Madeleine George, 2012. It’s really hard to write a successful multiple-narrator novel and manage to keep the voices distinct. George does a superb job here, aided by the fact that Jesse doesn’t actually narrate – it’s a pretty intimate third-person limited perspective, though. Anyway, Jesse is really our heroine. She’s the daughter of activist parents who couldn’t care less that she’s gay, and indeed do that thing where they think she likes any girl she’s friends with, which is annoying but supportive. She has a huge crush on Emily, student council vice-president and all-around go-getter, and in fact they have a weekly makeout date in the library bathroom. Emily is insistent on keeping the whole thing a secret so she doesn’t shatter her perfect image or hurt her sweet-but-dull boyfriend’s feelings.
Jesse’s mostly okay with that, as long as they get to keep making out, but then suddenly their worlds collide. Jesse and her new bff Esther are planning a revolution of sorts around the school dance, which Emily has convinced StarMart to sponsor. This thinly-veiled fictional version of WalMart has done all of the awful things to small-town economies, women, and the environment that the real-world store has, so Jesse and Esther plan an alternative dance and an awareness campaign without realizing it was Emily’s idea in the first place. This, as you might imagine, causes drama.
The story is just complicated enough, and the girls are totally real, and the makeout scenes are hot, even though they’re mostly just kissing. Preorder now!