Book Beginnings is hosted by Rose City Reader and Friday 56 is hosted by Freda's Voice.
Dress Codes for Small Towns by Courtney Stevens. 337 p. HarperTeen/ HarperCollins, August, 2017. 9780062398512.
Publisher synopsis: 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.
First Line(s): Nine Years Earlier
Three-hundred-year-old oaks were good for two things: hiding from playground fights and kingdom-watching.
Part one: Chapter 1:
I'm waffling on my tombstone inscription today.
Page 56-57: Dad's working out my appearance. He is particularly interested in my hair until he lights on my chin. Or is it my lips? Does he somehow know I kissed Gerry? He asks, "What's wrong with your neck?"
The Adam's apple. I cup my hand over the makeup. "Just a joke," I say, and then move on to Mom. "I was with Davey."
They don't seem nearly as impressed by Davey as they were earlier today.