Loving Lakyn by Charlotte Reagan is a profoundly disturbing story—but, in a negative way, only if you have a mind that’s closed to the realities of life. The story of teen, Lakyn James, struggling with his sexual orientation with parents who are unable to accept it, a victim of abuse and bullying who attempts suicide, is addicted to drugs, and is struggling to find his own identity. While this story is an example of extremes, it is probably not far off the mark in its depiction of what young people go through in a society that has yet to come to terms with the definitions of sexuality, in which bureaucracies often allow those who are ‘different’ to fall through the cracks or become invisible.
As you read this story, though, one things rings through loud and clear, one must learn to love oneself before the love of others can be recognized. Yes, it is a disturbing book, but in a way that we all need to be disturbed. It is a wake-up call, reminding us that everyone matters.
I received a free copy of this book. I give it four stars.
Lena Newman is, on the surface, your typical 17-year-old girl. Her best friend is a cheerleader, and she’s dating a football player. But, she often excludes herself from the usual teen activity. Despite this, things move along smoothly, until she meets Juliet James, the new girl in school. Exotic and beautiful, Juliet is also a lesbian, and after they meet, Lena finds herself attracted to her as more than just a friend.
Just Juliet by Charlotte Reagan is a novel about young adults and how they deal with sexual identity. As Lena finds herself drawn closer to Juliet, her friendships and family relationships are tested to the limits. The author handles this sensitive subject in a compassionate manner, delving into the minds and emotions of teens at a crucial time in their lives. While some might find the subject matter offensive, I highly recommend they put aside their prejudices and read it. Behind the labels we’re all inflicted with, whether we like it or not, the author shows us people with wants and desires different from our own are, in the end, merely people.
I give the author four stars for this book.