Release date: August 30th 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 enjoyed Jaye Robin Brown’s No Place to Fall when I read it last year so I was happy to see another book being released. This premise seemed interested but I was also a little hesitant going in since it also seemed like one that could go wrong if it wasn’t handled right. Thankfully, I thought Jaye Robin Brown did a great job in conveying both sides to everyone’s story and I ended up really liking this book.
Joanna was a good girl who was very passionate about young voices being heard and issues that affect young people today. She wanted her own show on her father’s church broadcast station. When her father remarried and they end up moving to a small town, her father asked her to not be so open about the fact that she was gay. In exchange she would get the summer road trip with her best friend that she wanted and her own segment on the radio, but with topics that would ease the listeners in to the ones she really wanted to talk about.
Things got complicated when she began to fall for the sister of her new friend. There was a lot of internal struggle that Joanna had with herself over her promises, over her feelings, over whether or not the ends of hiding herself justified the means of getting her radio show. She knew she could make a difference with her show, prove to people that you could be religious and gay, give teens a voice that talked about issues that affected them.
I loved seeing Joanna so strong in her faith without it getting preachy. It was realistic, not everyone was immediately accepting and possibly some would never come around. The relationships were absolutely fantastic. Joanna and her father had a strong bond but still struggled to understand each other a times. Joanna and her new stepmother started off rocky but grew into something that both of them needed. My favourite was Joanna and her friendship with BTB. It was cute and offered lighter moments through the book.
The romance was well done. It seemed a little fast at times but still something I enjoyed reading. Mary Carlson was a great character in her own right and it was so easy to root for them to overcome all their obstacles to be together. I wanted them to end up together.
Overall, I think this was a really good read and that Joanna’s voice in this book is an important one in life.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.