Her Name in the Sky

Her Name in the Sky - Kelly Quindlen In her last year of high school, Hannah looks forward to the senior prom, the trepidation and excitement of college applications, spending time with her best friends before they go their separate ways, and of course, the parties. She lives in a conservative Catholic community and attends mass weekly. Even the school she goes to is steeped in all the Catholic traditions and teachings. Still, teenagers being teenagers, Hannah's friends find ways to go around parent and school restrictions to spice up their after school events. In one particularly wild Mardi Gras outing, Hannah and her bff, Baker find themselves alone and sharing an innocent kiss.

Convinced by beliefs ingrained for life that they are 'wrong' and seized with guilt, Hannah and Bake avoid each other at all costs and try to find 'normality' with other boys.

The first few chapters are a little meh for non-YA fans, as Hannah and her gang go about their daily teen activities. Things take an interesting turn after the first kiss. There is more angst here than the typical YA book. In fact, way more than most adult lesfic books. But none of it feels contrived or unnecessary. This is one of the most realistic and beautiful treatments of teen sexuality problems--from denial, to self-doubt, to anger, to acceptance, to positive action--all the steps wrapped in an engrossing plot. And the author manages to do all that without disparaging or trivializing the protagonists' deeply-held beliefs and convictions. At the end of the book, I felt like I wanted to go through all my previous YA and NA books and downgrade them all by 1 star. :)

This book should be required reading for all teens struggling with the moral issues of homosexuality. Not many books can entertain and educate equally well.