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Keeping You a Secret
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Keeping You a Secret
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National Book Award finalist Julie Anne Peters delivers a moving, classic love story with a coming out theme and a modern twist. With a steady boyfriend, the position of Student Council President, and...
National Book Award finalist Julie Anne Peters delivers a moving, classic love story with a coming out theme and a modern twist. With a steady boyfriend, the position of Student Council President, and...
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Description-

  • National Book Award finalist Julie Anne Peters delivers a moving, classic love story with a coming out theme and a modern twist.

    With a steady boyfriend, the position of Student Council President, and a chance to go to an Ivy League college, high school life is just fine for Holland Jaeger.
    At least, it seems to be.
    But when Cece Goddard comes to school, everything changes. Cece and Holland have undeniable feelings for each other, but how will others react to their developing relationship?
    This moving love story between two girls is for fans of Nancy Garden's classic young adult coming out novel, Annie on My Mind. With her characteristic humor and breezy style, Peters has captured the compelling emotions of young love.
 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Julie Anne Peters is the critically acclaimed author of Define "Normal," Keeping You a Secret, Pretend You Love Me, Between Mom and Jo, She Loves You, She Loves You Not..., It's Our Prom (So Deal With It), and Luna, a National Book Award finalist. She lives with her partner, Sherri Leggett, in Lakewood, Colorado.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 21, 2003
    When popular high school senior Holland discovers that "the man of her dreams is a girl," she faces homophobia at school and, most painfully, at home. Peters (Define "Normal") raises important points about the ramifications of coming out, but covers so much territory that her plotting suffers. Holland is juggling a tough school schedule, responsibilities as student council president, college applications, a serious boyfriend and a meddling mom when open lesbian Cece transfers to her school. The instant spark between them leads to flirtation, then to an intense relationship. Holland is thankful she "risked change" despite the serious consequences: not only does her mother throw her out of the house, but Cece is keeping something from her. Holland's adjustment to her new sexuality after she first kisses Cece seems too sudden, and while Peters foreshadows her mother's intolerance in some ways (she throws out a T-shirt belonging to Holland's goth stepsister, Faith), her reaction when Holland confesses comes across as extreme. Secondary story lines, such as Holland's abrupt discovery of her artistic ability, and her budding friendship with Faith, whom she originally judged harshly, feel contrived. Readers will appreciate Holland's new ability to live free of others' expectations—and they may learn a great deal about the spectrum of reactions a teen can face in coming out—but the messages here seem to take precedence over plot. Ages 14-up.

  • School Library Journal

    May 1, 2003
    Gr 9 Up-Holland Jaeger goes steady with a good-looking boy and contemplates attending an Ivy League college in the fall. Then she meets "out-and-proud" lesbian Cece Goddard, and her life changes. Within a matter of weeks, the two begin an affair that eventually leads to a committed relationship. Holland loses old friends, encounters vicious discrimination, and is thrown out of the house by her hysterical mother. She finds help at the local Gay Resource Center, however, and begins to look forward to attending a local college after high school, with Cece by her side. Peters knows how to tell an intriguing story. However, while both teens are likable, believable characters, the confidence with which Cece proudly proclaims her sexual orientation at school strains credibility. This aside, the antigay slurs, viciousness, and prejudice the girls endure certainly leave an indelible impression. Peters's message may be heavy-handed at times, but, overall, this is a well-written and thought-provoking novel.-Robert Gray, East Central Regional Library, Cambridge, MN

    Copyright 2003 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    June 1, 2003
    Reviewed with Tea Benduhn's "Gravel Queen."

    Gr. 9-12. In these novels about first love, a high-school girl falls hard for another girl and faces the complicated pain of coming out to family, friends, and to one's self. In "Gravel Queen," the author's debut novel, Aurin explores her first gay relationship, and finds that her best friend, a glamorous, possessive drama queen, is jealous. Benduhn focus on Aurin's self-discovery and friendships, closing the novel before Aurin tells her family what's going on. In" Keeping You a Secret, "model high-school senior Holland, who has a boyfriend, develops an overwhelming crush on Cece. The girls fall passionately in love and a tragic coming-out story ensues. Holland finds herself homeless and alone, except for Cece and a new gay support system.

    Both novels, written in first-person, are filled with believable inner monologues and finely tuned contemporary dialogue. Benduhn includes some interesting cinematic references related to Aurin's filmmaking aspirations, but some of her descriptions are over-the-top. Peters' story and characters are more developed. Both books are romantic and layered, and many teens, particularly those with fluid sexual identities, will recognize the questions: Do you have to kiss someone to be gay? What do fantasies mean? (Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2003, American Library Association.)

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    Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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