joel Vaughn

There's no shortage of judgmental people hanging around the camp, so Joel Vaughn is a breath of fresh air. The way he looks out for Rachel is endearing, especially when he risks his life by tipping off Sheriff McDowell that Serena is on the prowl for Jacob. It's no wonder Rachel thinks of her friend so fondly:

[…] she missed Joel Vaughn too, who could be a smart aleck, but had always been nice to her, not just in the camp but as kids on Colt Ridge when they'd been in elementary school together. He'd even given her a valentine in the sixth grade. She remembered how, after her belly showed and other folks in the camp shunned her, Joel hadn't. (7.2)

Aw… Sweet guy, right? We know Joel is in the friend zone with Rachel, but we like to imagine that in another life the two of them get together. She cares about him, but ultimately has to think about her son's future before her own. Welcome to parenthood, Rachel—sorry you're a casualty, Joel.

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