Publishers Weekly Review
Joanna has always been out as a lesbian to her minister father, but now that he is remarrying and moving them from tolerant Atlanta to a small Georgia town, he asks her to "lie low." Initially, it doesn't seem so bad: it's only a year until she graduates from high school, and it turns out that finding friends who share her Christian faith is kind of great. Then one of Jo's new friends reveals that she has feelings for her, and that she isn't interested in hiding. Brown (No Place to Fall) ably depicts Jo's conundrum: if she tells the truth, she breaks her promise to her father; if she doesn't, she risks losing the first girl she's been serious about. Faith matters in this book, but so do family, friends, and being funny. The dialogue is snappy-Joanna is sharp tongued and sometimes bratty-and the characters aren't types. Rather, they're individuals navigating a complicated world, which makes for a rich and satisfying read. Ages 14-up Agent: Alexandra Machinist, ICM. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal Review
Gr 9 Up-Brown orchestrates a fast-paced narrative that is powerful, moving, and relatable. Jo Gordon, a proudly queer teen, has recently been uprooted from her home in Atlanta to a more rural part of the state during her senior year of high school. Her father also has recently remarried, is a man of faith, and has asked her to keep her sexuality hidden from the greater community. Jo manages to make friends and discovers an unexpected romance but is torn between love and the commitment she made to her father. Readers are then left to follow Jo and her friends as they attempt to navigate unfamiliar terrain that challenges ideals surrounding faith and sexuality. This work will resonate with those who enjoy a female protagonist who is bold, brave, candid, and thoughtful. The language is realistic, and the author accurately captures queer and Southern cultures. Themes such as deception, trust, and sexuality are present throughout. Brown expertly describes the complex nuances of faith and sexuality. This plot-driven story is humorous, and the characters are effortlessly likable. Teens who root for underdogs will be pulling for this dream team of characters. VERDICT For fans of Sandy Hall's Been Here All Along and David Levithan and John Green's Will Grayson, Will Grayson; this title is a worthwhile purchase for all YA collections.-Katie Flynn, Williston Northampton School, MA © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.