Coming out isn’t always easy, but it is rewarding. Aislynn got a summer job working at the same shop as her bully in “Wilde Girls.” There were so many plot twists from this point forward that I continued to be delighted by what happened when each of them were revealed. One of the other things I enjoyed about it had to do with the backstories of the two main characters. They were both far from perfect people, but the reasons for behaving the way they did made their previous choices understandable if nothing else. Slogging through a busy shift at work while nursing a hangover isn’t fun, but it’s exactly what Bastian had to do in “Broken.” In between bussing tables, the question of what really happened at the party the night before loomed in his mind. It was so much fun to see him wrestle with this issue and search for clues. While Bastian could be a little impulsive at times, deep down he was a good kid who wanted to make the right decisions in life. Getting to know him was a treat. Lonetta was hiding a crush on her best friend in “Bullet Me.” When another student discovered her secret, she had to decide whether she’d give in to his blackmail attempts or allow the whole school to find out what she’d been hiding. This tale was filled with moral dilemmas that were as complicated as they were fascinating. I was especially interested in the ways the adults in Lonetta’s life behaved. Some of them were kind while others were dangerously dismissive. Knowing that she had to be careful about who she trusted only made her limited choices even more important. After his brother tried to commit suicide, Leo spent the night in his brother’s hospital room looking out for him and talking to the other visitors at that facility in “We’ll Always Have This.” As much as I loved seeing this character’s dedication to his sibling and entire family during this crisis, it did feel a little odd to me to have such a sombre setting for the beginning of a romance. This became even more true once I realized the sad truth behind why Leo’s love interest was spending so much time at the hospital. I wish these subplots could have been separated into individual, related stories. They were all well done, I simply thought they weren’t good matches to be all mixed into the same tale. Just Me was the perfect thing to read as summer begins. Anyone who is in the mood for something breezy should definitely check it out
Love is in the air...
JUST ME is a hand-picked collection of stories about self-discovery and being true to yourself. This LGBTQ+ young adult anthology is not afraid to take on real issues facing today's teens.
"Witty, fast-paced, and well written."
Wilde Girls by Deidre Huesmann
Broken Rules by Roxas James
Bullet Me by Medeia Sharif
We'll Always Have This by Kate Larkindale