Georgia Peaches was a really delightful book for a myriad of reasons. I loved Jo’s voice from the first page and there were so many layers to each character. The cliche “you can’t judge a book by its cover” is very evident in this story. Plus it was funny, adorable, heartwarming, and had lots of pop culture references too! I’m not a religious person but I have friends who are and I like learning about religion. It’s hard not to come off as preachy but Brown hits the sweet spot by showcasing lots of different types of Christians. I think it’s so important for other queer teens to see that they don’t necessarily have to choose between their lifestyle and their faith, that they can have a relationship with God and religion like Jo does. I also like that her dad was a less traditional preacher, using radio to get his message out and that Jo was interested in starting her own radio show to reach teens like her. That was pretty cool!
I really liked the friends that Jo makes in her new town and watching her relationships and trust flourish, especially with BTB and Mary Carlson. Mary Carlson was such a surprise! She was strong in her convictions in every aspect of her life and such an awesome girl. I didn’t always love the choices that Jo made and hate purposeful misunderstandings/lies, but you can understand where she’s coming from at least. Aside from the strong friendships and adorable relationship, I really liked Jo’s stepmom Elizabeth. It was refreshing to see her be more than a caricature and lovely to see her become a true friend/mother figure. I also appreciated her sharing what helped her become a more open minded person after living in such a close minded society. There is a lot of discussion and sharing across the aisle, between Jo and her parents, her friends, her church. I liked getting to see all sides. I highly recommend this charming book, even if you shy away from religion in general.