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Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  9,220 ratings  ·  1,300 reviews
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, thing
Kindle Edition, 432 pages
Published August 30th 2016 by HarperTeen
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Jamie Gregory I'm a high school librarian who is not into censorship, but this book is definitely on the more mature side with a couple of fairly explicit sexual sc…moreI'm a high school librarian who is not into censorship, but this book is definitely on the more mature side with a couple of fairly explicit sexual scenes. Just know your audience. Plus, as other readers pointed out, the characters are high school seniors. I do have it in my school's library because it got good reviews and not being LGBT myself, I felt like it did attempt to make a nuanced portrait of characters who struggle to come out yet still be themselves and transcend sexuality. However, I also think a few of the other characters were stereotyped. (less)

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Jun 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit is not a perfect book, not by any means. In fact, it is so full of plot holes and unnecessary dilemmas that I'm surprised I managed to get through it. But Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit shares some deeply important messages in a thoughtful manner that cannot be ignored--perhaps, especially, in wake of the Orlando tragedy. This is a story of a girl who has already come out to her friends and family in Atlanta but who is asked, by her father and ...more
. (not active on this account stop adding me)
tw: homophobia (that is very triggering in the last third of the book) and ableism (an intellectually disabled character is constantly belittled and treated like a burden. when others treat him this way it is never disputed by any of the characters).

(links to reviews that also mention/discuss the ableism: here and here. you can also find a twitter thread here)

tl;dr: While I can understand why people like the romance, I think we should promote other f/f books that aren't ableist.

Update: 13th June
Sarah Elizabeth
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“Rome, Georgia, is definitely where queer girls go to die.”

This was a YA story about a girl who had to pretend to not be gay when moving to a new town with her father.

Joanna was a girl who obviously cared about her father enough to hide her sexuality when she was previously very out-in-the open about the fact that she was gay. It really was good of her to do what
Danika at The Lesbrary
It seems like all the lesbian YA I've been waiting for is out this year. This is definitely the first time I've read an inspirational (aka Christian) YA lesbian romance. I loved the writing style, which made me laugh out loud a couple of times at Jo's observations. The premise is interesting: Jo is the out lesbian daughter of a preacher, but when they move to a conservative small town in her senior year, her dad asks her to go back in the closet. She reluctantly agrees.

What I found interesting w
Jacob Proffitt
Based on some reviews, I had hoped that this would match, or even just approach, the stellar Everything Leads to You (both with lesbian protagonists feeling their way into a lasting relationship). Sadly, I don't think it came particularly close. And when a brick wall materialized on the train track at about the halfway point, I choose to put it down. I just can't stand the heartbreak that became inevitable, even with the promise of the genre that they'd get through it. I had half the book to go ...more
Rep: lesbian mc, side character with a learning disability

So I finished this, then I went and did some other stuff and while doing that other stuff, I realised I have some Thoughts about this book. Hence this mini-review.

1) It's way too long a contemporary book for me. Given that most contemporaries follow the same pattern - meet someone, fall in love, angst it out, make up - 430 pages drags it out for too long. Especially when the first 300 or so pages have not much going on. But maybe that's j
Love love loved <3 Two things I've come to realize about Brown's books:

1) I always expect them to be tamer than they are, and am always surprised in the best way
2) I love how she draws characters casts - so many great secondaries here, and one of the few great examples in YA of how queer people tend to band together

This book is also going to be massively important to queer teens struggling to balance their orientation and religion, and I cannot say enough good about how that was handled here. I
Lea (drumsofautumn)
Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit hit me right in my heart and gut. It was beautiful and relatable and a book that I'm so happy to have brought into my life.

(Yes, I have a Bookstagram now!)

This book took me on an emotional ride from page one! Going into this, I thought it would just be a fun f/f romance Contemporary but I got so much out of it.
One of my favourite aspects, mostly because we don't get to see it a lot in queer books, is the huge connection to religion. Not only is Jo the da
Book Riot Community
Joanna Gordon has been out and proud for most of her years in high school. But when her radio evangelist father moves the family to Rome, Georgia, he asks her something unfair: lay low in her new school and pretend to be straight. Though she reluctantly promises, that agreement is tested when she meets Mary, the friend of a sister. This is a fabulous read! It’s a smart, sexy, funny book at queerness and teens and religion, and a refreshing take on what it means to be yourself. More, please.

Quite The Novel Idea ~ Words from the Clouds

2.5 stars

I've been having bad luck with reading lately. Either I'm going into a slump or I'm just expecting too much from books these days. Because yeah, there are some stand-outs every now and then that get 5 stars out of me. But those moments happen less every month. And I hoped this book would be one too, but it just... wasn't. I still enjoyed it for the most part, but I wanted to love it. And I didn't.

So, because I have no idea how else to go about
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
4.5 stars

Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit has been one of my most anticipated releases ever since Dahlia (author of awesomeness) told me it was totally a Christina book. I mean, it was already on my to-read list because a contemporary f/f romance set partially in my hometown was a necessity. However, since I’d DNFed Brown’s debut, I feared that this one too wouldn’t work for me until Dahlia assured me that I most definitely would love it. Dahlia was right yet again. Georgia Peaches and
Katherine Locke
Jun 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
For the most part, I'm not a contemporary reader. I'm more likely to go on a fantasy binge reading kick than a contemporary kick. And I'm not someone who particularly loves HAPPY books, though I recognize a need for them in my life.

But for the second time, as I absolutely loved NO PLACE TO FALL, Jaye Robin Brown reminds me that there *is* a special place in my heart for the contemporary that hits all the right notes: sweet, and funny, introspective and self-aware, relevant to the world, and yet
sofia (sam willows)
Oh my god, my heart can't take this. RTC ...more
Jammin Jenny
I thought the author did a really good job of exploring alternative sexual relationships and how they aren't so different from heterosexual relationships. There is still doubt, jealousy, and hopefully finally love. Great story. ...more
Sep 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
this was really really fantastic and one of those books where i cannot read any reviews less than 4 stars because i will get irrationally defensive.

the summary is spot on, so i won't rehash the plot of the book. here's the things i loved:

- it highlights how sometimes even for someone totally out, and even though it sucks, closeting yourself in situations can be tempting. and, further, that if you have the closet pushed on you, coming out AGAIN can be just as hard as it was the first time. even t
I mean, honestly this is maybe just over four stars overall, but I'm giving it five stars anyway because of the way it resonated with me emotionally, and because it means so much to me that this book exists.

Jo(anna) promises her radio preacher dad when they move from Atlanta to rural Georgia that she would stay in the closet her senior year. Well, whoops, because she falls in love with a girl who's just realizing she's gay. And oh my god, Joanna and Mary Carlson are PHENOMENAL. I love them so m
Jen Ryland
Aug 07, 2016 added it
Shelves: lgbtq
I put off reading this because I wasn't crazy about the title (is it talking about a girl? about body parts? I find this distracting...) but what a lovely surprise this book was! It's a heartwarming story of identity and faith.

Jo is out as a lesbian to her radio preacher father, but when he remarries and moves them to a small, conservative Southern town, he asks Jo a favor. It's her senior year, so could she just ... tone herself down for that one year? Jo agrees and becomes Joanna, gets a mall
Lauren James
Oct 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtqia
For the sake of her peacher father’s new wife’s family, Jo lies to Mary Carlson about whether she’s out when they start dating, which leads to many more problems than I’d expect. Some of the drama is a bit contrived, which makes it infuriating in that "JUST COMMUNICATE WITH EACH OTHER AND YOUR PROBLEMS WILL DISAPPEAR" rom-com way, but overall this is a very sweet and inclusive read.

The religious element is a central plotline without the book being overbearing for an atheist reader, and I actua
May 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruits is one of the sweetest, fluffiest love stories I’ve read in a while, and Jaye Robin Brown manages to pack everything I look for in contemporary YA lit into its pages: diversity, complex characters, an interesting storyline, and a swoonworthy romance.

In Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit, 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
Lauren ✨ (TheBookishTwins)
Disclaimer: I received a free copy via Edelweiss for review purposes.

Joanna Gordon is an out and proud lesbian and has been for years now. But when her radio evangelist father remarries and re-locates her from Atlanta to small town Rome, Georgia, her father and hew new step-mum ask her to "lie low". Reluctantly, Jo agrees, on one condition: she gets to have her own religious Youth radio show. In Rome, Georgia, Jo finds it easier to fit in as a straight girl, but then she meets Mary Carlson - her
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars - interesting concept executed poorly, also one of those books that makes me wonder if the author's ever spoken to a teenage human in her life ...more
May 06, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
DNF at 100 pages.

I wanted to open this review by saying that this book made me legitimately consider giving up on YA, but that would be unfair to this book. This book is abysmal, don't get me wrong, but the fact that I want to move on from YA isn't solely this book's fault. This book just made me realize that over the last sixth months or so, I've hated far more YA books than I've liked, and I've hated most of them for similar reasons. Maybe the problem isn't me - maybe I'm just outgrowing this
Latanya (Crafty Scribbles)
Mar 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: High School/Middle School libraries; Parents; Teens; Diverse readers; Those readers based in reality
Save for the weird use of AAVE, quick happy ending, and way too convenient acceptance from the formerly intolerant, this story deserves reading.


1. A cute story about acceptance of one's self, no matter the location of one's residence.
2. Sweet romance between a girl coming out and a girl already out (with all of the conflict of each box the girls lived)
3. Diversity of characters: a black, platonic friend, a mentally disabled brother, a Jewish friend (though you don't he's Jewish until the l
Feb 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I had the great pleasure of reading this manuscript early, and I loved this book to death. As all Jaye Robin Brown's books, it made me feel like coming home.

The characters were so brutally honest, each one so real and rich with emotion their experiences resonated with me on deep, personal levels. And the plot. Did you read the plot? KILLER.

The Main character, Joanna, God, I loved her. She was the perfect teenager: afraid, proud, spunky, weird (in the best way), caring, in your face, soft, brav
sil ♡ the book voyagers
I really really liked Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit. Especially the cast of characters! Jaye Robin Brown knows how to write group of friends and family and love. I had such a fun time while reading this book and seriously, didn't want anything to end.

- A big part of this book is about religion and faith and belief. And you can see two sides of the coin in this book: Jo's family and her new stepmom's family.
- Jo (the MC) has a deal with her dad. And when they move to the new town, s
Nov 02, 2016 marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
DNF @ 50%

I may be the only person who does not like it.

It had a strong start, but by the time Jo and Mary Carlson got together I was already tired with all the lies. I also really didn't like Dana.
Jan 13, 2017 marked it as dnf
DNF: I'm bailing 50 pages in. Bisexuality being presented as a phase older women go through. Describing a character as "simple" right after he says he's in a special class for kids just like him...ummm, no. Plus, it feels like the author is trying too hard to achieve the voice of a queer teenage narrator; it's so uncomfortable. I don't feel motivated to read 350+ more pages of this. ...more
Sep 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this young adult story and believe it to be a great book for teens as well as adults. This novel is inspiring because it deals with ever-important issues such as faith, forgiveness, and of course love.
Oct 06, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult, lesbian, usa
It's Jo's senior year of high school, and she's in for a sudden change. Her father is on Wife No. 3 (or "Three," as Jo unaffectionately nicknames her), and the family is moving from big-city, gay-friendly Atlanta to smaller-town, homophobic Rome, Georgia. Jo can say goodbye to her life as an out lesbian; her father requests that she please "take it easy." Translation: Pretend to be straight. In his words, "Not be quite so in-your-face" (p. 14). He promises it will make life easier for everyone. ...more
Rock or Something
Dec 20, 2016 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Jaye Robin Brown, or JRo to her friends, has been many things in her life--jeweler, mediator, high school art teacher--but now writes full-time. She lives with her wife, dogs, cats, and horses in a sweet house in NC horse country where she hopes to live happily ever after. She is the author of NO PLACE TO FALL, WILL'S STORY, GEORGIA PEACHES AND OTHER FORBIDDEN FRUIT, THE MEANING OF BIRDS, and THE ...more

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