Tag Archives: I Kissed Shara Wheeler

Queer YA Spotlight: I Kissed Shara Wheeler

Finally, finally she gets it.

Shara isn’t a monster inside of a beautiful girl, or a beautiful girl inside of a monster. She’s both, one inside of the other inside of the other.

And that truth—the whole truth of Shara—leaves no room to pretend anymore. Neither of them did all this for a title. That’s what Chloe was afraid of her friends seeing. That’s where the trail led. That’s why she couldn’t let it end.

“Oh my God,” Chloe says out loud. Her brain is overheating, probably. “I’m in love with a monster turducken.”

Premise: Chloe Green has survived her high school years at Willowgrove Christian Academy fuelled by pride, spite, and the desperate desire to beat her academic rival: principal’s daughter, prom queen, church sweetheart, and all around insufferable overachiever Shara Wheeler. Shara throws a spanner in these plans when she kisses Chloe and then vanishes from town. As if the situation needed to be any more baffling, Chloe—alongside Shara’s boyfriend Smith and neighbour Rory—start finding cryptic notes written on pink stationary in Shara’s dainty handwriting…

Rainbow rep: a very tangled main f/f romance between a bisexual protagonist and a lesbian love interest; the protagonist’s two mothers; a friend group composed of a gay guy, a lesbian gal, and a non-binary pal; various members of the ensemble cast figuring out or tentatively revealing that they are not as cis or straight as we first might believe, including a romance between a gay guy and (most likely) a second non-binary character

Content considerations: the stifling experience of being queer in a small, religious town in the American South; casual homophobia from antagonistic classmates; institutional homophobia from the school; crummy conservative parents

Gay Geography 101: small towns? Bad. Big cities? Good! If you’re in the US, you want to hit the ground running as soon as you graduate and make your way to LA or New York, where your queer future will begin. If you’re in Australia, you want to hit up Melbourne or Sydney (what? You live on the west coast and don’t want to travel that far? Tough luck! Enjoy your sprawling desert of backwards bigotry! These are the only two options!).

This is a narrative that will be familiar to many people, I’m sure, and while it has its truths, it’s also one worth… unpacking.

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