cover image Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit

Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit

Jaye Robin Brown. HarperTeen, $17.99 (432p) ISBN 978-0-06-227098-6

Joanna has always been out as a lesbian to her minister father, but now that he is remarrying and moving them from tolerant Atlanta to a small Georgia town, he asks her to “lie low.” Initially, it doesn’t seem so bad: it’s only a year until she graduates from high school, and it turns out that finding friends who share her Christian faith is kind of great. Then one of Jo’s new friends reveals that she has feelings for her, and that she isn’t interested in hiding. Brown (No Place to Fall) ably depicts Jo’s conundrum: if she tells the truth, she breaks her promise to her father; if she doesn’t, she risks losing the first girl she’s been serious about. Faith matters in this book, but so do family, friends, and being funny. The dialogue is snappy—Joanna is sharp tongued and sometimes bratty—and the characters aren’t types. Rather, they’re individuals navigating a complicated world, which makes for a rich and satisfying read. Ages 14–up Agent: Alexandra Machinist, ICM. (Aug.)