A small-town coming-out story.
Taylor Garland is the star of Hopuonk, Massachusetts, and the newly crowned homecoming queen—just like her mother was in 1978. With features that are “impossibly perfect” and a mystery dad who may or may not be a famous actor, she is an object of desire. Taylor has chosen homecoming king Brad, but the only reason she’s with Brad is because he is attractive to girls and she’s attracted to them. Taylor has been in love with one girl in particular since middle school—her best friend, Susan, and Susan has liked Brad for the same amount of time. It’s senior year, and Taylor’s life is full of uncertainties: sex with Brad, telling Susan the truth about her feelings, coming out. Even graduation isn’t a given because she is struggling to keep her grades up. The one thing she is certain about is her need to get out of Hopuonk. Since the story is set in 1999, readers may not recognize some of the references. The storyline involving the identity of Taylor’s father feels like a plot device that ultimately serves no purpose. All characters are assumed white, and character development of the supporting cast is weak, with many of them fitting high school stereotypes. However, the coming-of-age lesbian aspect of the novel is explored with humor and tenderness.
An enjoyable debut. (Fiction. 16-18)