My experience with the topic of gay marriage began when I was in college. During the summer of 2011, New York State passed the law making same-sex marriage legal in the state. I was a college intern for my hometown paper, and I remember speaking to one of the pastors of the local churches about the subject for an article I wrote. It was interesting to see the different perspectives on the matter. Four years later, on June 26, 2015, same-sex marriage became federally legal in the United States. Since then, mediums that involve gay and lesbian relationships have become mainstream. The Inside of Out by American author Jenn Marie Thorne centers on this topic.

Daisy Beaumont-Smith is sixteen and best friends with Hannah von Linden. When Hannah comes out to Daisy as a lesbian, Daisy isn’t surprised about it, only to find out that Hannah is dating Daisy’s number one enemy. As a way to cope with the situation, Daisy volunteers to help the LGBTQIA club at their high school throw a homecoming of their own after the school’s refusal to lift a ban barring same-sex couples from dances. A local college reporter, Adam, soon takes an interest in her cause and writes an article on it, only to have it go viral and be picked up by major news outlets. Daisy soon finds herself the unofficial spokesperson of the event and in the limelight. With people under the impression that she herself is gay, she struggles to maintain her facade and at the same time contemplate her friendship with Hannah.

What I liked the most about this novel was the exploration of friendships and relationships in the LGBTQIA community. I myself grew up in a mostly Republican town, where this topic wasn’t one talked about too often, not even in my high school. Being able to read a novel that offered insight into what it’s like was refreshing and interesting. Thorne’s writing ability made the story believable, and I especially liked how she focused on how Daisy and Hannah’s friendship dynamic is affected by Hannah’s revelation. It was a nice change from the usual plot device where the boyfriend is usually affecting the friend’s relationship.

I did feel like the novel was a bit long, at 425 pages, and there were several scenes that could have been omitted or shortened. Still, I definitely recommend this book, as it takes on a major societal cause.

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