Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Dress Codes for Small Towns by Courtney C. Stevens

I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
Dress Codes for Small Towns
Blurb (from Goodreads):
“A poetic love letter to the complexities of teenage identity, and the frustrations of growing up in a place where everything fits in a box—except you.”—David Arnold, New York Times bestselling author of Kids of Appetite

"Courtney Stevens firmly reasserts herself as a master storyteller of young adult fiction; crafting stories bursting with humor, heart, and the deepest sort of empathy."—Jeff Zentner, 2017 Morris Award Winner for The Serpent King

"Courtney Stevens carries us into the best kind of mess: deep friendships, small town Southern gossip, unexpected garage art, and unfolding romantic identity."—Jaye Robin Brown, author of Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit

As the tomboy daughter of the town’s preacher, Billie McCaffrey has always struggled with fitting the mold of what everyone says she should be. She’d rather wear sweats, build furniture, and get into trouble with her solid group of friends: Woods, Mash, Davey, Fifty, and Janie Lee.

But when Janie Lee confesses to Billie that she’s in love with Woods, Billie’s filled with a nagging sadness as she realizes that she is also in love with Woods…and maybe with Janie Lee, too.

Always considered “one of the guys,” Billie doesn’t want anyone slapping a label on her sexuality before she can understand it herself. So she keeps her conflicting feelings to herself, for fear of ruining the group dynamic. Except it’s not just about keeping the peace, it’s about understanding love on her terms—this thing that has always been defined as a boy and a girl falling in love and living happily ever after. For Billie—a box-defying dynamo—it’s not that simple.

Readers will be drawn to Billie as she comes to terms with the gray areas of love, gender, and friendship, in this John Hughes-esque exploration of sexual fluidity.

Dress Codes for Small Towns by Courtney C. Stevens

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Dress Codes for Small Towns “I am dressed as a boy, I have kissed a girl, I have met people outside my usual web. No one cares. I am hidden. I am perfectly transparent.
This is it. This is living.”

This was a YA contemporary story about a girl who wasn’t sure about her sexuality.

Billie was an okay character but I found it quite difficult to really connect with her, I’m not sure why this was, but it took me a long while to warm up to her.

The storyline in this was about Billie being unsure about whether she liked boys or girls, and wanting to kiss several members of her small group of friends just to see what it was like. We also got a storyline about Billie and her gang having to do some community service after accidentally setting fire to the church youth group room, and a competition to be crowned ‘corn dolly’ of the village. I have to say that I found the first half of this book incredibly boring though, and I kept wanting to put this down and not pick it up again. Things did pick up a bit during the second half of the story, but I still found that the book didn’t hold my attention well, and I didn’t like it as much as the author’s previous books.

The ending to this was okay, but I just didn’t enjoy this one much.

6 out of 10