Trigger Warnings: emotionally abusive parents, alcoholism, divorce mention, teenage pregnancy mention, sexual harassment from a “family” member, homelessness, homophobia, homophobic microaggressions, religious trauma, transphobia mention, slut shaming
Genre: Young+New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: 18th May, 2021
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Synopsis (taken from Storygraph)
In this YA contemporary queer romance from the author of Hot Dog Girl, an openly gay track star falls for a closeted, bisexual teen beauty queen with a penchant for fixing up old cars.
Morgan, an elite track athlete, is forced to transfer high schools late in her senior year after it turns out being queer is against her private Catholic school’s code of conduct. There, she meets Ruby, who has two hobbies: tinkering with her baby blue 1970 Ford Torino and competing in local beauty pageants, the latter to live out the dreams of her overbearing mother. The two are drawn to each other and can’t deny their growing feelings. But while Morgan–out and proud, and determined to have a fresh start–doesn’t want to have to keep their budding relationship a secret, Ruby isn’t ready to come out yet. With each girl on a different path toward living her truth, can they go the distance together?
Author Bio: Jennifer Dugan is a writer, a geek and a romantic, who writes the kind of stories she wishes she’d had growing up. Her debut novel, Hot Dog Girl, was called a “great fizzy rom-com” by Entertainment Weekly and “one of the best reads of the year, hands down” by Paste Magazine. She is also the writer/creator of two indie comics. She lives in upstate New York with her family, dog, bearded dragon, new kitten, and her evil, yet beloved, cat that is no doubt planning to take over the world. Jennifer Dugan is represented by Sara Crowe at Pippin Properties, with film rights being handled by Mary Pender-Coplan at United Talent Agency.
****eARC was provided by publisher. Review is unsponsored and all opinions are mine
Reading Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan was a spur of the moment decision that led to a pleasant surprise. Reading Verona Comics was another impulse decision to see if the author maintained that same energy. She definitely did but with some marked improvements. Some Girls Do simply blew me out the water, it was so good!
After a metricfuckton of hetero adult romances I just needed something gay and innocent. This sapphic YA/NA kick I’ve been on has been incredible and this book is another wonderful novel to add to a slowly and beautifully growing pile of sapphic fiction that makes me feel all soft and mushy.
Ruby and Morgan, two small-town west-coast girls, are on opposite spectrums of life. Ruby is a pageant contestant with a reputation for being rude and reckless, raised by a pageant veteran who had her young and now struggles to pay the bills. Morgan is an out and proud future D1 track althlete whose parents are fighting a lawsuit against her former school for homophobia. Polar opposites. And yet after TWO incidents of Ruby hitting Morgan with her car, they both can’t seem to keep their eyes off each other.
Throughout the book their approaches to queerness are contrasted, especially when they finally start dating. Morgan has been forced to stay closeted and has faced so much homophobia that she’s past her threshold to simply stay silent and pass under the radar. She much prefers action. But Ruby knows the town and knows it’s better to simply extricate herself from the crowd in a safe way. This bilateral coming of age story really provides an interesting look into the polar opposite ways queer people can experience the world and how it impacts their choices to be out and proud or keep it to themselves.
Ruby’s and Morgan’s flaws are explored in great depth. While there are PLENTY, neither of them is grating or unlikeable. In fact the flaws they embody are relatable. Some of my students act this way, in fact I acted this way up until like two years ago. They’re such young and hopeful babies that have been broken down by society in completely different ways. By spending time with each other they both broaden their understanding of what strength, comfort, care, and even queerness means to a wider group of people than just their own immediate circles.
I loved the layers showcased in this book. There are multiple minor queer characters who add to an incredibly well rounded analysis of a small network of queer people who have to protect and care for each other.
I don’t know if it’s simply that I’ve finally aged to the point that I can objectively understand teenagers instead of consume myself by viscerally feeling the emotions of the main character and NO ONE ELSE but this was exceptionally done. I could clearly see motivation even if it wasn’t explicitly stated on the page. I could feel emotion that wasn’t plainly stated. Idk i might just be finally outgrowing my pea brained ways but WOW this book.
PLEASE READ IT AND LEMME KNOW UR THOTS