Dress Codes for Small Towns by Courtney Stevens

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A spirited, timeless tale of teen self-discovery in those tense, formative high school moments, captured with grace, lyricism, and insight.


“A poetic love letter to the complexities of teenage identity, and the frustrations of growing up in a place where everything fits in a box—except you.”—David Arnold, New York Times bestselling author of Kids of Appetite

"Courtney Stevens firmly reasserts herself as a master storyteller of young adult fiction; crafting stories bursting with humor, heart, and the deepest sort of empathy."—Jeff Zentner, 2017 Morris Award Winner for The Serpent King

"Courtney Stevens carries us into the best kind of mess: deep friendships, small town Southern gossip, unexpected garage art, and unfolding romantic identity."—Jaye Robin Brown, author of Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit

As the tomboy daughter of the town’s preacher, Billie McCaffrey has always struggled with fitting the mold of what everyone says she should be. She’d rather wear sweats, build furniture, and get into trouble with her solid group of friends: Woods, Mash, Davey, Fifty, and Janie Lee.

But when Janie Lee confesses to Billie that she’s in love with Woods, Billie’s filled with a nagging sadness as she realizes that she is also in love with Woods…and maybe with Janie Lee, too.

Always considered “one of the guys,” Billie doesn’t want anyone slapping a label on her sexuality before she can understand it herself. So she keeps her conflicting feelings to herself, for fear of ruining the group dynamic. Except it’s not just about keeping the peace, it’s about understanding love on her terms—this thing that has always been defined as a boy and a girl falling in love and living happily ever after. For Billie—a box-defying dynamo—it’s not that simple.

Readers will be drawn to Billie as she comes to terms with the gray areas of love, gender, and friendship, in this John Hughes-esque exploration of sexual fluidity.


About Courtney Stevens

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Courtney Stevens grew up in Kentucky and lives in Nashville, Tennessee. She is former adjunct professor and youth minister. She is also the author of The Lies About Truth, and Faking Normal, which Kirkus called “a story that resonates,” as well as the e-novella The Blue-Haired Boy. You can visit her online at www.courtneycstevens.com.
Published August 22, 2017 by HarperTeen. 352 pages
Genres: Romance, Gay & Lesbian, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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on May 24 2017

A spirited, timeless tale of teen self-discovery in those tense, formative high school moments, captured with grace, lyricism, and insight.

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