It has taken me a while to figure out how to write my review for this book because I fail as if it failed me in nearly every possible way. Maybe I put this book on a pedestal or maybe I hyped it up too much in my head. Either way, I was disappointed with what I read.
Now why am I writing a less than stellar review on this book? I felt the concept behind it was not executed properly and huge parts of the plot were extreme stereotyping. This was supposed to be an awesome lesbian representation in a coming of age story. Supposed to be is the key phrase. The MC, Jo, has come out to her family and they support her – or do they? They just moved to the South and Jo has been asked by her dad to “tone down” or “hide” who she is for fear it will upset people. STEREOTYPING at it’s finest. Not everyone that lives in the South subscribes to that mindset. YES, it is still happening but that’s anywhere and everywhere. But the simple fact that her dad basically bribed her to conform to being straight was absurd and insulting. For a father who apparently and allegedly loved his daughter no matter what, he had the absolute worst way of showing it.
That sends Jo into a tailspin about everything in her life but she isn’t the picture perfect role model either. The crowd she hung out with was less than stellar so she doesn’t have any huge reason to cast stones. She kept praising how great the crowd she used to run with was but in hindsight they were more self-centered and manipulative than anything. Jo kept gushing at out “out and proud” they were but it could not take away from truly how negative they really were.
I don’t really want to drone on about how many other things I didn’t agree with in this story as you get the idea. MC moves to the South and falls for the girl of her dreams only to have to be quiet about who she is because it might make her dad look bad. Just that sentence alone should be enough to give you pause about this book. It did not have funny moments, it did not come across heart-felt, it did not hit me as thought provoking, it made me wish I had set this one down and moved on. I am rather upset with myself for reading it all the way through.