Jo has been out and proud for years now in her home of Atlanta, Georgia, but when her radio preacher father remarries and moves to more conservative Rome, Georgia, he asks her to “lie low” for a year to please his conservative fiance’s family. Jo agrees, but when she meets Mary Carlson, she realizes keeping that promise might be harder than she realized…
I didn’t totally love the premise of the story– it didn’t really make sense that her father who supposedly supported her would ask her to do that. After seeing some of the attitudes of the other supporting characters towards LGBT people, I could understand it a little bit more. Still, this was an immediate issue with the book.
I disliked Jo as an main character, but luckily the other supporting characters made up for her. Jo was very dishonest with the other characters (not only her family but both her old and new friends as well). However, the other supporting characters were some of the best I’ve ever read. Their character growth was incredible; almost better than Jo’s.
Jo’s dishonesty created a lot of seemingly unnecessary plot holes, so this book isn’t for readers who don’t enjoy unnecessary drama. This book had a lot of important themes: acceptance, staying true to yourself, and the struggle many young LGBT people face between staying true to their religion and staying true to themselves.
All things considered, this was a book with a lot of heart. I truly believe that author Jaye Robin Brown has written a book that LGBT kids of faith can turn to for help and reassurance that they can be both gay and religious.
This book (Brown’s third book) is out on shelves today.