About This Above All
All her life, sixteen-year old Piper has been content to go along with her ultraconservative family’s mission to warn the heathens of the impending judgment of God through anti-gay protests. So when she’s cast as Romeo in her school’s production of Romeo & Juliet, Piper is as shocked as everyone else. The production proves to be vastly different than her other on-stage experiences— previously limited to playing “AIDS Girl” in her church’s annual “Hell House”— and Piper soon discovers not only does she love acting, she’s also pretty talented.
The school principal, influenced by people like Piper’s dad, demands that the part of Romeo be recast “appropriately” or the show cannot go on. Now, Piper faces a choice: become the figurehead to appeal the principal’s decision— in direction opposition to her family and everything she’s ever believed—, or accept the message the administration’s ultimatum sends to gay students, including someone she has come to call a close friend. Namely, that they should be ashamed of who they are or whom they happen to love.
For the old Piper, it would have been a no-brainer. But being Romeo has affected her in ways she never imagined, and so has her new friendship. Now Piper finds herself face to face with the real cost of all her family’s efforts, and it challenges everything she thought she knew about life. And God.
Reviews for This Above All
The conventional aspect of this book was high school. I tend to avoid YA novels that take place in high school. Most of these have predictable character types, dynamics and plots. This Above All contained those elements. There were false rumors, bullying and relationships plagued by miscommunication. Juliet was played by a stereotypical popular mean girl. It seems that the director of this Romeo and Juliet didn't prioritize chemistry between the leads.
Sexuality was a theme, but This Above All didn't really focus on sexual relationships as is appropriate in a YA [...]
This book addresses several different topics, but the main topics are homosexuality and religion (conservative Christianity), which of course, grabbed my attention instantly because 1) I am a firm supporter of the LGBTQ+ community and 2) I am not particularly religious. Well. Okay, maybe that’s not 100% true. I just don’t quite 100% agree with the teachings of Christianity. (Not an attack towards the religion, just stating my view.)
In this book, Piper comes from a conservative family (and I mean crazy conservative). All the kids are good Christian kids who go around preaching about sins to sinners in public with [...]