Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Keeping You A Secret

Peters, Julie Anne.  Keeping You A Secret.  New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2003.  Print.


2003 Lambda Literary Award Finalist
2004 ALA Stonewall Honor Book
2004 ALA Amelia Bloomer Project List of Recommended Feminist Books for Youth
2006 ALA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults   
New York Public Library’s Books for the Teen Age
Alphabet Award (First recipient)


Holland Jaeger has just realized she’s a lesbian and she’s in love with a girl from her school, Cece Goddard.  Both Cece and Holland decide to keep their relationship a secret, until the truth becomes impossible to hide.


These are the rules:

1.)   “They got it wrong when they called it “the closet”.  [It’s] a prison”.
2.)   “You can’t always trust your friends”.
3.)   “You don’t have to do anything to be hated for being gay”.
4.)   You think telling people your gay is “about identity.  Love…asking for acceptance”.  Others, including your friends and family, think you’re “asking for trouble”.

These are just some of the rules Holland Jaeger has to live by now that she’s admitted she’s a lesbian.  Holland works hard at school, has a job and is on the swim team.  She loves her sister Hannah and is trying to get along with her other sister, Faith.  It shouldn’t matter that she’s in love with Cece Goddard.  Cece, though, knows that’s not the case.  Having transferred from another school in the area, Cece knows how hurtful people can be when they find out you’re gay.  She begs Holland to keep the secret.  And while Holland does break up with her boyfriend, she doesn’t tell him why and she doesn’t tell her two closest friends either.

Keeping the secret seems like such a good idea at first, but will staying quiet turn out to be a mistake?  What if everyone at school finds out (it wouldn’t be too hard, Cece’s not exactly in the closet).  What if Faith tells their parents just to spite Holland?  Most importantly, what if everyone Holland loves finds out the truth from someone other than her?   

*Christine (19 years old) suggested I read this book.  She told me that she enjoyed it because "it talks about current themes, themes teenagers can relate to".  "It's emotional because Holland's friends and family have a hard time accepting her, but once Holland is at peace with herself, there's also a message of hope [and] that's important" she added.*

Image credit:  http://www.julieannepeters.com/files/ExcerptKYAS.htm

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