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Keeping Her Secret by Sarah Nicolas - Review

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Where did I get it? From Netgalley, thank you so much to Entangled Publishing for permitting me access.

What's it about? Riya Johnson is an openly bisexual volleyball player who is spending the summer between her junior year and her senior year at a summer camp in the mountains. When she arrives there she sees her old friends, twins Courtney and Colt, dancing and playing music. They haven't seen each other in four years, ever since Riya and Courtney kissed and Riya's family moved away shortly after. The two immediately get into a prank war with each other, but eventually realise that they really like each other and start a secret relationship. 

The setting at the summer camp is really nice and made this a lovely summer read for me. I liked the supporting cast - Colt is sweet, and Riya's new found friends Dee, Tiffany, Stefanie and Elise are gorgeously written too. There's a lot about female friendship in this novel that's really good and important for teenaged girls to read about. Riya and Courtney are both lovely characters, although Riya can be a little bit TOO perfect. I thought Courtney was wonderfully flawed.

I also really liked how most people reacted when Riya came out to them or when they found out that the girls were together. They reacted well, and like it wasn't a big deal. 

What age range is it for? 14+
Are any main characters LGBTQ+? Yes - and yay! A bisexual main character! At the beginning of the novel Riya has a little flirtation with a boy called Trey. She is unapologetically bisexual. 
Courtney identifies as gay, and I really liked how she realised it. 
Are any main characters people of colour? Yes, Riya is mixed race but you don't find out her genetic make up until the very end of the novel, which I felt was a mistake. I also think that the author used terms like "caramel" a little too much. 
Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? No and in fact this is something I'd have really liked to see. 
Is there any sex stuff? Very little, the girls don't do more than make out 
Are drugs mentioned or used? No, although there's some drunkenness
Is there any talk of death? No
Are there swear words? Not many. Trigger warning for homophobic slurs though. 
Would I recommend the book? Yes, I liked it. A very sweet, summery, girl/girl romance. 
How many stars? Seven out of ten. Very cute novel. 

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