National Book Award finalist Julie Anne Peters delivers a moving, modern classic love story with a coming out theme -- now with a fresh, redesigned cover!
With a steady boyfriend, the position of Student Council President, and a chance to go to an Ivy League college, high school life is just fine for Holland Jaeger.
At least, it seems to be.
But when Cece Goddard comes to school, everything changes. Cece and Holland have undeniable feelings for each other, but how will others react to their developing relationship?
This moving love story between two girls is for fans of Nancy Garden's classic young adult coming out novel, Annie on My Mind. With her characteristic humor and breezy style, Peters has captured the compelling emotions of young love.
When popular high school senior Holland discovers that "the man of her dreams is a girl," she faces homophobia at school and, most painfully, at home. Peters (Define "Normal") raises important points about the ramifications of coming out, but covers so much territory that her plotting suffers. Holland is juggling a tough school schedule, responsibilities as student council president, college applications, a serious boyfriend and a meddling mom when open lesbian Cece transfers to her school. The instant spark between them leads to flirtation, then to an intense relationship. Holland is thankful she "risked change" despite the serious consequences: not only does her mother throw her out of the house, but Cece is keeping something from her. Holland's adjustment to her new sexuality after she first kisses Cece seems too sudden, and while Peters foreshadows her mother's intolerance in some ways (she throws out a T-shirt belonging to Holland's goth stepsister, Faith), her reaction when Holland confesses comes across as extreme. Secondary story lines, such as Holland's abrupt discovery of her artistic ability, and her budding friendship with Faith, whom she originally judged harshly, feel contrived. Readers will appreciate Holland's new ability to live free of others' expectations and they may learn a great deal about the spectrum of reactions a teen can face in coming out but the messages here seem to take precedence over plot. Ages 14-up.