Krista the Krazy Kataloguer's Reviews > Keeping You a Secret

Keeping You a Secret by Julie Anne Peters
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's review
Dec 12, 2007

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2012-ya-book-club-a-z-challenge, read-lgbtq
Read in February, 2012 , read count: 1

When I picked up this book, I thought it would be a story of two teen girls finding love with each other, similar to Nancy Garden's Annie on My Mind. However, Peters' book is so much grittier and delves much more deeply into the issues of being honest with yourself, finding out who you are, and coming out. It also deals with how a person's coming out (i.e., declaring oneself to be gay) affects other people, such as family, friends, and classmates. Holland is in her last semester of high school, and has always been a top student, dated a boy she's known most of her life, and been popular. She is expected by her mother to go to a "good" college and to be a lawyer. Then she meets Cece, who is openly lesbian, and gradually realizes that she is in love. In pursuing a relationship with Cece, Holland must decide who she wants to be--true to herself, or true to her mother's dream.

What I really liked about this book is how it shows what happens when coming out is not accepted by friends, family and classmates, how secrets meant to protect can cause harm, and how quickly and easily hate can spring up without any attempt to understand. Holland's school has an anti-bullying policy, and the school prides itself on this, yet when openly gay students want to form a club, they are harassed, which is another form of bullying. I can't understand how people can't connect the two. Holland also learns that you shouldn't judge people by their looks or by their labels when her Goth stepsister Faith turns out to be an ally rather than an enemy.

The author provides a list of discussion questions at the end, and I think this book would be great for a book discussion. It certainly gave me a lot to think about, and I highly recommend it.
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