by Julie Anne Peters

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Review

Julie Ann Peters is probably my favorite author of all time. I offer this as a disclaimer because I think it would pain my heart to give her anything below a five star rating. That bias aside though, Grl2Grl is a great resource for teens or adults who are questioning their gender identity or sexual orientation in any form. There are ten short stories housed in this book, and in almost every tale, you are left wanting more after you read the final sentence. That's always been the reason I have a love/hate relationship with the short story genre. You get to read more stories, but the stories you read seem like mere moments in these characters lives.

 These short stories evoke feelings of love, loss, and remembrance. They feature break ups and crushes, transitions and tribulations. When I was reading these stories I felt a twinge of nostalgia, because Peters touches on some fairly standard life events throughout these stories. And unfortunately when delving into the process of self discovery, hindsight is 20/20. These stories at least give girls, teenaged or otherwise, an idea of some of the struggles and triumphs that they may face over their lifetime. When I finished the last story, I felt empowered. All the stories might not have happy endings but they do leave you feeling connected to something bigger than yourself. You know that it's not just you out in the world alone trying to figure this out. There is a community and you will find them. Although GLBT youth do not have one singular path they walk down, the adversity is similar.

I enjoy Julie Ann Peters novels because she is great at capturing hidden communications, the secret glances at lips or the flash of mischief behind someone's eyes. While her dialogue is spot on, both in the way teens talk and what they would actually talk about, I find her unique in her ability to not have to use dialogue. I am a firm believer in the fact that some things are best when they aren't stated. If you aren't a fan of GLBT fiction, Define Normal by Peters is another great example of her writing.  Peters always paints an engaging, witty look into girls lives. 

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