Review: Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit

Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit
Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Out and proud Atlanta teen Jo moves to a small, conservative town in her senior year, part of her father’s new life with a new wife. As a Christian radio host, he has preached an open-mindedness all Jo’s life. Now, he wants her to lie low and be closeted for a year while the stepmom’s family gets used to them. Jo wasn’t expecting to make any real friends or to fall in love.

I really enjoyed this book. Brown has created characters that are likable – I was rooting for them all. It’s unique to see a gay-teen and sex-positive religious Christian YA novel – For that reason alone, I think this belongs in many public libraries.

Four stars instead of five because Jo’s father put her in an impossible position (the entire foundation of the book) and that part felt wrong and also contrived. Why in the world would Jo’s otherwise great dad ask her for this terrible sacrifice? What teenager would readily agree?

There’s some pretty intense (and happy) sexual awakening in here so it’s probably not for younger tweens. It might be awkward to actually recommend this book to your questioning kiddo, but you could bring it home and just leave it lying around.

I would read more by Jaye Robin Brown

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Review: Born a Crime

Born a Crime
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is not your usual celebrity memoir. Noah writes about race, education, domestic violence, and the near impossibility of improving one’s life when the deck is truly stacked against you. Trump’s new education secretary should read Noah’s bits about separate school systems for blacks and whites under apartheid. There’s so much in here that, unfortunately, relates on-point to what we are experiencing and fearing here in America right now. I wasn’t expecting this to be an important read, but it is. I’ll be recommending it to many people.

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Review: Whatever.: or how junior year became totally f$@ked

Whatever.: or how junior year became totally f$@ked
Whatever.: or how junior year became totally f$@ked by S.J. Goslee
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

An engaging, entertaining, and realistic tale of a teen realizing he is gay, experiencing his first relationship, and negotiating coming out to his lifelong friends. Lighthearted and funny. I enjoyed it a lot. Fewer stars than it really deserves because of surprisingly misogynistic language throughout. For a book that encourages love and acceptance, it frequently includes some of the most hateful language about women. It may be true to how teenage boys speak, but it would not have detracted from the credibility of the story to omit it.

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