Friday, June 1, 2012
By Angela Thomas
Julie Anne Peters always seems to write about the same characters: two lesbians, one out, one not-so-out. However, this time, I think Peters has an original story! Never in my years as an avid reader have I read a story about two lesbians in an abusive relationship. Usually, it is the same old story where two girls see each other across the hallway, their eyes lock, the one not-so-out girl questions her sexuality, breaks up with her boyfriend and hooks up with the out girl. This time, Peters has the same two characters but we get the notion that these two aren’t going to have a smooth road ahead in their pending relationship.
The two girls, Johanna and Reeve represent the small group of lesbians in their school. Reeve is that girl we all know; the one with the posse of lesbians, the beauty queen, the girl every bi-curious woman wants to test their sexual tendencies with. Johanna is the quiet lesbian, reveling in her singleness, being an all-around good student, and avoiding the nearest GSA. Johanna also harbors a massive crush on Reeve.
What I like most about the book is that anyone can relate. Most of us will willingly admit to having a crush on that one person that just makes the whole world stop for a few seconds. Only a select few will admit that on the occasion that we are in a class that is boring or dazing off at work, we will create scenarios in our head which involve our crushes and ourselves. Readers get a glimpse into the desperation, lonliness, and lust that Johanna has for Reeve.
Throughout the book, I found myself hanging on to different clues that Reeve wasn’t a good person for Johanna to fantasize or want. For one thing, Reeve was extremely rough with her friends and would randomly slug them in the face or kick them. However, once Johanna and Reeve started connecting, Reeve’s abusive nature was apparent. Also, while reading, I found myself getting frustrated with Johanna. She blamed herself for all of Reeve’s physical actions. She risked everything; her best friend, her job, her volunteer opportunity, for this girl who stole and mentally and physically hurt her.
Rage was that story that needed to be told and I am glad it did. Abuse can happen in any relationship, despite sexual orientation.