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Don’t Tell My Mother

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  79 ratings  ·  22 reviews
With an overly zealous mother as her guide, 19-year-old Sam has never had problems navigating through Christian suburbia before. But, all that changes when she befriends and becomes intrigued with Clara, her widowed neighbor and the village’s social outcast. When their friendship grows into the “unnatural”, Sam is forced to examine her upbringing and come to terms with who ...more
Kindle Edition, 94 pages
Published April 23rd 2017 by Spark Books, an Anvil Publishing, Inc. imprint (first published February 2017)
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3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  79 ratings  ·  22 reviews

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K.J. Charles
A coming of age f/f romance as a 19yo with a bullying religious mother comes to terms with her sexuality and falls in love with an older woman. (Who is a widow, was happily married, and is exploring her sexuality as much as our heroine.) It's passionately told and felt, as much about Sam's need to escape her stifling life and recognise how abusive her mother is as about the love story, though that is adorable (closed door love scenes). Also, lovely to see that Clara is the catalyst for her escap ...more
Neil (or bleed)
May 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've been typing-deleting-typing my review for the last 15 minutes, and that's probably because

There are many good things to say about this book—moving, brave, funny, staggering—but it might be better for me to leave it this way instead:

And it doesn't even matter what pronoun/sexual preference/gender identity you use and/or identify with, or what or whom you believe in. You will find your self in this book in more ways than one.

(view spoiler)
Jeanine Carstairs
Don't Tell my Mother was an okay read. It's interesting at first because it tackles the struggles of a lesbian teenager hiding 'her true self'. I had a hard time adjusting to the writing because the style was a bit confusing for me. The first parts were okay but the story started going downhill somewhere in the middle. There were also a lot of unnecessary flashbacks. I wish I saw more of Sam and Christina's friendship and what they used to be instead. It's quite disappointing that the ending lef ...more
Jay Tria
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Stellar, sharp writing. Prose so hilarious it brought me to the edge of tears so many times, both tears of joy and tears of aching lament. Characters so tangible I felt I could reach out and touch them, play chess with them, eat their chicken gallantina. Bautista is another author added to my auto-buy list.
4.5 stars, rounding down

This book wrecked me but in the best way possible! It’s so funny and heartbreaking at the same time. This isn’t YA but it’s definitely a coming of age story with emphasis on Sam’s development and journey as she explores her sexuality within her upbringing in a fundamentalist Christian household. Her mother is abusive, something Sam has to come to terms with because she loves her mother and desperately wants to be accepted. I wish there had been more exploration of her rel
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Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: filipino-authors
Review to follow!
Emily de Moura
May 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I picked Don't Tell My Mother for the 2k17 Asian Lit Bingo's prompt "queer romance with asian mc". Apart from that, I didn't know much what to expect from this short novel. But I'm glad I read it - It's a beautiful story.

And a painful one, too, since we're here. And powerful. Don't Tell My Mother presents us Sam, our narrator, a 19yo girl from the Philippines with an overly religious mother, a desire to please her parents no matter what and also some history with Cristina, the girl next door sen
Mary Anne Balane
Jul 02, 2017 rated it did not like it
I was so glad to find out that such a book -- a new adult Filipino novel with a lesbian protagonist -- exists. But, to be honest, I was kind of disappointed at how clunky the storytelling and hurried the characterization sometimes got. Nonetheless, I'm still glad that this book exists because it is a pioneer in diversifying the new adult genre in the Philippines.
Kate (The Bookaholic Blurbs)
Full review over at The Bookaholic Blurbs!

Don't Tell My Mother is a journey to acceptance and self-love. It is another story that champions how love wins. It feels heavy in the heart but surely puts bright lights in the mind.
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I find the story simple yet beautiful. Each flashback bears realization for Sam as she discovers and accepts herself, all skins shed as she puts it. Like she’s revisiting them and seeing each with a new understanding. I think it’s brave to set the story not only within a Christian family but a Christian community. Despite Filipinos being openly accepting of LGBTQ, there are still those who, like the people in the suburbs Sam lives in, are set into their beliefs. And others, while okay with LGBTQ ...more
H. Bentham
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I got my own copy at #AprilFeelsDay2017 but I’ve been craving to read this since news of its existence reached me through Twitter last year. This is my first FF romance and I’m fortunate enough to have been ‘devirginized’ by this book! LOL

I hate slow paced stories. A slow first few chapters is enough for me to DNF a book, but with Brigitte’s witty prose and stellar writing (and probably my own experiences growing queer in the PH), I only noticed the not-so-fast pacing after I’ve read ‘til the en
Bryan Montallana
A new adult fiction book fit for the 21st century and a binary reading--either 1 or a 0 in general. And it's a 1 for me. It's a blend of positive and negative, testing the value of perspective. Centered on a subject that not everyone will agree on, this book will burst out curiosity and will keep you company in a heartwarming manner. It's a love story that takes twists and turns, like any other love stories, but the struggle of keeping the love story alive is what this book's all about. (Not to ...more
Dusty Griffin
Definitely nice to see an LGBT book written by Filipinos centering around Filipino culture, but I think the book itself suffers from its length. If we got to see Sam's struggle in finding who she was after moving out, the book would have made a much more powerful impact.

Overall, 6 Nokia phones out of 10.
Katt Briones
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It took me so long to finish this because I wanted to savor everything I've read. I wanted to understand and fully absorb it - it was just that beautiful. The ending was beautiful and poetic in a sense... can't explain na... I just love it. Definitely recommending it to my friends.
Nov 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"She expected nothing, did not force me to be square when I was round. She loved me, square or round or shapeless. She loved me when everyone else was scared to try. She loved me enough to let me go and navigate my way to her on my own."

This book has the best opening line ever! The writing is so funny and captivating. Sam is an amazing protagonist with so much life that it shows on the page so easily.

But at the same that it delivers incredible humor, Don't Tell my Mother is always a heartbreakin
this book almost made me cry...damn youuuuu.

The writing is so beautiful.

The story heartbreaking and yet with hopeful happy ending.
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