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And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Winners:



1) Having Her Back Ann Gallagher
Transgender - Young Adult
Paperback: 250 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 21, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1546834907
ISBN-13: 978-1546834908
Amazon: Having Her Back Ann Gallagher

1) Very well developed story and characters. The authors writing style lead to the characters and plot feeling like a cohesive whole rather than just a story being told.
2) A sweet, well written, and thoroughly realistic coming-of-age romance. I loved every word.
3) The Spanish location and the background of US military based abroad were well woven into the story in a way that was accurate and beautiful to read. The relationships between all the characters were realistic and well written. I was pleased the young characters in the book had no issue with gay identities or a transperson, which is very realistic among youth of today. An excellent book, which after reading on kindle I bought in print too. I enjoy YA fiction and as a YA romance, this was as good as any that I've read. I'd highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading YA romance.


2) You are not me ('90s Coming of Age series #2) Leta Blake
Bisexual - Young Adult
Series: '90's Coming of Age
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 28, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1540699188
ISBN-13: 978-1540699183
Amazon: You are not me ('90s Coming of Age series #2) Leta Blake


1) This was a touching coming of age story that had me crying more than I expected. Peter was a compelling and endearing protagonist, his lack of confidence, his conflicting feelings, and his attempts at figuring out his future while unable to let go of his past making him beautifully flawed and leaving room for him to grow throughout this books. You are not me felt as much a story about blending new and old in terms of friendship and accepting who one is as it was the story of a boy dealing with a toxic, lies-infested love. The supporting characters were an interesting and diverse cast of ages and interests and worked well in highlighting different aspects of Peter’s life.
2) I adored this book. Coming of age stories sometimes make me nervous. And any book with HIV/AIDS in the the storyline must be handled with utmost care. Leta Blake did a beautiful job with these characters. The story is told through Peter who is newly out and is just beginning to embrace his sexuality. The reader is very in tune with his fear, uncertainty and hope. I rooted for him in spite of his inability to see what his friends did because his journey struck me as very honest. I look forward to reading more installments in this series.
3) I did not read the first installment in this series, though this book covered enough for me to follow along and not get lost wondering what happened in book one. Wow. Really, Wow. Leta Blake did an awesome job of painting life for Peter, who reaches, grows, explores, makes decisions in real-life: sticky, messy, complicated. This book had me cheering and jeering in turn--cheering for Peter and Daniel, and jeering at Adam. I enjoyed reading Peter's continued journey on how to be an out gay man, the warm and robust secondary characters, and the growing pains of real life.

Runner Ups:



3) Pictures of you ('90s Coming of Age series #1) by Leta Blake
4) Pieces by G. Benson

Finalists:



5-tie) Death and Love at the Old Summer Camp by Dolores Maggiore
5-tie) This Would Make a Good Story Someday by Dana Alison Levy

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