Title: Starring Kitty
Author: Keris Stainton
Series: Reel Friends #1
Genre: Contemporary YA / LBGT
Summary (from Goodreads)
Sometimes the greatest love stories happen behind the scenes…
Kitty’s keeping secrets. Like how she’s struggling to cope with her mum’s illness. And how she’s falling for the girl with the purpley-red hair… A fun film competition with her friends Sunny and Hannah seems like the perfect distraction. But then Dylan wants to be more than Kitty’s secret. Is Kitty ready to let her two worlds meet or will she risk losing Dylan forever?
This is a very light, quick read that’s like a little blast of sunshine, transporting you to the beach where a lot of the story is set. It’s cute, it’s romantic, and despite some slightly more challenging themes – Kitty’s family is coming to terms with her mother’s serious illness – overall is a happy, pleasant read that will leave you with a smile on your face.
Kitty and her friends, Hannah and Sunny, face a lot of the problems that teenage girls have at school – bitchy popular girls, ex-boyfriends that they may or may not be over, and strict parents. The nice difference here is Kitty has the additional issue of finding a way to tell her friends that she’s not interested in a boyfriend because she has her eyes on a girl, and Sunny is Asian, and her family have a different cultural dynamic. The diversity in the story is refreshing, and especially so because it’s not necessarily a book ‘about’ LGBT or racism. It’s a book about three girls, with more focus on Kitty, trying to find their way at school and in life. Just like all girls of that age have to do. Kitty feels so much like any girl in school, and her clumsy attempts to engage with her crush Dylan are so relatable, I think you’d struggle to find a teenage girl who couldn’t see elements of herself in Kitty.
It’s not the sort of book that’s going to stay with you for a long time, but that’s okay. It’s a fluffy romance book, perfect for the upcoming summer days in the garden or on the beach. And I hope the success of books like this continue to raise the profile of LGBT fiction for young people.