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Keeping You A Secret
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A moving love story with a 'coming out' theme - now in a redesigned paperback.

About the Author

Julie Anne Peters is the critically acclaimed author of Define 'Normal', Between Mom and Jo, Far from Xanadu, and Luna, a National Book Award Finalist.

Reviews

When popular high school senior Holland discovers that "the man of her dreams is a girl," she faces homophobia at school and, most painfully, at home. Peters (Define "Normal") raises important points about the ramifications of coming out, but covers so much territory that her plotting suffers. Holland is juggling a tough school schedule, responsibilities as student council president, college applications, a serious boyfriend and a meddling mom when open lesbian Cece transfers to her school. The instant spark between them leads to flirtation, then to an intense relationship. Holland is thankful she "risked change" despite the serious consequences: not only does her mother throw her out of the house, but Cece is keeping something from her. Holland's adjustment to her new sexuality after she first kisses Cece seems too sudden, and while Peters foreshadows her mother's intolerance in some ways (she throws out a T-shirt belonging to Holland's goth stepsister, Faith), her reaction when Holland confesses comes across as extreme. Secondary story lines, such as Holland's abrupt discovery of her artistic ability, and her budding friendship with Faith, whom she originally judged harshly, feel contrived. Readers will appreciate Holland's new ability to live free of others' expectations-and they may learn a great deal about the spectrum of reactions a teen can face in coming out-but the messages here seem to take precedence over plot. Ages 14-up. (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Gr 9 Up-Holland Jaeger goes steady with a good-looking boy and contemplates attending an Ivy League college in the fall. Then she meets "out-and-proud" lesbian Cece Goddard, and her life changes. Within a matter of weeks, the two begin an affair that eventually leads to a committed relationship. Holland loses old friends, encounters vicious discrimination, and is thrown out of the house by her hysterical mother. She finds help at the local Gay Resource Center, however, and begins to look forward to attending a local college after high school, with Cece by her side. Peters knows how to tell an intriguing story. However, while both teens are likable, believable characters, the confidence with which Cece proudly proclaims her sexual orientation at school strains credibility. This aside, the antigay slurs, viciousness, and prejudice the girls endure certainly leave an indelible impression. Peters's message may be heavy-handed at times, but, overall, this is a well-written and thought-provoking novel.-Robert Gray, East Central Regional Library, Cambridge, MN Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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