I read ‘Driving Lessons’ while on vacation in Canada and it was a pleasant and decent read. Somehow I’m pretty bad at realising second in a series books because this is one and it’s not the first time this has happened to me this year. Not that it was much of a problem. There were references throughout the book to what had happened in the previous story but I could still follow the story and all. Not a big deal but sometimes I’d like to not stumble into this unknowingly.
This is the story of Abbey Brooks (her mother calls her Abbey Road, hello Beatles reference!!) who is a sophomore at Gila High. Apparently our little protagonist realised she was a baby dyke in her freshman year. She calls them You Know Who Girls (which made me cringe sometimes but I guess I’m no one to judge since I have trouble using the German word for lesbian in reference to myself). Her previous school year must have been quite eventful and so she vows not to have the same thing happen again but she’s a teenager in a school that seems to be teeming with lesbians so not a lot of chance there. Seriously? Is that what American high school life is like? I’m jealous! (I know for the most part it’s not and it’s more wishful thinking and expanding reality.)
There was a lot going on but it feels like the author did a great job at capturing teenagers and also being very diverse. Not only do we get a whole bunch of lesbian/bi girls, there are also teens with disabilities which is something that happens far to scarcely in popular literature.
My only critique may be that Abbey sometimes was a bit too bratty! I know she is 15/16 and kids are like that at the time but I sometimes felt a little bit sorry for her awesome mother. She even went to PFLAG because she knew her daughter was gay and she was totally accepting of it all!
Abbey’s coming out angst felt pretty authentic to me because even though you are almost 100% sure your parents won’t judge you because they are awesome and love you, it’s still terrifying. It will never not be because what if you misjudged them? Abbey is way ahead of me though, I never got the chance to tell my Mom (for various reasons) and my Gran, albeit she would probably support it, is still not in the know because I’m a giant chicken. A now 27-year old chicken.
I enjoyed reading the bits about the high school teachers who were also playing for the L team in this story. Again, I wish we had had an openly LGBTQ teacher at school but nope, small town life and all. From my more grown up (ahem) perspective, this was a nice addition and I would totally read more about Mrs. M and Julia. Can they please get their separate book series about being awesome lesbians while working at a high school with lots of hormonal teenagers and also taking one of them in and raising her? Because that sounds like it’s made of awesome!
To sum it all up, I enjoyed this read and it was one of the better lesbian themed books I read and reviewed so far this year. I would have loved this as a teenager!