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A sweet and funny #ownvoices LGBTQ+ romance perfect for fans of Becky Albertalli and Julie Murphy, from the critically acclaimed author of Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit! Piper Kitts is spending the summer living with her grandmother, training at the barn of a former Olympic horseback rider, and trying to get over her ex-girlfriend. Much to Piper’s dismay, her gr A sweet and funny #ownvoices LGBTQ+ romance perfect for fans of Becky Albertalli and Julie Murphy, from the critically acclaimed author of Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit! Piper Kitts is spending the summer living with her grandmother, training at the barn of a former Olympic horseback rider, and trying to get over her ex-girlfriend. Much to Piper’s dismay, her grandmother is making her face her fear of driving head-on by taking lessons from a girl in town. Kat Pearson has always suspected that she likes girls but fears her North Carolina town is too small to color outside the lines. But when Piper’s grandmother hires Kat to give her driving lessons, everything changes. Piper’s not sure if she’s ready to let go of her ex. Kat’s navigating uncharted territory with her new crush. With the summer running out, will they be able to unlock a future together?


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A sweet and funny #ownvoices LGBTQ+ romance perfect for fans of Becky Albertalli and Julie Murphy, from the critically acclaimed author of Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit! Piper Kitts is spending the summer living with her grandmother, training at the barn of a former Olympic horseback rider, and trying to get over her ex-girlfriend. Much to Piper’s dismay, her gr A sweet and funny #ownvoices LGBTQ+ romance perfect for fans of Becky Albertalli and Julie Murphy, from the critically acclaimed author of Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit! Piper Kitts is spending the summer living with her grandmother, training at the barn of a former Olympic horseback rider, and trying to get over her ex-girlfriend. Much to Piper’s dismay, her grandmother is making her face her fear of driving head-on by taking lessons from a girl in town. Kat Pearson has always suspected that she likes girls but fears her North Carolina town is too small to color outside the lines. But when Piper’s grandmother hires Kat to give her driving lessons, everything changes. Piper’s not sure if she’s ready to let go of her ex. Kat’s navigating uncharted territory with her new crush. With the summer running out, will they be able to unlock a future together?

30 review for The Key to You and Me

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lex Kent

    2.75 Stars. This was just okay. I heard this book was a sweet and funny romance about sapphic women who ride horses. I thought yes please! It’s funny that I have not read many books about people who want to compete with horses professionally, but in this past week I have read two. Both were about dressage riders wanting to be in the Olympics. The problem is the first book had a sweeping romance with lots of horses, this book not so much. I’m familiar with this author and the premise gave me high 2.75 Stars. This was just okay. I heard this book was a sweet and funny romance about sapphic women who ride horses. I thought yes please! It’s funny that I have not read many books about people who want to compete with horses professionally, but in this past week I have read two. Both were about dressage riders wanting to be in the Olympics. The problem is the first book had a sweeping romance with lots of horses, this book not so much. I’m familiar with this author and the premise gave me high hopes. The biggest problem is nothing happened. Yes, it was a day in the life of two 18 year-old girls, (taking place over a few weeks) but nothing very exciting happened in those days. There were some driving lessons, some horse riding, one character pinning after her ex, and another character on some stomach turning dates. That’s really it, that’s the book and it wasn’t enough for me. I know the author is part of the LGBTQ+ community, but I feel like she should have had some sensitivity readers’ look at this. I’m not always good about noticing subtext, and sometimes I miss things right in front of my face, but I did notice, and had issues with, the wording at points about asexuals, bisexuals, and lesbians. I felt like at times it was almost veering into harmful stereotype territory. I don’t think this is anything the author did on purpose; I just think she could have used some more eyes on this. There was also a lot of pressure on one character (by seemingly everyone) to announce she is queer when she still needed time to figure things out. The constant pressure on her rubbed me the wrong way. According to the blub, this is “A sweet and funny #ownvoices LGBTQ+ romance.” That’s what I was expecting and to not get that was a disappointment. When I say that the characters where not together for the whole book (as a couple), I mean they were not together for the whole book. Any chemistry that started to build would just get snuffed out almost instantly. There were no super sweet or swoon worthy moments. The whole book is about dating other people. If Brown would have made this contemporary fiction, about two friends trying to find love, with other people, in a small southern town… okay that would work. But a romance between the main characters was just not there and I don’t even know if I can tag this book romance. I’ve had such an up and down reading year and unfortunately I have read too many books that just have not fit my reading tastes. While I’m a huge character driven reader, I need some good plot points to keep me turning the pages. There just was not enough meat here and there wasn’t the adorable romance I was hoping for either. Thank you to HarperTeen for the ARC.

  2. 5 out of 5

    iam

    Horses?! Queer girls?!?! FEAR OF DRIVING??!?! This book was clearly written for me.

  3. 4 out of 5

    theresa

    this book represents my reading tastes coming full circle, from horse girl to sapphics to horse girl sapphics I also talk about books here: youtube | instagram | twitter this book represents my reading tastes coming full circle, from horse girl to sapphics to horse girl sapphics I also talk about books here: youtube | instagram | twitter

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ellie (faerieontheshelf)

    This is a light and quick contemporary YA featuring sapphic horse girls that's a great summer read. I really liked the whole idea behind this one and it did feature some key rom-com tropes. Plus I quite liked the two narrators, Piper and Kat. For those thinking this is a YA rom-com, it's not really - it's more a YA contemporary. There are rom-com tropes like misunderstandings and I'm-going-to-set-you-up-except-now-this-has-backfired-because-I-have-feelings-instead, but for most almost half the b This is a light and quick contemporary YA featuring sapphic horse girls that's a great summer read. I really liked the whole idea behind this one and it did feature some key rom-com tropes. Plus I quite liked the two narrators, Piper and Kat. For those thinking this is a YA rom-com, it's not really - it's more a YA contemporary. There are rom-com tropes like misunderstandings and I'm-going-to-set-you-up-except-now-this-has-backfired-because-I-have-feelings-instead, but for most almost half the book, the characters are focused on different people. There's light-level yearning but it's not sapphic yearning (or it is in theory, but it's not the exquisitely classic top-tier sapphic yearning that goes on absolutely forever). I did notice, however, that a large portion of the supporting wlw characters are rather . . . intent when it comes to intimacy, and it feels like it could be tied into the negative stereotypes about queer people being promiscuous and players. And Kat thinks she could be demiromantic (which is great, yay for demi rep!), but there was some casual acephobia from some characters. Furthermore, Kat's thoughts about being demi do seem to discarded in the latter half the book. Overall I did enjoy this one, because it was about horse girls and it fits really nicely into that little horse book niche whilst also adding a little LGBTQ+ rep. It's nothing necessarily amazing or impactful, but it's light and I sped through it quickly. It's a good companion to the horsey books I read when I was in my early teens. Look, at the end of the day . . . publishing, if you start releasing more sapphic horse girl YAs (riders falling in love on the show circuit! girl falling in love with cute stable girl at her new colorado riding retreat! rivals to lovers cowgirls trying to save their ranch from being bought out! equestrian sapphics competing for the olympics! sapphics at boarding school doing equestrian extracurricular! heartland but gayer! etc!) I will read. rep: lesbian heroine; demiromantic lesbian love interest; lgbtq+ side characters * finally . . . representation for sapphic horse girls Thank you to the publisher for a copy in exchange for a honest review!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lea | That_Bookdragon

    I’m going to DNF this and I’m very sad about it because sapphic horse girl? Sign me up! But the writing is strange and idk but the way the author writes her queer characters makes me super uncomfortable at times (which is weird considering the author is queer). So yeah, it’s a big disappointment but I guess it is what it is *** I'm a simple woman, I see queer girls and horse riding in the same sentence, I click want to read I’m going to DNF this and I’m very sad about it because sapphic horse girl? Sign me up! But the writing is strange and idk but the way the author writes her queer characters makes me super uncomfortable at times (which is weird considering the author is queer). So yeah, it’s a big disappointment but I guess it is what it is *** I'm a simple woman, I see queer girls and horse riding in the same sentence, I click want to read

  6. 4 out of 5

    Althea

    1.5/5 Stars This was my first book by Jaye Robin Brown and I was really excited to read it as one of her other books, Georgia, Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit, is one of the classics of sapphic YA literature, but sadly I was let down. The Key to You and Me follows Piper and Kat. Piper is moving across the country to stay with her grandmother over the summer so that she can train with an ex-Olympian horse rider and get over her ex-girlfriend. There she meets Kat who is questioning her sexuality 1.5/5 Stars This was my first book by Jaye Robin Brown and I was really excited to read it as one of her other books, Georgia, Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit, is one of the classics of sapphic YA literature, but sadly I was let down. The Key to You and Me follows Piper and Kat. Piper is moving across the country to stay with her grandmother over the summer so that she can train with an ex-Olympian horse rider and get over her ex-girlfriend. There she meets Kat who is questioning her sexuality in a small town in North Carolina where everyone knows everyone – that is until she meets Piper and offers to give her driving lessons, and a burgeoning crush starts forming. When I started the book, admittedly, I was enjoying it and it was a fun contemporary novel that I could listen to as an audiobook in the background while I was crocheting. But I quickly got rather frustrated with the characters and their annoying dynamics! Or rather, let me narrow it down a bit – I got very frustrated with Piper. At the start of the book we find out that Piper has just broken up with her ex, Judith, and is trying her best to get over her. So, we see her going out and taking tonnes of Instagram photos to try and prove that she can have fun with her…and then things went downhill. Right at the start of the book, you can see that there is a kind of spark between Kat and Piper, and the fake dating trope is even implied here too – Piper wants it to look like she’s dating, or at the very least into, Kat so as to make Judith jealous. And I couldn’t help but feel like Piper was leading Kat on throughout the whole book. Kat was trying to figure out her sexuality and was dealing with these new, romantic feelings for Piper – and she was very obvious with it, whether on purpose or not – but then Piper just constantly went on about wanting to get back with Judith or even being pretty demeaning towards Kat, and I really felt sorry for her. There’s a bit later in the book where Kat decides to almost give up on Piper and have fun with other girls, and it’s only then that Piper is like – actually, wait, I do like her, and it just felt super disingenuous and toxic. But maybe that’s just my view on it after reading two sapphic books back to back where the main character and the love interest just weren’t good together at all! Regarding Kat’s other relationship/fling/whatever with another girl, it was an age-gap thing and it made me really uncomfortable. Kat pretends to be 21 and in college in order to get this girl’s attention, even though she’s only 18 and in high school. And even at that, I don’t think her age is mentioned at all prior to this part of the book, just that she’s in high school. The only time she reveals her real age is after getting off with this girl outside a karaoke venue! It just didn’t sit right with me at all. Aside from that, the plot was so dry. I was promised sapphic horse girls and I barely even got that. I know very little about horse riding, but I really just wanted to get a feel for the sport and how much Piper enjoyed it, but all she seemed to do was moan about having to clean out the stalls. As for Kat…did she have a personality other than having a younger sister and teaching Piper how to drive? Because it certainly didn’t seem like she did! Finally, there were a few instances of cisexism throughout the book that also didn’t sit right with me, like how Kat’s younger sister exclaimed that she liked dick in lieu of simply saying that she’s straight. There were also jokes made about lesbians looking at other girls in changing rooms and it just was not okay. Maybe this book would be enjoyable for younger teens just getting into YA contemporary, but for me it was a huge let-down. I think I will give Jaye’s other books a try in the future but they’re definitely not at the top of my priority list! Want more sapphic books? You can find me here: Book Blog | Twitter | Instagram

  7. 5 out of 5

    hali

    Thank you to Edelweiss and HarperTeen publishing for providing me an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Listen, I wanted to like this book SO BAD. As I was reading I just kept telling myself, “it’ll get better, it’ll get better.” Spoiler alert ... it did not get better. The Key To You And Me by Jaye Robin Brown is a book about a girl, Piper, who rides horses competitively moving to her grandmother’s small town to train with an Olympic rider. Her grandmother forces her to learn ho Thank you to Edelweiss and HarperTeen publishing for providing me an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Listen, I wanted to like this book SO BAD. As I was reading I just kept telling myself, “it’ll get better, it’ll get better.” Spoiler alert ... it did not get better. The Key To You And Me by Jaye Robin Brown is a book about a girl, Piper, who rides horses competitively moving to her grandmother’s small town to train with an Olympic rider. Her grandmother forces her to learn how to drive, and hires a local girl, Kat, to become her instructor. The concept of this book was what had me excited; a girl teaching another girl how to drive while they both develop mutual feelings for each other? Sign me the f*** up. However, I was sorely disappointed at the quality of the book. There were more than a few things that bothered me along the way First, there were many jokes and statements that made me very uncomfortable. For example, one of the MCs, Kat, has an internal monologue that talks about how she hates changing with other girls in locker rooms, because she really wants to look at them. This enforces the idea that sapphic women are predatory towards other women in places like locker rooms and bathrooms, when that simply is not the case. The author being sapphic herself is what really confuses me. Why would she write that if she knows what it feels like for straight women to think that about sapphic women (lesbians especially)? Second, the romance was just not that great, if I’m being honest. Piper was entirely hung up on her ex-girlfriend Judith for 65% of the book, and Kat is having all her first sapphic experiences with another woman named Lou. There’s a non-consensual kiss that makes things extremely awkward and uncomfortable for the next few chapters, and then the characters don’t kiss again until the very last page. I was just bored the entire time, waiting for something monumental to happen, and it never did. Third, the writing quality was not as good as I expected it to be. Almost every sentence was a run-on sentence. There was no climax to the book, no big revelations, nothing that was meant to hook readers and ensure they would read to the very end. I was quite disappointed after finishing this book. I also review books on Youtube (lipstick & literature) so make sure to go check out my videos and subscribe!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mimi

    Maybe 2.5? I really don't know how I feel about this book. Not a lot was going on and it became quite repetitive after the first third of the book. Also, there were homophobic/acephobic comments here and there and you could tell that they were meant to be funny but they made me really uncomfortable. I hate when people write that it would be 'easier' to get through life if you were ace, because let me tell you - it is not. It also seems to be the only 'rep' we get in a lot of queer books these days Maybe 2.5? I really don't know how I feel about this book. Not a lot was going on and it became quite repetitive after the first third of the book. Also, there were homophobic/acephobic comments here and there and you could tell that they were meant to be funny but they made me really uncomfortable. I hate when people write that it would be 'easier' to get through life if you were ace, because let me tell you - it is not. It also seems to be the only 'rep' we get in a lot of queer books these days and I'm not a fan - talk about unnecessary drive-by. Might have to mull over that rating a bit more.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Shelby Hanner

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 1.5 starts honestly. If you asked me what is something that feels both gay and homophobic, it would be this book. I have never seen the word queer used so many times in one place, and it made me feel only bad vibes. The romance is liiiight, almost nonexistent. Weird age shit, weird non-consensual shit, weird choices for a ya lgbtq+ book written by a lgbtq+ author. Also, I fucking hate it when someone “comes out” and their friends/family say I KNEW IT. No, you didn’t bc they hadn’t told you yet a 1.5 starts honestly. If you asked me what is something that feels both gay and homophobic, it would be this book. I have never seen the word queer used so many times in one place, and it made me feel only bad vibes. The romance is liiiight, almost nonexistent. Weird age shit, weird non-consensual shit, weird choices for a ya lgbtq+ book written by a lgbtq+ author. Also, I fucking hate it when someone “comes out” and their friends/family say I KNEW IT. No, you didn’t bc they hadn’t told you yet and it shouldn’t be that big of a deal, and boy it is a BIG DEAL in this book. Maybe read it if you really like horses. Edit: Also, biphobia. Bye.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Gillian

    Happy release day to The Key to You and Me! A will-they-won't-they slow burn romance meets high school coming of age in this YA romance by author Jaye Robin Brown. Senior-to-be, horse-loving Piper decides to spend the summer at her equally horse-obsessed grandmother's home, in hopes of working for a former Olympian in pursuit of her own dream. One condition Piper must meet is getting her driver's license- something she's been terrified to do- while in North Carolina. Her grandmother arranges for Happy release day to The Key to You and Me! A will-they-won't-they slow burn romance meets high school coming of age in this YA romance by author Jaye Robin Brown. Senior-to-be, horse-loving Piper decides to spend the summer at her equally horse-obsessed grandmother's home, in hopes of working for a former Olympian in pursuit of her own dream. One condition Piper must meet is getting her driver's license- something she's been terrified to do- while in North Carolina. Her grandmother arranges for a local teen and aspiring entrepreneur, Kat, to give Piper driving lessons and hang out with her for the summer. Kat is questioning her sexuality and figuring herself out, while Piper is out and proud but pining over her ex-girlfriend. This is great for teens going through something similar, and makes for an interesting dynamic between the girls. The narration is very conversational and perfect for younger YA readers, however there is sexual content so this is something to be aware of. There were a couple of instances where I was uncomfortable reading this because it's about teenagers, but I also know it's important for queer teens now to have that representation available to them. I think my biggest issue was that there was a lot of deception, some predatory-like behaviour, and even characters lying about their age to older queer women. There was a lot of casual biphobia from Piper and the feelings she harboured for her ex, as well as other gay, lesbian and bi tropes that left an unpleasant taste in my mouth. I would have preferred if the story took a more coming-of-age approach than a teen romance one. The main characters didn't have very much romantic chemistry and seemed better suited as friends on a journey of discovery. But I liked how they supported each other in different ways and would have loved to see the two go on more adventures. This is great book for horse-lovers, however horseback riding is not the main focus so it's still accessible to those who aren't familiar with the sport! Many thanks to the author for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. CW: sexual innuendos, sexting, underage drinking, adult kissing/hitting on a minor

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tasha Ní Mhiacháin

    I'd like to thank PrideBookTours & Harper360Ya for my gifted copy of The Key to You and Me. “It’s so stupid that coming out is even still a thing, you know? Why can’t we just grow into whoever we are and that’s that.”   This is the first book I’ve finished in ages, and I’m on such a happy buzz after reading it. I immediately want to pick up something new but I also want to linger with Kat and Piper for a while.   On the surface Kat and Piper seem to be complete opposites. It wasn’t your typical me I'd like to thank PrideBookTours & Harper360Ya for my gifted copy of The Key to You and Me. “It’s so stupid that coming out is even still a thing, you know? Why can’t we just grow into whoever we are and that’s that.”   This is the first book I’ve finished in ages, and I’m on such a happy buzz after reading it. I immediately want to pick up something new but I also want to linger with Kat and Piper for a while.   On the surface Kat and Piper seem to be complete opposites. It wasn’t your typical meet and greet. The friendship build up was amazing. The pacing was perfect. I loved how family oriented the story was and how driven, and passionate the main characters were.   Usually the storyline of a romance goes in a predictable direction but I was thrown with this one. I was a wreck as I got closer to the end because I had no idea how it was going to wrap up.   This is my first read from Jaye Robin Brown and I like that the author didn’t make me feel clueless when it came to the horses. I know nothing about riding but the way the story was told was brilliant.   MaMolly is one of the coolest literary characters of all time, hands down.   If you want a nicely paced, feel good, coming out story full of incredible characters and beautiful horses then I highly suggest checking this one out.   I’ll definitely give this a reread when my heart needs a wee boost.    

  12. 5 out of 5

    annikasplatzindieserwelt

    Such a cute book! I had so much fun reading Piper and Kat’s story, so sweet! I had to laugh out loud more than once, Jaye Robin Brown’s humour is awesome! I also loved the writing style, it made me rush through the pages! The ending was a little too fast paced for my personal liking, I would have loved to have a few more pages here. But All in all it was such a nice story, that I’ll definitely read again some day.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Verónica Fleitas Solich

    A beautiful and sweet story that is a positive path of recognition, beginnings, life choices and family relationships among many other topics. It is not a divine revelation but it was good and the truth is that it hooked me a lot, I just couldn't stop listening to it. It's entertaining and I found myself wishing the leads all the best. I enjoyed it a lot. A beautiful and sweet story that is a positive path of recognition, beginnings, life choices and family relationships among many other topics. It is not a divine revelation but it was good and the truth is that it hooked me a lot, I just couldn't stop listening to it. It's entertaining and I found myself wishing the leads all the best. I enjoyed it a lot.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Angelina

    Rating: 2/5 Being disappointed by such a promising book was not how my day was supposed to go but here we are I guess. When I read the synopsis of this book months ago, I was like "wow! Sapphics, horse girls, learning to drive, sign me up!" and then I was approved for an eARC and I was elated to finally read it! And then I read it. Where do I even start with this review? It was a promising premise that didn't deliver and there were lots of tropes used that aren't my thing. Thus, my low rating. Whi Rating: 2/5 Being disappointed by such a promising book was not how my day was supposed to go but here we are I guess. When I read the synopsis of this book months ago, I was like "wow! Sapphics, horse girls, learning to drive, sign me up!" and then I was approved for an eARC and I was elated to finally read it! And then I read it. Where do I even start with this review? It was a promising premise that didn't deliver and there were lots of tropes used that aren't my thing. Thus, my low rating. Which is once again, very very disappointing. Because I was looking to root for some horse girls and instead ended up not enjoying either of the two main characters. So let us just start. One girl, Piper, rides horses and moves in with her grandmother for the summer to *cough* ride horses *cough*. But she has an ulterior motive to either a) get over her ex-girlfriend or b) make her ex jealous. If you guessed both, you'd be correct. Now okay, that sounds alright. Making people jealous isn't my favorite tropes in books but ya know, this is a sapphic book so I forgive it. But! Her grandmother is also making her learn to drive and hired this girl in town to teach her. We love that here. Books that deal with such mundane, real-world things like learning to drive. We also get the wonderful POV of Kat. She's trying to figure out her sexuality but she lives in a small town and is afraid to come out. Kat is also the one giving Piper driving lessons. And that's basically the entirety of her character development, which makes her POV pretty boring. But hey, we love a good book that explores figuring out your sexuality, so again, another pass for the sapphics. Now we get into the thick of things. When they meet, Piper immediately realizes that she can use Kat as a way to make her ex jealous. And how does she do this? By taking photos of them together and posting them to her private socials without Kat's consent (spoiler for later in this review: this won't be the last instance of nonconsent between these two). Also, let me just add in here that this is a very slow-burn relationship. Like, it's implied that they get together on the last page. May I add something else? There was NO YEARNING! I mean come on, if I'm going to suffer through some slow-burn romance between two characters who were either super boring or super unlikable then the least I could get is a little yearning ya know? Anyway, let me get back on track. Something that I didn't particularly pick up on in the synopsis is that this book is a hot mess. JK. Kinda. But there is a love square type thing going on, which, is not my thing. To break it down some more. Piper still likes her ex and her ex starts flirting back with her. Piper also starts developing feelings for Kat, but when Kat, who has a crush on Piper from like the first time they meet, finds out that Piper is still hung up on her ex, Kat gets with a woman named Lou. Messy and confusing? Yes. Now let me dissect this for you all. Piper used Kat to make her ex jealous without asking for permission. This is later resolved. Then, Piper and Kat have a non-consensual kiss. Kat then goes and gets with Lou by telling her a bunch of lies. Some of these lies pertaining to her age (Kat is 18 and Lou is in her 20s), and Kat lying and saying that she's out of high school (she isn't). Lots of uncool stuff in my humble opinion. What else does this book bring to the table you may be wondering? Well, we also have underage drinking, driving without a license, family members pressuring Kat to admit she likes girls, family problems that think they were resolved but never seem to be resolved, and the most lackluster romance I have read this year. Annnnd, well, I guess that's all of the big points that I wanted to hit on. So, um, not my favorite book of the year and maybe I am a bit salty at wasting my entire day reading this book and being so thoroughly disappointed and bored. Should you read this book? Sure, I mean if you want to. I just don't think this book worked for me and while I'm sad that this isn't a new sapphic book that I can hype up, I hope other people enjoy it and maybe discover their own sexuality while reading this book or something idk. Thank you to Netgalley and HarperTeen for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Catarina

    The synopsis said queer girls + horses + fear of driving and I was HOOKED. I just wasn't expecting it to be a handful of nothing. Here we follow horse rider Piper, who has big dreams for her future (*cough* one being getting her ex back *cough*), and wanna-be entrepreneur Kat, who's trying to figure out who she is. When MaMolly proposes she teach her granddaughter how to drive, Kat sees it as an opportunity to save money to "invest" in her sister's future, but soon realises it might also be a gre The synopsis said queer girls + horses + fear of driving and I was HOOKED. I just wasn't expecting it to be a handful of nothing. Here we follow horse rider Piper, who has big dreams for her future (*cough* one being getting her ex back *cough*), and wanna-be entrepreneur Kat, who's trying to figure out who she is. When MaMolly proposes she teach her granddaughter how to drive, Kat sees it as an opportunity to save money to "invest" in her sister's future, but soon realises it might also be a great opportunity for herself to explore her sexuality. On the other hand, Piper takes advantage of Kat's cuteness and their new friendship as a way of making her ex jealous. This book had so much potential, but then...... nothing all that exciting happened. In all seriousness though, apart from some driving lessons, horse riding and three parties, NOTHING ACTUALLY HAPPENED. Judith even pulled a reverse UNO card and STILL. NO DRAMA.  I saw some people describing this as a slow-burn romance, and although I understand the slow-burn — I mean, they DO only (KINDA) get together on the very last page. So yeah. —, WHERE'S THE ROMANCE???? Piper spent most of the book still hung up on what she had with Judith while Kat went on a self-discovery journey with someone else — which, may I add, only begun because she LIED about her age. I sensed little chemistry between the main characters, there were no proper swoon worthy moments (I thought the nickname 'Snow White' was cute, but that's about it), and we got zero character/ relationship development. But what really grinds my gears in the midst of the hot mess that was this book: the way Kat's entire family constantly pressured her to admit she liked girls. Our girl was STRUGGLING. Her feelings were confusing. The thought of coming out to her judgy and gossipy small town was scary. Forcing her to label herself didn't help. AT ALL. You'd think Elliot being gay and closeted would serve as support and shine a light on her insecurities but noooooo. If anything, it kinda made it worse.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard

    3.5/5 This was cute and light. Won't be rereading it but don't regret reading it. 3.5/5 This was cute and light. Won't be rereading it but don't regret reading it.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ingrid

    Maybe like 3.5? I am so psyched that queer horse girl is a genre though. Wish it has been when I was a teenager!!!

  18. 4 out of 5

    mesrakreads

    i was super close to giving it a 2.

  19. 4 out of 5

    jazmín

    1.5 the only salvageable character is kat

  20. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    I liked the characters but the story just was really kinda boring, had very little conflict, and ended rather abruptly all wrapped up.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Manon the Malicious

    *4.5 Stars* I was provided an ARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Piper Kitts just got dumped and her horse-riding coach is sick... So that's a bleak summer in perspective with nothing to do and few people to spend it with. Until she convinces her parents to let her spend it at her grandmother's, training under and working for an Olympic horseback rider with a whole town to discover. Kat Pearson is in a bind. She needs money and fast. Her father's beauty parlor isn't doing as well a *4.5 Stars* I was provided an ARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Piper Kitts just got dumped and her horse-riding coach is sick... So that's a bleak summer in perspective with nothing to do and few people to spend it with. Until she convinces her parents to let her spend it at her grandmother's, training under and working for an Olympic horseback rider with a whole town to discover. Kat Pearson is in a bind. She needs money and fast. Her father's beauty parlor isn't doing as well as she wishes, her car needs immediate reparations and she wants her sister to have new dance classes that would be in the next town over... So when a client of her dad's offers to pay for her car troubles and more if she just gives driving lessons to her granddaughter, Piper, and maybe just hang out with her a little bit, she has to accept. Never mind that Piper gives Kat some weird goosebumps and that she's so unapologetically Queer when Kat doesn't know where she herself stands, she needs this, in more ways than one. I really really liked this. I fell into the story at the very beginning and could not stop reading. The characters were so loveable but also layered and flawed. I also loved hearing about the professional horse riding world. I used to ride long ago and it made me want to try again someday soon. It was really well done and just so immersive, the whole setting was, if I'm being honest. I could picture myself in this town so easily despite having never been anywhere near North Carolina. I also loved the side characters and their storylines, they were also very complex and it really brought to the whole story. I laughed quite a lot and also, maybe, shed a tear or two. I'm not going to lie though, I was somewhat frustrated by the ending but all in all, a very good YA sapphic romance that made me feel loads.

  22. 5 out of 5

    elise p

    Sapphic horse girls HELLO

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Pineo

    Review by Lisa Pineo *I received this eARC from HarperTeen via Edelweiss+ in return for an honest review. My ratings: * I hated it ** It was okay *** I liked it **** Really good ***** Great I expected a fast paced romp but got a slow burn in Jaye Robin Brown's YA novel, "The Key to You and Me." 3.5 stars Description from the publisher: "Piper Kitts is spending the summer living with her grandmother, training at the barn of a former Olympic horseback rider, and trying to get over her ex-girlfriend. Review by Lisa Pineo *I received this eARC from HarperTeen via Edelweiss+ in return for an honest review. My ratings: * I hated it ** It was okay *** I liked it **** Really good ***** Great I expected a fast paced romp but got a slow burn in Jaye Robin Brown's YA novel, "The Key to You and Me." 3.5 stars Description from the publisher: "Piper Kitts is spending the summer living with her grandmother, training at the barn of a former Olympic horseback rider, and trying to get over her ex-girlfriend. Much to Piper’s dismay, her grandmother is making her face her fear of driving head-on by taking lessons from a girl in town. Kat Pearson has always suspected that she likes girls but fears her North Carolina town is too small to color outside the lines. But when Piper’s grandmother hires Kat to give her driving lessons, everything changes. Piper’s not sure if she’s ready to let go of her ex. Kat’s navigating uncharted territory with her new crush. With the summer running out, will they be able to unlock a future together?" I'll start out with the positive: the main characters, Piper and Kat, were well fleshed out as well as some other secondary characters. I liked the relationships between all the characters and how they were all different but deep in their own way. I liked how both girls were finding things out about themselves even while one had been out as a lesbian for years and the other was still questioning. Now the cons: this novel covered everything in the publisher's description, plus one more relationship with one of the girls and a couple side storylines with Kat's sister and Piper's living situation. That's it. The whole novel took place over a few weeks and it didn't seem like much happened. Again, I liked the interplay of the characters, but the action was pretty minimal. By the time I got to the end of the book, I expected the story to really heat up. It seemed more like all of that could have been the first third of the book and still another 200 pages written. Overall I did like the novel. It would have gotten another star if it was more action-oriented instead of character-oriented, but that's just my preference.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    This was really disappointing. For a novel about an aspiring Olympic horse back rider, there was very little content or scenes about horses or riding. As a lifelong horse back rider and horse lover, this was crushing for me. There was way too much about Piper's ex Judith. I felt as though she was more of a main character than Kat. I couldn't believe that (view spoiler)[ KAT AND PIPER NOT EVEN GET TOGETHER?!?!?!?! EVEN AT THE END????? I thought this was supposed to be a cute LGBT romance????? Is This was really disappointing. For a novel about an aspiring Olympic horse back rider, there was very little content or scenes about horses or riding. As a lifelong horse back rider and horse lover, this was crushing for me. There was way too much about Piper's ex Judith. I felt as though she was more of a main character than Kat. I couldn't believe that (view spoiler)[ KAT AND PIPER NOT EVEN GET TOGETHER?!?!?!?! EVEN AT THE END????? I thought this was supposed to be a cute LGBT romance????? Is there going to be a sequel where they are together as a couple???? (hide spoiler)] I thought it was really gross that (view spoiler)[ Kat's cousin and sister kept asking her if she was into girls?!?!?!? Kat is only 18. I didn't start dating until my early 20s and no one in my life questioned me about this or thought it was strange. Worse, when Kat finally comes out to them, they both say, "I KNEW IT!" and to me it came across as really judgemental,condescending, rude and unsupportive. It felt like they were dismissing her. (hide spoiler)] Kat's sister was a really horrible character and I despised her. (view spoiler)[ She's selfish. Kat is working so hard so she can afford to drive her sister to a better dance studio but her sister comes across as completely unappreciative. She calls Piper creepy and is really rude to her for no reason. She frequently makes fun of her sister Kat's lack of interest in dating/partying/sex. In my opinion, Kat's sister comes across as cruel, immature and desperate. At the end of the novel, Kat's sister does have sex for the first time with her douchey love interest and he continues to treat her poorly. Their relationship never grows and his treatment of her is never resolved. She seems attention starved despite her Dad's good relationship with her. She is a terrible LGBT ally and ally to her sister. (hide spoiler)]

  25. 4 out of 5

    Caden

    3/5 stars! Synopsis: Piper Kitts is spending the summer living with her grandmother, training at the barn of a former Olympic horseback rider, and trying to get over her ex-girlfriend. Much to Piper’s dismay, her grandmother is making her face her fear of driving head-on by taking lessons from a girl in town. Kat Pearson has always suspected that she likes girls, but fears her North Carolina town is too small to color outside the lines. But when Piper comes to town and her grandmother hires Kat t 3/5 stars! Synopsis: Piper Kitts is spending the summer living with her grandmother, training at the barn of a former Olympic horseback rider, and trying to get over her ex-girlfriend. Much to Piper’s dismay, her grandmother is making her face her fear of driving head-on by taking lessons from a girl in town. Kat Pearson has always suspected that she likes girls, but fears her North Carolina town is too small to color outside the lines. But when Piper comes to town and her grandmother hires Kat to give her driving lessons, everything changes. Piper’s not sure if she’s ready to let go of her ex. Kat’s navigating uncharted territory with her new crush. With the summer running out, will they be able to unlock a future together? A huge thank you to NetGalley and HarperTeen for sending me an E-ARC for an honest review. The moment I heard about this book, I thought that it sounded really cute. I was super excited to get an ARC of this book. This book was fun to read! I think that both of the main characters were really easy to connect with. What I liked about the characters is that both of the girls had their own personal flaws and problems as young adults, and it was interesting to follow them throughout the story and see how they grew and changed as people. Overall, I liked this book. I didn't end up loving it as much as I was hoping I would. There were a few plots points that I didn't like near the middle of the book. Without talking about spoilers, I felt that there were some things that the author brought up in the book but then never really resolved. Some plot points felt unfinished to me. In the end, I liked this book, but I didn't end up loving it. I do still recommend it to people who love Contemporary Romance. Thanks for reading! Caden

  26. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Rating - 3.5 eARC kindly provided by Harper360 and Edelweiss This was such a lovely, sweet story about two teenage girls discovering new things about themselves and the future they thought they wanted. Piper is a self confessed horse-crazy girl, openly gay and still grieving after a painful break up. She is given the chance to train with an Olympic rider over the summer and that is where she meets Kat. Kat isn't sure what she wants, in life, or in a partner, and her journey of self discovery was a Rating - 3.5 eARC kindly provided by Harper360 and Edelweiss This was such a lovely, sweet story about two teenage girls discovering new things about themselves and the future they thought they wanted. Piper is a self confessed horse-crazy girl, openly gay and still grieving after a painful break up. She is given the chance to train with an Olympic rider over the summer and that is where she meets Kat. Kat isn't sure what she wants, in life, or in a partner, and her journey of self discovery was a joy to read. Tasked with teaching Piper to drive, the girls form a friendship that has the potential to become far, far more... This was easy to read and the characters very easy to warm to. I also particularly loved the cast of supportive friends and family. There were a few moments that made me cringe (teenage antics mostly), but they didn't take away any of my enjoyment of the book at all. I am not a huge reader of YA contemporary fiction, but would definitely pick up this books by this author again.

  27. 5 out of 5

    the bookish artist

    This was a really nice contemporary romance and it filled the want that I had for it. I think the romance was really well executed and the various explorations of identity as well! I think this is is very recommendable it just didn't leave the biggest impact, hence the four stars. This was a really nice contemporary romance and it filled the want that I had for it. I think the romance was really well executed and the various explorations of identity as well! I think this is is very recommendable it just didn't leave the biggest impact, hence the four stars.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Zizzy W

    *chanting* sapphic! sapphic! sapphic!

  29. 5 out of 5

    I can't read straight

    I was absolutely sure that I was going to like this book and the premises were all there...Kat is questioning her sexuality, she doesn't care about guys and starts wondering if she is actually into women. Piper comes from a bad breakup and goes to visit her grandmother to train as a dressage rider. Said grandmother, the true mastermind of the whole book, arranges for Kat to teach Piper driving. Private lessons. *wink wink From this excellent premise a very dubious plot unfolds that seems to use va I was absolutely sure that I was going to like this book and the premises were all there...Kat is questioning her sexuality, she doesn't care about guys and starts wondering if she is actually into women. Piper comes from a bad breakup and goes to visit her grandmother to train as a dressage rider. Said grandmother, the true mastermind of the whole book, arranges for Kat to teach Piper driving. Private lessons. *wink wink From this excellent premise a very dubious plot unfolds that seems to use various tropes (fake dating, slow burn, ex-coming back, jealousy, etc.) but without ever really conquering any. The thing that left me quite puzzled is the somewhat hasty ending. The entire book thrives on this slow-cooked attraction and you know from the beginning how it will end with those two, what I feel is missing is a balance in the give-and-take with the reader. (view spoiler)[When I say they get together at the very last moment I really mean at the last page... (hide spoiler)]

  30. 4 out of 5

    Harriet

    I was looking forward to a quick, sweet romance in the midst of my exams but this one was a bit of a flop. I am confused by who this book is aimed at - it started with a very childish tone so I thought it was maybe very YA but then it started referencing sex a lot so now I'm not so sure... I also really didn't like Piper's weird obsession with social media - I know she is a teenage girl but she is a bit too addicted.. who takes a selfie with a stranger they've just met, before even being introdu I was looking forward to a quick, sweet romance in the midst of my exams but this one was a bit of a flop. I am confused by who this book is aimed at - it started with a very childish tone so I thought it was maybe very YA but then it started referencing sex a lot so now I'm not so sure... I also really didn't like Piper's weird obsession with social media - I know she is a teenage girl but she is a bit too addicted.. who takes a selfie with a stranger they've just met, before even being introduced? Not to mention how rude she is in ignoring real life conversations to update her social media (with the sole purpose of making her ex jealous). Piper also has a strong phobia of driving (view spoiler)[ due to being involved in a motorway pile-up when she was younger (?!?!), yet none of the other characters are sympathetic or understanding of this?! (hide spoiler)] Finally, I would have given up on the line 'I'm down for just about anything except toxic masculinity and unhealthy relationships' had it not been near the end - really, who says that? Overall, I zoomed through this book in one sitting - it was very predictable (although that's normally OK in romances) but it generally just fell flat for me. I didn't particularly like any of the characters and wasn't really rooting for any of the relationships. Although a bonus is that the cover is cute!

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