Leo is a famous singer just finishing a world tour when she receives a call from her estranged mother. Her father has suffered a stroke and her presence is needed at home. Home is the small town in Missouri where she grew up but quickly left in order to pursue her singing career. It was also the place she never fit in and where her father was clearly disappointed on her choice of career as well as her sexual orientation. Leo meets Holly, her father’s nurse, when she makes it home and discovers her father’s condition has left him in need of full-time care. As Leo confronts her past, she strikes a friendship with hope for more with Holly. Only, she must make amends and gain Holly’s trust in the process.
This novel was the first one I’ve read that has had an asexual character. Read More »
This was a really good YA book. As I’ve mentioned multiple times I can be up and down when it comes to YA books but Gold writes really well. This is the third book I have read by her and all of them have been quality reads. Gold writes about topics that other authors tend to shy away from. In this book Gold takes on race, gender, and sexuality. Each time I read one of her books I walk away feeling like I learned something new which I always appreciate.
This book covers about three years in two teenager’s lives. Kaz is struggling with their gender while Aisha has to deal with systematic racism after moving to a town this is mostly white. These two teenagers click and become best friends instantly. Kaz knows they are falling for Aisha hard, but can Aisha accept how Kaz sees their own gender? And with racism affecting Aisha’s schooling, will she be around long enough for Kaz to find out?
This is one of those books that definitely messed with my emotions. I went from crying one minute, to being so mad I was steaming the next. And while some of this book was hard to read because you know it’s a fiction book based on facts, there were still plenty of uplifting moments. This is one of those YA books that should really be in school libraries but is also a book adults should read. Even with me talking many sociology classes including gender studies when I was in college, terms and how we understand gender has really changed in the past few years. I feel like I’m coming away with a better understanding of how some genderqueer people feel about themselves. And while I know there is plenty of racism still alive in 2019, you just have to turn on the TV to know it, this book made me think about things I just never would have considered as a white person.
While there are some tough parts to read in this book, there is a sweet G-rated YA romance. I thought Kaz and Aisha were just perfectly adorable together. I loved how much they uplifted and fought for each other. Kaz was a little warrior and I just loved that about them. And while not everything was wrapped up in a neat little bow, I enjoyed how the ending of the book made me feel.
This is one of those books that I just think people should read. Like I mentioned before I think Gold writes books that are important. She knows how to leave an impact on you while getting your mind working. That is the sign of a good book and a good author in my opinion.
This author is writing better and better every time and this book in particular is getting on my list of the best 2017 books so far. The theme of sham marriage is not new in lesfic but Benson presents it here so skillfully that makes up for the lack of originality. Both main characters are crafted with special detail in their personalities and little quirks. Ms. Benson’s descriptions are quite cinematographic, the reader can actually feel their chemistry growing slowly until it sizzles out of the pages. The plot keeps the reader guessing the reasons for the sham marriage and even manages a nice twist at the end.
The secondary characters play a fantastic supporting role, adding realism and sometimes humour to the plot. Frank the cat is hilarious as Hayden’s judgemental alter ego, a magnificent performance without (obviously) uttering a word. Also worth to mention is the introduction of the concept of non-binary sexuality via Hayden’s friend Luce, who challenged some of my prejudices about gender fluidity. I love when an author makes me think without sounding preachy. That was the cherry on the top for this fabulous read.
Overall, an excellent read, great romance and food for thought. Very easy 5+ stars.
ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.