Love the premise
Billie McCaffrey is a gender fluid teen who lives in a small Kentucky town. Even though she is the daughter of the town's preacher, she is living life by her own terms. This is to chagrin of both her father and the rest of the town of Otters Holt.
At the beginning of 'Dress Codes for Small Towns' Billie is at a lock-in with her best friends . Billie and her friends ( who she calls them the hexagon) do something that results in major damage to the church. This and the future of the town's fall festival is the main focus of the characters in DCFST.
I went into 'Dress Codes for Small Towns' having heard really great things about it. DCFST does have many original concepts such as a teen who can't quite pin down her sexuality, the dynamics of small town America, and loving parents that are not perfect.
What I Loved:
I found that Stevens has a John Green type writing style. It moves the story along quickly and is easy to read. I love Billy and her diverse set of friends. Her friends all have different personalities and different backgrounds. I also love that a small southern town is represented (something I don't see a lot of in ya literature). One major positive point is that the story stresses that you need to be true to yourself before pleasing anyone else. I love that the teens work together to try to save the town's fall festival. I like that Billie couldn't quit pin down who she was and who she loved.
What Left Me Wanting More:
To keep the comparison to John Green going, I found other similarities between Steven's writing style and John Green's. One element of this similarly is they both include a phrase or nickname that they think is really funny and then they proceed to use it over and over and over in the story. For example Billie calls her friends the hexagon. She constantly uses this term instead of just saying my friends. Another example of this is when Billie and her friend's name their whiteboard Einstein and then proceeded to talk about Einstein constantly. I'm not sure if it's just me, but I find these things annoying and they tend to distract from the flow of the story.
My Final Verdict:
I found 'Dress Codes for Small Towns' to be new and refreshing. The premise is original and has not been overdone in ya literature. I tore though the DCFST quickly. I love the setting and the characters. I can defiantly understand why so many readers love 'Dress Code for Small Towns'.This review was originally posted on The Book return...
Small Southern Town