Friday, December 1, 2017

REVIEW: South of Sunshine by Dana Elmendorf - Erin

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 9:00 AM
South of Sunshine
by Dana Elmendorf
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published April 1st 2016 by Albert Whitman
ISBN: 9780807575680
ARC Received From My Friend At Hello Jenny Reviews

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. (Goodreads)


This was a bit of a different take on the LGBTQ story in that it takes place in a Southern town that is very against those kinds of relationships. It showed how Kaycee was feeling. How she was so happy to have Bren in her life, but having to hide it hurt her so bad. How she was afraid of what her mother, classmates, friends, and fellow church goers would think, and what they might do. Yes a lot of that shows up in other LGBTQ stories, but the small southern town atmosphere gave this book a different feel. It was well written, but a tad slow in places. It was predictable, like most YA romances, but it was cute. It’s a book that might be a great read for those teens who are afraid to come out. Or even for those who have friends who are LGBTQ and who want to understand what they’re going through a bit better. I’m not sure the end of the story is completely realistic, it’s almost like a fairy tale happy ending, but it’s still inspiring and gives hope to the reader. In the end isn’t that what most of us want from our reads? 

*Book photo and review are owned by Erin. To see her personal blog click her signature above^*


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