Thank you to Algonquin Young Readers for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
After her father’s death, Ruth Robb and her family transplant themselves in the summer of 1958 from New York City to Atlanta—the land of debutantes, sweet tea, and the Ku Klux Klan. In her new hometown, Ruth quickly figures out she can be Jewish or she can be popular, but she can’t be both. Eager to fit in with the blond girls in the “pastel posse,” Ruth decides to hide her religion. Before she knows it, she is falling for the handsome and charming Davis and sipping Cokes with him and his friends at the all-white, all-Christian Club.
Does it matter that Ruth’s mother makes her attend services at the local synagogue every week? Not as long as nobody outside her family knows the truth. At temple Ruth meets Max, who is serious and intense about the fight for social justice, and now she is caught between two worlds, two religions, and two boys. But when a violent hate crime brings the different parts of Ruth’s life into sharp conflict, she will have to choose between all she’s come to love about her new life and standing up for what she believes. (Goodreads)
A fantastic read about choosing to stand up for your beliefs
Two things stood out to be about this book. The first was how real it seemed. If you had told me this was a true story, I wouldn’t doubt you for a minute. The other was how much I liked Ruth. I find so often in Young Adult Fiction, female protagonists are either way too perfect or weak. Ruth was the perfect balance, and in all honesty, she just seemed like a regular teenager.
Ruth struggles to be popular, get the guy all while feeling like she has to hide a part of herself to do that. I think every teenager goes through something like that on some level. While throughout the story Ruth is hiding something, she also knows what she believes in and nothing gets in the way of that. Is she a flawed character, yes, but that is what makes her and this book so great.
Overall Rating: 4
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