Published by HarperTeen on August 30th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA, Young Adult, LGBTQIA
Joanna Gordon has been out and proud for years, but when her popular radio evangelist father remarries and decides to move all three of them from Atlanta to the more conservative Rome, Georgia, he asks Jo to do the impossible: to lie low for the rest of her senior year. And Jo reluctantly agrees.
Although it is (mostly) much easier for Jo to fit in as a straight girl, things get complicated when she meets Mary Carlson, the oh-so-tempting sister of her new friend at school. But Jo couldn’t possibly think of breaking her promise to her dad. Even if she’s starting to fall for the girl. Even if there’s a chance Mary Carlson might be interested in her, too. Right?
I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher, this does not influence my thoughts on the book or this review.
When I heard about Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit, I knew I’d had to read it. I am always on the lookout for f/f YA and I’m particularly thrilled to see one that deals directly with faith and intersections of sexuality.
When Joanna moves with her evangelist father to a new city, he asks her to lie low. As a evangelist radio host and now living in a very conservative town, he worries that Joanna’s sexuality will put them both in an uncomfortable situation. Joanna reluctantly agrees, as it will give her the opportunity to create her own radio show specifically for spiritual teens. However, when she meets Mary Carlson, things get a bit complicated. There’s no way that Mary Carlson could also like her…. right? Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit was an interesting novel that explores issues of faith and how it intersects with sexuality.
I thought the dynamics of Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit were really interesting. While Jo was out and proud before her move, she has to lie low in her new town. I thought it was really interesting to see this dynamic, especially when she starts growing closer to Mary. I haven’t read too many novels that directly deal with faith and sexuality, and it was especially interesting to read about Joanna who’s father is an evangelist (an open-minded one) as well as Joanna herself, who wanted to use her father’s platform to create her own radio show that specifically deals with teen issues. I thought the dynamics of this were interesting, as Joanna had to purposely avoid talking about a part of herself in order to someday help out teens who are struggling with their own sexuality.
Aside from faith, the novel also deals with issues of stepfamilies as well as moving to a new city (in general). Even if a reader can not relate to Joanna’s specific conflicts, I think that this novel addresses a lot of anxieties that many teens will be able to relate to.
Overall, Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit was a wonderful novel about the intersects of faith and sexuality, as well as having a sweet romance that I think many will enjoy.