Ahhhh I was so glad to be invited to participate on this blog tour because I am obsessed with YA books and all three of these books have diverse characters involved and wow. I am so glad that Harlequin even considers me! Thank you so much!
It’s summer 1977 and closeted lesbian Tammy Larson can’t be herself anywhere. Not at her strict Christian high school, not at her conservative Orange County church and certainly not at home, where her ultrareligious aunt relentlessly organizes antigay political campaigns. Tammy’s only outlet is writing secret letters in her diary to gay civil rights activist Harvey Milk…until she’s matched with a real-life pen pal who changes everything.
Sharon Hawkins bonds with Tammy over punk music and carefully shared secrets, and soon their letters become the one place she can be honest. The rest of her life in San Francisco is full of lies. The kind she tells for others—like helping her gay brother hide the truth from their mom—and the kind she tells herself. But as antigay fervor in America reaches a frightening new pitch, Sharon and Tammy must rely on their long-distance friendship to discover their deeply personal truths, what they’ll stand for…and who they’ll rise against.
A master of award-winning queer historical fiction, New York Times bestselling author Robin Talley once again brings to life with heart and vivid detail an emotionally captivating story about the lives of two teen girls living in an age when just being yourself was an incredible act of bravery.
Robin Talley studied literature and communications at American University. She lives in Washington, DC, with her wife, but visits both Boston and New York regularly despite her moral opposition to Massachusetts winters and Times Square. Her first book was 2014’s Lies We Tell Ourselves. Visit her online at robintalley.com or on Twitter at @robin_talley.
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Harlequin Trade Publishing, Netgalley, and Inkyard Books for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.
Ahhh wow this book actually makes me cry. I was really into this book, literally staying up all night reading the letters between Sharon and Tammy, and their diary entries. I think that Talley did a great job with having the prose in the form of letters because I think it worked out way better for this book to have it told that way. I also really loved that Tammy also had her diary as letters to Harvey Milk because that helped her feel like she wasn’t alone in her feelings.
So clearly we know what kind of time period we are dealing with here. This is around the time where Anita Baker somehow was able to get Florida to repeal their discrimination against gay people law – which of course I wasn’t born at the time but I just can only imagine what was going on at this time. I thought it was so funny thought that everyone kept referring to her as the orange juice lady pretty much so clearly she wasn’t that cool beforehand, and ugh that jerk.
Anyway, so I mentioned that this book had diverse characters was because Tammy is gay and Sharon’s brother is also gay. They both had to hide that of course because during the time – and even in the current world come on now – they would have been disowned by their parents. Seriously, what the heck is wrong with parents? Ugh that kills me seriously.
But anyway…. yeah I really liked this book and I was so glad that Sharon and Tammy were able to become friends even though it started off as an assignment. They were basically assigned to be pen pals through their religious school (Tammy was in a Baptist school and Sharon was in a Catholic school) and they had to ask each other certain questions and then write a report. But the way that they were able to finally open up to one another and let them know what was truly going on and how they were truly feeling during this time was really great.
I liked this one.