This is me tackling my 2018 resolutions with my first mini reviews post!
I decided to group all these together since they all follow a common theme (sapphic relationships) and were all read during sapphicathon. I’m also including what kind of representation they have (if it was specified or somehow talked about) and possible trigger warnings (but please note that I might have forgotten or not have noticed some).
Books starred with * were review copies.
Ripped Pages by M. Hollis
This was a short Rapunzel retelling that went much farther than it probably intended, at least for me.
It was, at the surface, a cute f/f retelling, so just what you would expect. But there was so much more about this, with talk about the importance of representation in books and open and honest talk about sexuality.
It was also a story that I felt portrayed the recovery from emotional abuse in a perfect way, and that’s what made this a complete five stars for me.
Rep: unlabeled lesbian MC and bi/pansexual LI
TW: emotional abuse
* Kim Reaper: Grim Beginnings by Sarah Graley
This was really funny and a quick read.
I really liked the premise and the execution was okay. There’s not much depth to the plot or characters but that’s okay for such a comic, it promised to be funny and to have a cute and diverse f/f relationship and it definitely delivered on that part.
I personally won’t buy the sequel just because this was not completely my cup of tea but someone with a similar humor as the author will enjoy it a lot.
The Melody of You and Me by M. Hollis
This was my third M. Hollis short story (well this is actually more like a novella) and I think it’s safe to say I really like the author.
It’s a contemporary about two girls meeting because they work in the same library (yay libraries!) and it’s just a fun and cute contemporary story while also managing to talk about important topics without going too deep.
Rep: pansexual MC and lesbian LI
The Edge of the Abyss by Emilie Skrutskie
This was the sequel to The Abyss Surrounds Us and I loved it so much. Probably not as much as the first one, but it was a well done sequel and it definitely lived up to the quality that was book one.
I can’t really say much without spoiling book one, so I’ll just say that my favorite thing in both installments was the romance, which was done perfectly in book one and was done almost as perfectly here. There were a few very minor things that I found were a bit too repetitive but overall it was believable, and I especially loved the kind of ending this got.
It’s definitely not a cliché worldbuilding and not a cliché romance, and I think it’s a really good series to start with if you’ve never read books with f/f romance.
Rep: unlabeled and not really talked about but I believe they’re both lesbians
Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
This was definitely my favorite read of sapphicathon. I can’t believe I’ve owned this book since last June and I’ve waited until now to read it, but I probably enjoyed it much more now that I would have this summer for various reasons.
It takes place in the US in the eighties, when it was also published. I believe it’s one of the first, if not the first, YA book that deals with female homosexuality in such an open and honest way.
Because it was published so long ago, I was a little scared that it wouldn’t work for me and that it would use harmful tropes (that weren’t regarded as such back then). Fool me, I should have done my research.
The author was apparently a lesbian herself and reading about the history of this book broke my heart a little (they banned it from schools and burned it publicly in a town somewhere – I don’t remember exactly and I don’t feel like looking it up again because I’m not ready to cry again).
I was so surprised to see how well female homosexuality was treated and this is totally both a “book to educate straight people and educating them on the fact that gay people are normal” (I’m paraphrasing the author) and a book for young sapphic girls to see themselves represented and learn that it’s okay and that they can get their happy ending.
Yes, this book has a happy ending and it killed the tragic lesbian trope before it was invented.
Rep: lesbian MC and LI
* Winterglass by Benjanun Sriduangkaew (DNF)
I didn’t really like this and even though I DNF’d it around 80% I marked it as read because I could have just as easily kept skim reading until the end and it would have made no difference.
I wasn’t interested in the romance or in the world building but honestly the writing was what ruined this for me completely.
I’m not someone who complains about writing style a lot, especially where I see that there’s something unique about it. And this was definitely unique, but it also didn’t feel genuine at all. It wasn’t fluid and it felt like every sentence was written in a contorted way on purpose to achieve some specific kind of style that I couldn’t even begin to try to describe. It’s not bad per se, it’s just something I can’t seem to understand or be able to enjoy.
The writing was really what ruined this for me, and paired with a story that starts without much explanation about the world building at all, it meant that I had almost no idea what was going on most of the time. I’m okay with being thrown into a world without it being explained but I can’t focus on that if I’m also trying to understand what every sentence means.
The only thing I loved about this was the diversity because there was absolutely no heteronormativity or cisnormativity and there were different sexualities and genders portrayed. I also believe that the world might have been interesting had I been able to understand it.
Rep: multiple queer and nonbinary characters, nonbinary femme LI
* I was sent these as advanced copies by the publisher via NetGalley for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own.
Please let me know if you like this type of posts! I might try to save a bunch of mini reviews to post together like this in the future or just post them whenever I have them but I’m not sure what’s best, so I definitely welcome any feedback you might have!