Monday, March 7, 2011

Review: Between Mom and Jo

Title: Between Mom and Jo
Author: Julie Anne Peters
Release Date: May 10, 2006
Publisher: Little, Brown
Cover Designer: Alison Impey
Age Audience: YA
Genre: LGBT
Summary: Nicholas Nathaniel Thomas Tyler has a three-legged dog named Lucky 2, some pet fish, and two moms who think he's the greatest kid ever. And he happens to think he has the greatest moms ever, but everything changes when his birth mom and her wife, Jo, start to have marital problems. Suddenly, Nick is in the middle, and instead of having two moms to turn to for advice, he has no one. This coming-of-age novel powerfully portrays the universal pain of a family breakup.

My Review:

Between Mom and Jo is the story of a boy named Nick and his two moms, Erin and Jo. The book starts when Nick is three, and we get to see Nick grow up thinking that having two moms is completely normal. In fact, his parent’s sexuality isn’t even the main focus of the book. Though their family faces many hardships (including alcoholism and cancer) Erin and Jo promise Nick that the three of them will always be together.

But one day, when Nick is fourteen, Erin starts an affair with another woman. This causes Nick’s parents to separate and Jo moves out.

Now, I cried on and off for the rest of the book after this. I cried more than I did during Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. There are only two books that have made me cry more.

Peters is an amazing writer. Nick is such an honest character, and you feel his pain as he struggles with his grief and the fact that he may never see Jo again. So really, anyone can relate to this book, because Nick faced all the hardships any kid with divorced parents would face.

Also, this book is the perfect proof of why the government should legalize same-sex marriage! Because Jo had no legal or biological attachment to Nick, they couldn't arrange visitation rights or anything. Erin just said to Nick, "You can't see Jo!" and it happened! When Jo was just as much of a parent to Nick as Erin, if not more so! That's why this is a much better gay rights book than, say, Keeping You a Secret (but don't misunderstand, I very much liked Keeping You a Secret too). This is the kind of book that cures homophobia.

This is now my second favorite LGBT book, it's right up there next to Annie On My Mind. I usually don't recommend LGBT books to other people, but this is a touching and beautiful book that anyone and everyone should read.

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