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Keeping You a Secret: 06/05/12

cover art

Keeping You a Secret by Julie Anne Peters is a lesbian coming of age romance. Holland lives with her mother, stepfather and much younger half brother whom she is helping to raise. Her life is turned upside down by two young women: Faith, her stepfather's Goth daughter and CeCe, an out and outgoing girl, who transfers to her high school.

Most of Holland's troubles come from her manipulative, erratic and slap deserving mother. The mother, fearing her daughter will make the same mistakes she did (get pregnant in high school). But the same mother, feeling like her life ended when she got pregnant is trying to live vicariously through Holland by orchestrating every minute of her life.

What isn't on mother dear's agenda is her daughter falling in love with CeCe. Peters shows how quickly things can spiral out of control when a parents' bigotry gets in the way of anything else. Like nearly one in four out gay teens in America, Holland quickly finds herself homeless — with even the locks on the door changed to prevent her from getting her things!

My only quibble with the book is my standard one, the set up. With most of the LGBT YA books I've read, the main character is so often shown as having a long, steady relationship with a popular teen of the opposite sex before BAM! the new kid who is of the same sex comes and is too alluring to resist. I don't know if it's to cover the bases by hinting the main character is bisexual without actually having to write about bisexuality or if it's to show that even popular kids can be members of the LGBT community. Whatever the reasons, it's a trope that is rapidly becoming cliché.

Four stars

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