Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance, LGBT
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: September 30th 2014
2 OUT OF 5 STARS
“Other people will try to decide things for you, she says. They’ll try to tell you who you are. Remember, no matter what they say, you’re the only who really decides.”
It’s 1959 and the white citizens of Virginia are still largely against integration. The court orders that public schools must integrate, so the governor closes the schools. After months of the schools being closed to prevent integration they’re finally forced to open and ten black kids get to go to Jefferson High School for the first time. Sarah is about to find out just how bad things can get, but for Linda this integration is already the worst thing that could have happened.
The book looks seriously at quite a few important topics, religion, racism, homophobia, and it’s very successful at overcoming a lot of stereotypes and looking deeper into the hearts of the topic. However, this book is mediocre at best. The romance really doesn’t feel natural at all. Linda is all for segregation until she falls in love with Sarah at first sight. While Sarah holds her values above her infatuation with Linda it’s still a love at first sight scenario.
Linda is a racist, Sarah is an intergrationist. Now if the book realistically showed Linda changing her mind because of Sarah, fine that relationship could work. Don’t get me wrong, Linda does change over the course of the novel but it’s very forced and jerky and the reasons are fairly weak. Sarah is in love with her long before she changes, despite the fact that she is a racist, because she is pretty and they like to argue and that’s…hot? I guess? The characters in general are very weakly written. The book has a good plot, and the characters goals are obvious but their personality and development is so lacking that it’s difficult to feel like you know them at all.