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Exploring the Struggles of GLBTQ Youth

By Julie Ann Peters
Little, Brown and Company, $8.99, 278 pages

Young-adult author Julie Anne Peters has published yet another controversial novel: She Loves You, She Loves You Not… Peters is known for teen fiction addressing the struggles of LGBTQ youth as they come out to a too often unwelcoming world. Her new novel is scripted in the same vein: a heart-wrenching story of love and loss, addressing both fleeting romantic love and family bonds that are supposed to be unbreakable.

Seventeen-year-old Alyssa lives a double life. Out at school with her girlfriend, Sarah, she becomes numb to bullying, but grows tired of bringing home fake boyfriends and hiding from Sarah’s Christian parents. When her father discovers her secret, her heart is broken first when he turns her out of the house, and again by Sarah, who buckles under her parents’ pressure and begins to explore a relationship with a boy.

Alyssa is forced to move to Colorado and live with her biological mother, who she never knew. She struggles to carve a place for herself, and when a new love-interest crosses her path, Alyssa vividly remembers the ache of a broken heart. Can she learn to love herself enough to once again take the risks required by love?

Reviewed by Emily Davis

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