And other mistakes

Erika Turner

Book - 2023

Seventeen-year-old Aaliyah is trying to survive her last years of high school, but things become much more complicated after she is outed by a church elder and Aaliyah must navigate new friends, old flames, and nosy school counselors during her senior year.

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Location Call Number   Status
Young Adult Area YOUNG ADULT FICTION/Turner Erika Checked In
Lesbian fiction
School fiction
Domestic fiction
New York : Feiwel and Friends 2023.
Main Author
Erika Turner (author)
First edition
Physical Description
314 pages ; 22 cm
Ages 14-18.
Grades 10-12.
Contents unavailable.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Black 17-year-old track star Aaliyah Marshall is forced to navigate love and high school drama after being outed as queer by a church elder in this standout novel. Getting outed was the final straw before Aaliyah felt as if her life was about to implode--especially considering she's dealing with her alcohol-dependent father's emotionally abusive outbursts, her über religious mother's homophobia, a fallout with her childhood best friend and crush, and being ousted as her cross-country team's captain. But the end of the semester means a fresh start and, determined to create a better foundation for her upcoming senior year, Aaliyah puts her all into the summer's cross-country training season. Her intense athletic focus helps distract her from her father's erratic behavior and her mother's cold demeanor, which feel suffocating while she's at home. Even better is the chance to get closer to teammate Marissa, the former lead singer of her favorite local band. Things become complicated, however, when she starts developing feelings for new teammate Tessa. By employing impeccable emotional tension that superbly renders themes of abuse, friendship, and identity, Turner delivers a genuine and honest read. The supporting cast is intersectionally diverse. Ages 14--up. Agent: Quressa Robinson, Folio Literary. (Feb.)

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Review by Kirkus Book Review

After a hard junior year, a Las Vegas teen tries to get back on track. When Aaliyah, a 17-year-old Black girl, was outed by an older church member, her already unpredictable home life became that much more unstable. While her alcoholic, abusive dad took the news of her queerness in stride, her mom tried "to pray the gay away," attacking her with Scripture and forcing Bible study on her. Aali's mental and physical health deteriorated, and she lost her role as cross-country team captain. Her one constant through all the stress was her Filipina best friend, Yasmin--but Yaz kissed her and then ghosted her, leaving Aali alone, feeling insecure, and trying to make sense of everything. Her grades suffered, and she ended the year on academic probation. As senior year begins, Aali is determined to find joy again and make the new year count. The complexities of engaging in self-exploration while struggling for survival is a thread explored through multiple characters, some with more depth than others. Self-harm as a coping strategy is also present but not addressed in depth. Turner weaves together multiple aspects of dysfunction present in family, friend, and romantic relationships, and while there is no perfect ending, readers are left with hope. An emotional read with the clear and important message that your mistakes don't define you. (Fiction. 14-18) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.