Just Juliet by Charlotte Reagan
Kindle Edition: 200 pages
Published: September 17th, 2016 by Inkitt
Genres: Dating & Intimacy, Social & Family Issues, Gay Romance, LBGT, Romance, Young Adult, YA, Social Issues, Contemporary Romance
Synopsis (From Goodreads)
The coming out story that will completely change the way you look at love.
Juliet represents the road less traveled. Will Lena take it?
Lena Newman is 17, her best friend’s a cheerleader, her boyfriend’s a football player, and as far as everyone is concerned, her life is sorted. But that’s before she befriends the new girl. Juliet is confident, slightly damaged, drop-dead gorgeous and a lesbian.
Lena realizes that her interest goes beyond just friendship. She sets off on a path of self-discovery where the loyalty of those closest to her will be tested.
My thoughts on Just Juliet
WARNING: This may have spoilers. You’ve been warned.
Let me begin by saying that this story was not what I was expecting. It took me a week or so to finish reading it because it’s just not the genre I’m used to read. That being said, I’m glad I read this and it will forever be immortalize on my list of LGBT books to re-read from time to time, right next to For Real by Alexis Hall.
This story set out to be a 4 out of 5 stars in my personal rating scale (mind you, count the stars I actually has now). When I’ve reached some percentage mark I had to remind myself that YA it doesn’t have the same structure than any other adult novel I have read and that I’m used to read. Then the waterworks started because this book touched something deep inside me and the feelings… the feelings where just too much for me. I finished reading this book with tears running down my face *sigh dramatically before continuing* and it was a happy ending people!
Lena it’s a high school student that has a pretty life, a hot football player boyfriend, she is best friends with the head of the cheer-leading squat (Lacey), has good grades and lives at home with both her parents. She is not scared or traumatized in any way by her childhood or something horrible happening to her when she was younger.
Juliet it’s the new girl at her high school and immediately Lena it’s curious about her. Which started a chain of events that lead to Lena finding out a lot about herself and the people around her, including the fact that she had good, strong friends with her that will support her if need it be.
The story it’s told in Lena’s point of view (first person) and we’re introduced to a set of characters that are amazing. Lakyn is Juliet’s cousin and he is just plain lovable. Scott it’s Lakyn’s boyfriend and lives more at Juliet’s with Lakyn that at his parents home. Juliet father it’s just an awesome parent for all of them. Just to name a few main ones.
I won’t go into detail about the plot of this story but I just have to say it’s a coming of age, self-discovery, personal growth, romance novel, with no sex scenes in it (I felt the need to say that, don’t ask me why).
This book reminded me so much about stuff I talked to my parents about as general conversation that it’s not funny. The world being a harsh place and life being full of people expecting you to behave a certain way, not deviating from the social acceptable norm. I feel like that it’s bullshit when it comes to who you love in the LGBT world.
I won’t start a rant about what I believe or think about this because it would never end, but I just have to admit that one quote from Charlotte’s book was perfect to summarize part of how I feel about the LGBT community.
Gay, straight, whore, prude, whatever. If it made someone happy and didn’t hurt someone else, do it. Life was too short – Lena Newman
One thing that kept this book on 4 stars for me until the very last 10% was the fact that the beginning was an overload of descriptions, at least that how I felt about it. Too many details that I didn’t feel where necessary but that waned over the course of the story and it all end up so freaking fucking amazingly emotional for me that just send this story sky-high into Forever Memorable lane.
Finally, you have to read this book. It doesn’t matter if YA it’s not a genre you read a lot, you just won’t regret this book. If you have friends of acquaintances in the LGBT community this may help you understand some things better, at leat I think so. It can also remind you how high school was and how you live during that time.
Me, having 30 it reminded me of quite a lot of things from the past and present. I have pretty open mind but my parents are not like me so… yeah. Can you imagine the talks we have had every time the LGBT subject shows up because of the news? Going back to the book, the emotional roller coaster coming from the end of the book was so worth it.
If you are an emotional reader like myself, I feel obligated to tell you that you should get a box of tissue paper because tears are a very high possibility. Specially toward the end.
For being Charlotte Reagan debut novel, it’s my own personal opinion that she did a SUPERB job with this story. I honestly hope she keeps writing because I’m planning on stalking her to get my hands on her subsequent books *grin*
“I’d met Lacey Paker in fourth grade, when she’d very seriously told me I was allowed to be her friend because I was pretty.”
“Remember, as far as anyone knows, we’re a perfectly normal family.”
“Grant is such a heterosexual town; everyone is straight or so far in the closet they’re touching Narnia because let’s be real.”
“I just feel like I’ve been expected, all my life, to do the normal thing. Date the football player, get married, have two-point-five babies, be a star at home mom and substitute teach when your kids start school. That’s life.”
“When you talk about getting married, it’s because you want to, not because you’re supposed to.”
“I was looking at the hardest part of all this the wrong way. It wasn’t figuring out a sexuality different from the social norms – it was trying to tell other people about it.”
“I had almost forgotten what it was like back in the real world. A world that was full of expectations and context, judgment and hate, misunderstanding and ignorance. A world I had, mostly, been a part of up until just months ago.”
Debut Novel that is just THAT AWESOMELY good
Hey guys I’m Charlotte Reagan, born, raised, and currently residing in a small town in Texas with my cat. I’ve been writing pretty much all my life, even when I was too young to know how to put my stories down on paper. Once I started I couldn’t seem to stop! I still have boxes of old notebooks filled with ideas and plots that I never finished.
I write young adult romances focusing primarily on LGBT+ relationships. I’m part of the community myself and write about the struggles I’ve witnessed and gone through while coming and living out.
I believe that when you step out of the closet you’re stepping out of the dark and into the light, and I want my stories to reflect that belief. I know it still can be scary and even dangerous, but it’s better to struggle for your truth than hide in a lie.
The LGBT+ Community and LGBT books have always been a source of great support for me and I hope that my books can maybe be there for someone else.