|All eyes on us
Author: Frick, Kit
In alternate chapters, Amanda faces family pressure to marry Carter, knowing he cheats, and Paulina pretends to date Carter to alleviate family and church pressure about being a lesbian.
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 06/01/2019 Gr 9 Up—Seventeen-year-old Amanda Kelly has her whole life planned out. She'll marry her high school sweetheart and town golden boy, Carter Shaw, and all her family's financial troubles will be a thing of the past—even though she knows Carter is cheating on her with Rosalie Bell. For Rosalie, Carter is just a shield to hide her lesbian relationship from her fundamentalist Christian parents, who have tried to "convert" her. All she has to do is keep up the act until she graduates and can get out from under her parents' roof, but the waiting and lying are eating at her soul. Both girls' lives are jeopardized when they start getting texts and demands from an anonymous caller trying to destroy Carter. The two must work together to discover the identity of the mysterious Private Number before something terrible happens. This book touches on several issues, from social climbing to the practice of conversion "therapy." But at its heart, it's a book about finding the strength to stand on one's own without surrendering to others' expectations. The main characters are well defined, and Amanda in particular grows from being initially superficial into a young woman who understands her own self-worth. Ancillary characters blend together and serve little purpose other than widening the suspect pool, but that is a relatively minor issue when so much of the plot revolves around Amanda and Rosalie. This is a solid conversation starter, and an author's note includes information about conversion tactics and resources for survivors. VERDICT A good story and message that could serve teens who need help finding their place.—Erik Knapp, Davis Library, Plano, TX - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.