Book Title: Just Juliet
Indie Author: Charlotte Reagan
Genre: LGBT/YA/Teen Fiction
Length: 348 pages (full length novel)
Lena, a 17 year old high school student, finds herself strangely intrigued by and drawn to Juliet, the beautiful new girl in class. Being Lena’s first experience with having real feelings for a girl, she finds herself trying to figure out what these feelings mean for her, and comes to the realization that she is bisexual, something she has kind of always known but has never acted on until now. Lena must come to terms with what it means to be in the closet and figure out how and when to come out to her family and friends as her relationship with Juliet deepens. Will they be accepting of her unexpected new life choice? With the end of senior year looming, will things even work out between Lena and her new love interest with Juliet?
I found this book to be very well-written in most ways. It had good pacing, the story propelled forward and didn’t really lag in any places other than a few areas on Chapter 1 that I will list below.
It almost felt like I was reading the journal of a 17 year old’s life like it was really happening, as though this were a non-fiction book as opposed to teen fiction. I can see how LGBTQ youth will relate to and appreciate this book.
I also found an exceptional balance between action and exposition, which I think is a hard balance to maintain when books are written in first person like this one. Very well done.
I also found many of the minor characters in this book to be well-written and interesting. I would really like to see a story written about Lakyn, Juliet’s cousin, who lives with Juliet and her father after being disowned by his own parents after they found out he was gay.
What Could Use Some Work
The main thing I think would pretty much fix everything lacking in this book is, that I really wished all the chapters in this book had the same depth of emotion that I found in the book’s epilogue. As I was reading through, I kind of kept thinking… gee, there’s not a lot of conflict in this book. Even when it seems like things are kind of thrown in that you’d normally think would be a big deal for an emotional, hormonal, 17-year-old girl, especially one with a crush on someone, everything just seemed to be taken with a grain of salt and then they moved on. I think there were a lot of missed opportunities for conflict within this book.
Overall, I think this book was well-written and will be very well-received by its intended audience (YA and LGBT).
Disclaimer: I received a free Advanced Reader Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.