Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit
Jaye Robin Brown
Young Adult Fiction
30 August 2016
Joanna Gordon has been out and proud for years, but when her popular radio evangelist father remarries and decides to move all three of them from Atlanta to the more conservative Rome, Georgia, he asks Jo to do the impossible: to lie low for the rest of her senior year. And Jo reluctantly agrees.
Although it is (mostly) much easier for Jo to fit in as a straight girl, things get complicated when she meets Mary Carlson, the oh-so-tempting sister of her new friend at school. But Jo couldn’t possibly think of breaking her promise to her dad. Even if she’s starting to fall for the girl. Even if there’s a chance Mary Carlson might be interested in her, too. Right?
I have to admit that I have a thing for books tackling young adult LGBTQ+ characters. I am not a Christian anymore, however reading about Faith is something I am still very interested in. Especially when coupled with matters like sexuality or more broadly, someone’s identity. In Georgia peaches & other forbidden fruit, Jaye Robin Brown asks us: is it okay to put aside the core of who you are to fit in a new environment? To please your family wishes. The main character, Joanna has been openly gay for years now. Her best friend is very exuberant and queer as well. It has never been an issue with her father, who is a Pastor. She’s both gay and a Christian teenage girl and lives with it perfectly…. until her father remarries and they move from Atlanta to a very traditional Christian town in Georgia. Some parts of the storyline felt wonky to me, but it was not to the point of making me want to walk away from it and overall, I really enjoyed reading about Jo’s journey.
About the author
Jaye Robin Brown, or JRo to her friends, has been many things in her life– jeweller, mediator, high school art teacher–but is now living the full-time writer life. She lives with her wife, dogs, and horses in a sweet house in the NC woods where she hopes to live happily ever after.
Mary H.K. Choi
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
March 27th 2018
For Penny Lee high school was a total non-event. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she somehow managed to land a boyfriend, he doesn’t actually know anything about her. When Penny heads to college in Austin, Texas, to learn how to become a writer, it’s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can’t wait to leave behind.
Sam’s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a café and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs. He knows that this is the god-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he’s a famous movie director but right this second the seventeen bucks in his checking account and his dying laptop are really testing him.
When Sam and Penny cross paths it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch—via text—and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other.
Emergency Contact has been on my “To Be Read Pile” for a very long time. But I had to wait for it to be available at the public library to be able to read it. Do you know how sometimes you have high hopes about a book but fear of being disappointed? That’s how I was feeling about this one. I found out that either people loved it, or hated it… I am part of the “I really enjoy reading this story” group, though. The two main characters, Penny and Sam, were relatable in some ways and I grew attached to them. I can totally understand how easier it can feel to be yourself through texts than in-person, as an introvert woman. The characters are quirky and even the secondary ones, like Jude and her best friends, become quite likeable. I usually enjoy Young Adult books where the parents still have a part in the story, and this is the case in Emergency Contact. It was a book I enjoyed reading, and the characters were in my thoughts even during my day. That’s usually a good sign of how much I get into a story 🙂
About the author
Mary H.K. Choi is a Korean-American author, editor, television and print journalist. She is the author of young adult novel Emergency Contact (2018). She is the culture correspondent on Vice News Tonight on HBO and was previously a columnist at Wired and Allure magazines as well as a freelance writer.
Simon and Schuster
18 September 2012
Eighteen-year-old Layken struggles with holding her family together after her father dies, until she develops a relationship with her new neighbor, Will, who has a passion for poetry slams and gives her a new sense of hope.
I have a confession to make: I try to only read book series once all the titles have been released. I HATE having to wait for a sequel and LOVE reading them back-to-back so I stay inside the story until its end. Luckily, as a person living in Québec, I have access to our wonderful banQ and can borrow a ton of books for free (!).. I borrowed all the Colleen Hoover’s books I could find, that were available; I borrowed Point Of Retreat, not knowing it was the middle book of a trilogy. So I had to wait another week to go grab Slammed. It happens quite frequently in my bibliophile life 😉
Slammed is about Layken, an 18yo young adult who moves with her Mom and younger brother after the sudden death of her Dad. She is not pleased to be uprooted while she is still grieving. Luckily, she is closed with her Mom and her sibling. Layken is pretty independent and knows she needs to grow up in order to help her Mom in this difficult new situation. On moving day, she meets her neighbor: the handsome Will, and his younger brother. Will is a few years older, and there’s an undeniable connection happening between them. He brings her into his universe: slam poetry. However, there would not be a story if it was that easy, right? We follow them as they navigate their relationship.
I also loved the secondary characters: Eddie, Layken’s instant new best friend; her boyfriend Gavin. The two younger brothers are hilarious, as well. And suffice to say that as a Mom myself, I was really touched by Julia. This book made me mad, sad, it made me laugh out loud and I could not put it down. It was infuriating at times but that’s the point: it made me feel. And sometimes, that’s all that you need from a book…
The other books in this trilogy:
Point of retreat The second book takes place after the end of Slammed. A lot of changes happened between the two books but we meet again the characters we got attached to in Slammed. Something about Will’s past will resurface… will Lake & Will fight for a future together?
This Girl Happens right after Point of Retreat. Now that Layken & Will are happy, Lake wants to know as much as possible about Will. This book is told in his point of view and has two timelines: the one happening in Slammed (but this first book is from Layken’s POV)
About the author
Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times and International bestselling author of multiple novels and novellas. She lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys. She is the founder of The Bookworm Box, a non-profit book subscription service and bookstore in Sulphur Springs, Texas.
When reclusive novelist Senna Richards wakes up on her thirty-third birthday, everything has changed. Caged behind an electrical fence, locked in a house in the middle of the snow, Senna is left to decode the clues to find out why she was taken. If she wants her freedom, she has to take a close look at her past. But, her past has a heartbeat...and her kidnapper is nowhere to be found. With her survival hanging by a thread, Senna soon realizes this is a game. A dangerous one. Only the truth can set her free.
I discovered Tarryn Fisher via the book series she co-wrote with Colleen Hoover, Never Never. These two are best friends in real life and if you’re on Instagram, I urge you to follow them both. They’re honest, funny and unapologetically themselves. Plus, #girlsquadgoals !
There were two things I wanted to know badly: an explanation regarding the title, and what the cover actually meant. I won’t spoil anything but know that both are talked about in the book.
The book tackles trauma in a way that I have never read before. It made me cry, tightened my throat at several occasions but also made me smile and hope for a good outcome. Tarryn Fisher’s writing is unapologetic and raw which makes her voice even more unique, to me.
Another fact that instantly drew me in even more is the use of music in the storyline. And not any kind of music: songs that are part of what I call my “life soundtrack”. They play a pretty big role between the two main protagonists and I absolutely loved it.
About the author
Tarryn was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. She immigrated to America with her parents when she was 13, and spent the next eighteen years in South Florida where she earned her degree in Psychology, wrote her first novel, and had two children. In 2012, on a whim, she moved her family to Seattle, Washington where she currently makes her home safely away from the sun. Tarryn is the founder of Guise of the Villain, a fashion blog, and has written ten published novels. Tarryn is a Slytherin.