That afternoon I was muggy eyed and sore-headed after a seizure and just needed something warming and lovely to get me through. Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit was what I picked up. I stayed up reading until 1 in the morning, refusing to close it without finishing Jo’s story.
Jo and her father are leaving Atlanta behind, moving in with her new stepmother Three to Rome, Georgia. Goodbye Dana, her wild best friend. Goodbye her old hangouts. Goodbye beautiful babes.
And then her parents ask her the unexpected – to de-queer herself, to return to the closet for one year. If she does, she’ll get her radio show and a road trip with Dana before college.
Just one year can’t be that hard?
But then she meets Mary Carlson, mussy haired and long legged, and Jo’s plans fly out the window.
Alongside the getting-back-in-the-closet storyline, Georgia Peaches also deals with the issue of faith and QUILTBAG identities. Jo wrestles with her faith and wishes to stand as a leader in her community for all the other queer kids. This would be a great novel for a young teen struggling to reconcile their sexuality and their religion.
Brown provides us with a delightful cast of characters, including medically obsessed BFF Gemma, fanboy to the preachers George and my absolute favourite, BTB, Mary Carlson’s twin who has an unnamed disability and an obsession with elephants. Brown doesn’t go into the nature of his disability, except for a tangled birth cord preventing oxygen, but BTB doesn’t feel like a caricature and is a character with depth.
I was really impressed with this novel. It’s currently only available in hardback in the UK, but it is worth it if you are in the mood for a cute f/f romance with added depth.
Interested? Get it here!
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Thank you so much to Olivia at Harper Collins for sourcing this for me.