In Charlotte Reagan’s debut novel Just Juliet, readers are introduced to Lena, a high school senior who floats between the popular and misfit crowds. She’s dating a well-liked football player and her best friend is the star cheerleader, but she tends to stay to the sidelines. But when a new girl named Juliet arrives, Lena is forced out of her social shell and must take a journey of self-discovery in terms of her sexuality.
I was thrilled when the publisher of Just Juliet reached out to me– I’m a huge proponent of diverse reading and was thrilled to see a YA book featuring a storyline about bisexuality. I flew through this book and know that I would have especially loved seeing a narrative like this when I was younger.
I also liked the fact that there were a variety of these narratives featured within the book. Some, like Lena and Scott, struggled with their sexualities. Others, like Juliet, never thought too much about it. Some parents were cruel when their children came out, others welcomed them with open arms. This shows reader that there is not one singular experience representative of sexuality– everyone endures different challenges and copes in different ways, and that is absolutely okay.
To be honest, I did find some issues with the book that would typically make me give it a lower rating– plot lines, writing style, etc– but the fact is that we need more books like this one.
Note: I received a copy of this book from the publishers in exchange for an honest review.