Friday, March 25, 2016

ARC Review: South of Sunshine by Dana Elmendorf

South of Sunshine What is Kaycee willing to risk for the sake of love?
And what will she risk for acceptance?

In Sunshine, Tennessee, the main event in town is Friday night football, the biggest party of the year is held in a field filled with pickup trucks, and church attendance is mandatory. For Kaycee Jean McCoy, life in Sunshine means dating guys she has no interest in, saying only “yes, ma’am” when the local bigots gossip at her mom’s cosmetics salon, and avoiding certain girls at all costs. Girls like Bren Dawson.

Unlike Kaycee, Bren doesn’t really conceal who she is. But as the cool, worldly new girl, nobody at school seems to give her any trouble. Maybe there’s no harm if Kaycee gets closer to her too, as long as she can keep that part of her life a secret, especially from her family and her best friend. But the more serious things get with Bren, the harder it is to hide from everyone else. Kaycee knows Sunshine has a darker side for people like her, and she’s risking everything for the chance to truly be herself.

My Review:

I read an ARC of this book back in December and really liked it.  I had started it during college but then it got close to finals and I had to put it aside for a bit, but once I got back to it and had time to read on break, I really sped through it.  It had great characters, and a great storyline as well.

I loved how the book was set in a distinctive Southern small town and how important this was to the story.  In this small southern town, homophobia was quite common, so it wasn't easy for Kaycee to be herself openly there.  There were some people who were pretty awful there.  But there were also some people who were accepting, which surprised Kaycee sometimes since she expected them to react badly.  Her mom wasn't very happy, yet she didn't react completely horribly in the end.

I liked the development of the romance.  The only thing I didn't like about it was that it did seem to happen a bit quick, like they both kind of just knew they liked each other without there really being any discussion about this.  But I did like seeing them together, and seeing them struggle to make their relationship work, especially in a town like theirs.  

If you like YA contemporary, read this book.


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