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Robin Talley Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Lies We Tell Ourselves (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
What We Left Behind (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
As I Descended (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Our Own Private Universe (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Pulp (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Music from Another World (2020) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Robin Talley
Robin Talley is an American author of historical fiction, young adult, gay and lesbian books. Growing up, Talley remembers writing awful poetry and taking a bus to the school across town. Now she is a Lambda Literary Fellow with a few young adult books to her name. The American born writer currently lives in Washington, D.C., together with her wife, daughter, and goofy pets. When she is not writing, Talley enjoys coming up with communication strategies for organizations that focus on social justice and championing for equal rights.

Lies We Tell Ourselves
Lies We Tell Ourselves tells the story of two girls who find themselves on different sides of the civil rights battle. On one side is Sarah Dunbar, a black student who is the first of her kind to attend the all-white Jefferson High. Even though Sarah was an honors student in her former school, the discrimination she has to put up with in Jefferson High is a bit too much. From being spit on to torment that goes on daily, Sarah has it rough, and the bright girl ends up being put on remedial classes. Where are the teachers and other adults when all this is happening? Does the school take any initiative to protect its students? Well, the truth is no one wanted Sarah there, from the governor to the students.

On the other side of the divide is Linda Hairston, the daughter of a parent who feels that school integration should be discouraged, and all races should have their institutions. Linda’s parents are passionate about fighting integration. Aside from being the most vocal opponents in town, they have also taught their daughter to shun integration. Things take an exciting turn when Sarah and Linda have to complete a school project together. Thanks to this project, these two girls are forced to confront the realities of power, race, and integration.
This is a bold and emotionally compelling story. At times you will be extremely angry at some of the things one human being will do to another. Other times, the few kind acts will make your heart melt. The book tries to expose the truth from the lies while highlighting the struggles black people have been through. It is sad that despite all the torture meted on black kids, the adults stood and watched all that was going on. Amidst all the chaos is a love story. Unexpected kindness was shown by those who were courageous enough to go against the norm, and this helped the movement a great deal.

From this story, it is clear that the author did her homework given the amount of authentic information in the story. The book serves as a reminder of the shameful times in the USA when segregation is school, transport, and bathrooms were the norm. Thanks to the movement, a law stating that black students had the same rights as the white ones to attend whichever school they want was passed. The moments that followed this declaration were turbulent for those who dared to go against the norm. This book highlights some of these challenges. Lies We Tell Ourselves is written with young adults in mind. However, the book can be enjoyed by people in all age groups as the information is relevant to all.

Our Own Private Universe
Our Own Private Universe features Aki Simon, a fifteen-year-old with an intriguing theory about sex. Aki is aware of her sexuality, and so far, the fact that she is bisexual has only been in theory. Since she started dating, Aki has only gone out with boys, and only Lori knows that she likes girls as much. According to Aki’s theory, everyone has just a single shot of living an exciting life. Because of this, this young girl is determined to try and see what comes out of her curiosity. She prefers trying out as opposed to overthinking and going over every little detail. The good thing is that she has a sound support system, especially at home. The only thing she is not sure of is how to share her sexuality with the adults in her life.

The best opportunity to try presents itself when Lori and Aki plan a youth trip to a small town in Mexico. Here, Aki meets Christa, a girl who is not just slightly older but also more experienced. While Aki feels that the time to test her theory is ripe, there is so much she is not sure about. For example, how is sex even possible between two girls? What are the indicators that one is in love with another girl? The young group tour turns into a summer of testing and self-discovery. Could it be that Aki has finally found love? How can some of her feelings be explained?

This story covers a few essential topics. For one, the story comes with bisexual representation, and the information can be of great help to young girls who are trying to figure out their sexuality. The issue of safe sex is highlighted here as well as social activism in matters ranging from police brutality to equality in marriage. The narration is flawless, and throughout the book, it is clear the author put a lot of thought into this story. It is also great that the book comes with a diverse cast that works in different ways to add character to this story. The main character is relatable to the target audience as well as the supporting characters.

If you are looking for a cute young adult contemporary story, Our Own Private Universe is ideal. The book touches on sexuality as well as a good number of other poignant topics that the younger generation is struggling with. Aki is a lovable story, and you will have a great time following her journey throughout the story. The relationship between this teenage girl and her father is awesome, and it will be easy to empathize and hope that she is able to figure her life out. Generally, a great book perfect for teenagers who are struggling with their identity.

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