Defying parents, religion, friends and tragic circumstances, two teenage girls manage to nurture their growing relationship and find safety in each other’s arms.
To all outward appearances, Jenny O’Connor has it all: popularity, a loving home and plenty of confidence. Nicola Jackson seems to be her polar opposite: socially awkward and forced to hide painful secrets about her home life. When the two of them collide in the street, it seems unlikely that their friendship will last beyond the day, but they discover they are stronger and happier as a couple. Even as their friends and families strive to break their alliance, they fall deeper and deeper into love. Debut novelist Dunne offers a quick-moving but predictable plot populated by characters who seem blatantly determined to school readers on the evils of prejudice. The heavy-handedness of the lesson overshadows nearly every interaction, and the histrionics assigned to certain scenes make them better suited to an earlier setting. One 16-year-old attacks with “People like you and her should be locked up to protect the rest of us.” This protest feels out of place in a contemporary teenager’s world of instant access to the latest celebrity same-sex couples.
A soap-operatic treatment of an issue that would unfold better with a more nuanced approach. (Fiction. 15 & up)