Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Down to the Bone

Mayra Lazara Dole, February 2008. Protagonist Laura doesn't identify as lesbian (or tortillera, the taunt preferred by homophobes in her Miami neighborhood), but she is in love with Marlena - she knows that for sure. When she's kicked out of her Catholic high school after a teacher discovers their love notes, and then kicked out of her home when her mom can't deal, Laura moves in with her friend Soli and her open-minded mami. Marlena quickly abandons Laura for Jesus and a Cubano husband, and Laura won't come out even to other dykes, so she's lonely for a while. In quick succession, she befriends a boi, dates a boy, gets roofied at a gay club, is held up at knifepoint by a homophobe, comes clean to her friends, and begins dating a beautiful waitress. Is this too much plot for one YA novel? Yes, but it's a big messy commotion of a book in the first place, so the drama works. Recommend to readers who liked Sofi Mendoza's Guide to Getting Lost in Mexico and The Secret Story of Sonia Rodriguez as well as your gay teens.

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