Dress Codes for Small Towns (Hardcover)
Billie McCaffrey lives in a rural southern town. She is the daughter of a preacher. She is also a tomboy. Most of her time is spent with her close group of friends, cleverly named "the Hexagon." She's been in love with her friend Woods for years, but her best friend Janie Lee is in love with him, too. Billie might also be in love with Janie Lee. Oh, and it's possible that she also has a crush on their new friend Davey, who is probably gay. She's got a lot going on in her head, and she begins a journey of self-discovery when she and her friends decide to save their town's harvest festival. Billie tries her best to balance her faith and her friends, but when sexuality and gender identity come into play, everything flips and she must find a way to keep herself from falling. -- Kelsie (RBB Staff)— From Dress Codes for Small Town
"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.