Some Girls Do

Putnam. May 2021. 336p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593112533.
Gr 9 Up–Kicked out of Catholic school after coming out as gay, Morgan lands at a new school hoping to finish out her senior year on the track team in order to secure a spot at a Division I college. This is not an easy task, as her old school has placed several hurdles in her way. Angry about this situation, Morgan is intent on being a force for change for LGBTQIA+ student athletes who face discrimination by their schools. Enter Ruby Thompson, local teen beauty pageant queen and budding auto mechanic. When Morgan and Ruby meet, the attraction is instant but the barriers between them steep. As they grow closer, their relationship is tested by Morgan’s desire to be a public couple and Ruby’s need to keep her sexuality a secret. Despite a few plot contrivances, this novel succeeds in its portrayal of serious issues coupled with the giddy adrenaline rush of first love. Told in alternating first-person narratives between Morgan and Ruby, Dugan nails the young adult voice. Morgan and Ruby are fully realized and age-appropriately flawed. As they grapple with their feelings and say hurtful things to one another, they also learn from each other and mature along the way. Morgan is cued as white; Ruby is white; there is some diversity in the secondary characters; many characters are LGBTQIA+.
VERDICT Perfect for teen readers struggling with their identity, or any teen in search of a satisfying, realistic coming-of-age romance.

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