Kaycee McCoy is a senior high school student in a small town in rural Tennessee. Kaycee has been kissed by a lot of boys, but it just doesn’t do anything but gross her out. She literally was happy to be dumped by her last boyfriend. Everything changes when a new girl shows up on the first day of senior year.

Bren Dawson is tall, athletic and has no problem making new friends at her new school. She hails from Boston, and has no problem being who she is, an out and proud. Bren brings up all the feelings and desires Kaycee has been repressing for quite a while. She grew up in Sunshine, Tennessee which is definitely not a bastion of equality and understanding. The only thing is a relationship with Bren is too tempting for Kaycee to deny.

This is an emotional coming of age tale. This story takes you through Kaycee’s journey of first love, admitting who you are, and the fall out of living in a in a society that is pressuring you into who you love. South of Sunshine is a well written YA novel. You will find in full of teen aged angst and coming to terms with being gay in a small southern town. It is also a story of friendship, and how those friendships evolve as real issues are brought to the forefront of their lives. I must say I liked this book, and Kaycee is a pretty cool character.

3.5 stars out of 5

Publisher: Albert Whitman

Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/South-Sunshine-Dana-Elmendorf/dp/0807575682/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1454428937&sr=8-1&keywords=dana+elmendorf

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