“Asher Sullivan is a shy camera geek looking forward to graduation at Sagebrush High School in small-town rural Oklahoma, and she’s got a problem: she’s never been in love. But then one spring evening, everything she ever thought she knew about herself is turned upside down the minute she meets Robin O’Leary, a popular and talented newcomer from Texas. Despite being at opposite ends of the social spectrum, the two become close friends. And it isn’t long before that friendship morphs into wild romance. Only thing is, Robin carries a secret from her past that doesn’t keep well in the Bible-belt town of Sagebrush. Neither girl is prepared for the tragic chain of events that follows. And when a torn Asher learns the dark truth behind the O’Leary family facade, she has to make a very difficult decision about what’s really important in life.”
SPOILER ALERT! I gloss over some themes that may spoil the story for you below.
Robin’s Lake Road is not the story that I thought I was getting. I thought I was getting a teenage lesbian love story which is what is typically being published these days. It seems like every story about teenage queer people that I’ve read lately is full of queer teens with accepting parents and friends who love them and allow them to be themselves. While that is a lot of people’s story it’s not everyone’s, so when I realized what Robin’s Lake Road really was, a nuanced look at what happens when someone comes out in a small unaccepting town and the lengths that some people will go to because of their Christian values, I screamed for joy.
Ok, I didn’t really scream for joy I’m not happy about the hardships that the teens in this story face but as a lesbian who’s been a lesbian her whole life, I related to so many of the things that happened in the novel from the way your peers treat you when they find out that you’re LGBTQ, to parents who will do ANYTHING to make sure that you stay straight, to dealing with a closeted mate who behaves one way in public and another in private.
I gave this book 4 stars and advise queer people to beware when they embark upon this read. There are lots of triggering scenes and scenarios.
Read if you’re queer and love seeing yourself in books or if you’re not queer and want an intimate look of what life is like for some LGBTQ youth. A lot of the story was spot on for my friends and I during our high school days.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley.