Summer Confessions by Lynn Vroman
Release Date: 03/10/15
Macy Diaz has managed childhood friend Jeb Porter’s
crush for years. However, his infatuation turns to
obsession, even putting a kid in the hospital just for hitting on her. In the past, Macy brushed it off, explained his bizarre acts away. But now she harbors a secret. She’s in love…with Jeb’s sister, Rachel.
By some miracle, Rachel loves Macy back, and despite the small minds polluting their sleepy southern town, they’re sticking together. Unfortunately, making sure Jeb never grows suspicious proves harder every day—until everything falls apart.
As a sick, unstable Jeb starts to threaten all Macy values, she is reminded of what has always been perfectly clear. Macy belongs to him, only him, and he won’t let her go. Ever.
If only Macy could’ve loved Jeb, she wouldn’t have to worry about surviving him now.
The main character, Macy, is Hispanic. Many times it's pointed out how the "locals" gave her family a hard time for being Hispanic. But that could be farther from the truth for Gatlinburg and the surrounding area. We're farmers around here and have TONS of migrant workers whom we respect SO MUCH. It made me a little upset to read the same old recycled trope of closed minded hillbillies. Some of us have weird ways, sure. But the one thing you have to know about the south is that we respect hard work and integrity regardless of your heritage.
Less soap box, more review. Macy, the main character, really struggled with her identity as a lesbian. I get that. Been there, done that. (Less lesbian, more pansexual.) But I hate how her struggle was simplified. It's a gut and heart wrenching thing to discover yourself and grow into your sexual identity. This book revolved more around the close minded nature of the locals and their acceptance instead of Macy growing into her own skin. It bummed me out a bit. But I recognize Macy's struggle and I'm glad she had her papaw to support her. I loved him dearly like my own papaw, and I was so happy to see his parts of the story.
The romance between Macy and Rachel is a forbidden love, slow burn type of story. I enjoyed it. I didn't always believe it, but by the end I was rooting for them. The overbearing presence of Rachel's brother, Jeb, who's obsessed with Macy was frightening. The author did an excellent job of putting me on the edge of my seat in suspense of what he would do next.
All in all, Summer Confessions was enjoyable. In the moments I was able to separate reality from fiction, I loved the story of Macy and her relationship with Rachel. The setting lends it a very different tone than most contemporaries out there, and I think it'll be an enjoyable break from the norm for YA fans.
**I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review with no compensation.
With a degree in English Literature, Lynn used college as an excuse to read for four years straight. She lives in the Pocono Mountains with her husband, raising the four most incredible human beings on the planet. She writes young adult novels, both fantasy and contemporary.