"A sweet, sexy, honest teen romance that just happens to involve two girls—all the more charming for being so very ordinary.”*
A Kirkus Best Book of the Year! A Chicago Public Library Best Book of the Year! A Bustle.com Best Young Adult Book of the Year! 3 starred reviews!
Joanna meets the perfect girl for her and must decide whether to break a promise that could change everything for her and her family or lose out on love in this charming young adult romance that’s perfect for fans of Julie Murphy’s Dumplin’ and Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.
Joanna Gordon has been out and proud for years, but when her popular radio evangelist father remarries and decides to move all three of them from Atlanta to the more conservative Rome, Georgia, he asks Jo to do the impossible: to lie low for the rest of her senior year. And Jo reluctantly agrees.
Although it is (mostly) much easier for Jo to fit in as a straight girl, things get complicated when she meets Mary Carlson, the oh-so-tempting sister of her new friend at school. But Jo couldn’t possibly think of breaking her promise to her dad.
Even if she’s starting to fall for the girl. Even if there’s a chance Mary Carlson might be interested in her, too. Right?
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)|
|Age Range:||14 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Jaye Robin Brown is the critically acclaimed author of the young adult novels Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit and No Place to Fall. She lives in North Carolina with her dog, horses, and wife. You can visit her on Instagram @jayerobinbrown or online at www.jayerobinbrown.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Jo's father is a reverend. He has a popular radio show and Jo hopes that one day she can follow in his footsteps. Jo has been out for a long time and her father has always been her greatest supporter. That changes when he remarries. They move from Atlanta to Rome. It's a big step for Jo to leave the big city behind for a small village. As the new in-laws are conservative Jo's father asks the impossible of his daughter, to hide that she's gay and lay low for a year. Will she be able to pull this off? Jo agrees to her father's wishes and becomes a more demure person. Because of her new image she easily fits in with the popular crowd at her new school. However, one of Jo's new friends has a sister, Mary Carlson, Jo can't seem to stay away from. Jo is being torn apart inside because she thinks she has to keep her promise to her father, but she can't help falling for Mary Carlson and it seems like Mary Carlson feels the exact same way. What should she do, deny herself the chance to love and be loved because of her father's wishes or fight for her own happiness? Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit is a fantastic story. Jo is an incredible main character. She's strong, smart, resilient and she has a big heart. She also knows who she is and she's confident in her own skin. My heart ached when I read about her father's request. Jo is such a great person and he asks something awful of her that felt entirely wrong, only because it will make getting along with the new family easier. It's a perfect subject for a story and I couldn't turn the pages quickly enough to find out what Jo would do, if she and Mary Carlson would have a chance together or not. They're a sweet couple and I kept hoping they would get their happily ever after. Jaye Robin Brown has a wonderful warm writing style. Her vivid descriptions of Rome and its inhabitants are making her story come to life really well. Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit is a thought-provoking story. I liked how Jaye Robin Brown writes about the combination of being gay and being religious. She does that in a way that constantly made me think, feel and wonder. I admired how she does this while telling an impressive heartwarming story. I enjoyed reading about Jo's happy moments and the kind way she treats people. I was also surprised by the depth of the family scenes and its interesting dynamics, which is something that makes the story very good. I absolutely loved Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit and highly recommend this terrific book.
Plot requires heavy suspension of disbelief but the characters are well-drawn. Enjoyed this so much! So nice to see LGBTQ characters of faith represented. I felt both sides of every "issue" were explored and there's a lot of growth for many characters. The drama around Secrets gets stretched a bit but I loved all the characters so much I didn't really mind--and that's saying something!
Yes it's a sweet love story about being a lesbian and the added element of Christian faith. But I was pretty annoyed by the character Dana. She's not a very good friend at all. I also don't get the feeling the author knows anything about pregnancy/pregnancy loss or how that works, but maybe that was the point to be the point of view from a 17yr old. Jo says early on in the book that Rome is hours from Atlanta when in reality it is maybe an hour away up the interstate and honestly not very far. Just too many little annoyances for me to enjoy more than I did. Dana was really awful though, just blah. I couldn't see anyone as nice as Jo being friends with someone like her.
Brown's characters will walk with you in your daily life, they are so real! You will struggle with Jo as she, like so many teenagers, finds a way to be herself, even under pressure not to. This book will change your life.
A sweet story about faith and acceptance, Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit revolves around Jo, the daughter of a pastor who is openly gay but is being asked to go back into the closet for the sake of peace. When her father moves her to bigotry town, out of concern for her, he asks her to fly under the radar; he evens coaxes her into a deal which she is tempted to not refuse. So, Jo undergoes a makeover - she acts 'normal' (as in what would be expected of a preacher's daughter), she goes along with people assuming she is straight, all for the sake of not upsetting the relationship between her family and her new step-grandparents. It's all easy until she falls in love with a girl, something that does not fall under laying low. Starting with her getting all flustered over whether she could be gay like her, to helping her come out, theirs is a cute romance. A big theme of the novel was how faith and accepting of everyone's love need not be a separate thing. Jo is a devout girl, but she undertakes the teachings of her religion with careful thought. And she wants to spread this love among even the conservative people of her faith. For this, her father's evangelical radio program is her springboard, but if she wants to gain acceptance, first she has to make friends. In the initial days of her laying low, it comes easy for her - she notices how people act better towards her, and she doesn't have to be so concerned with judgement. But soon, she also sees how this omission now bordering on a lie, starts to burden her. Moreover, her lesbian BFF back home feels she is retreating into her closet for real. That, along with the fact that she likes a new girl now, but still can't let her know that she was out of the closet long ago, makes her feel conflicted. On one hand, she is sparing her family and herself some grief, sparing all the bigotry and hostility, but she also isn't able to be there for another girl coming out, a girl who wanted her support. And that was a crucial point - in hiding herself, she was also hurting someone else. Jo comes across as a fiery but even-tempered girl. She has a mouth on her but knows where to use it. Losing herself in the charade was something she thought would be impossible, but it happens anyway. Also, it brought out the difficulties LGBT folks have in coming out - the place, the community and the people around you will react differently, and so everyone's experience will not be the same; sometimes it is a process that has to happen over and over. It is saddening that we live in a world where if you are not heterosexual, you have to declare your intentions or people think you were lying. I say this with regards to Mary's coming out - her friends basically called her a liar because she took time and courage to tell them about it. Also, while subtle, the author brought about how heteronormativity is widely prevalent - everyone is considered straight unless told otherwise, but also homophobia exists side by side with it. Overall, it is a beautifully written book, and I loved the topics the author brought about. Though quite simplistic, it is also a very sweet story.