“Keeping you a Secret” by Julie Anne Peters

I borrowed this novel from my girlfriend (check out her blog) since I’ve been on a lesbian book binge lately (up next: reread of Annie of my Mind). I’ve never heard of the book before seeing it on her shelf so I thought I’d give it a shot. When I first started reading it I thought it was just ok. The story follows Holland, a popular girl in high school who starts to have feelings for the new girl at school, Cece. The novel started off like a lot of teen fiction, overly-dramatic and semi-boring until Holland finally admits to herself that she’s in love with Cece and makes the first move. That’s when the action starts (literately and figuratively).

Keeping you a Secret focuses on what love really is and emphasizes that love doesn’t have to fall into the norm of boy and girl. Coming out to friends and especially family is also a major theme. Parents who are completely accepting and those who think that being gay is disgusting and horrifying are both showcased throughout the novel. Peters doesn’t hold back when she shows you the worst and the best of what could happen when a child is revealed as gay to their parents.

I found it interesting to read a novel that had an openly gay character in a high school setting. It’s rare to see that happen; I know that rarely anyone came out when I was in high school. Especially now, with all the bullying that’s going on, a lot of kids probably find it really difficult to live as openly gay individuals and that’s why novels like this one are so important. Kids should read lesbian and gay themed books so that they can better understand what it means to be openly gay (if they’re not out or aren’t gay themselves), maybe that would teach kids a little more tolerance because in the end, we’re all the same: we love, we live, we laugh. Pick up a copy of the book and have a read, you won’t regret it.

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