I love Red! She has a prosthetic leg and therefore gets to be a strong (in body and mind) character who is differently-abled. She is also Black. And queer! HOORAY!
The schtick of the chorus works better at the end than the beginning and while I appreciate wheat Levithan is doing, and I think he does it well, it is still a lot and it makes the book sadder and more fraught than his other works.
The book manages to evoke crushing despair while still being a beautiful love story… because it is… it is a beautiful love story, not just between the two boys, but a love story about life and how we need to suck the joy from our lives with every damn breath we are privileged to get to take.
This book has stuff for everyone… it is not just a “gay” book even though, yes, it is hella gay. I would highly recommend it for the story, the writing, and the universal truths. And again… That ending… /chef’s kiss.
It’s still #Pride month and I am still reading queer literature to celebrate. Back to the comforting well of speculative fiction… and unlike my last foray into that land, this time I was very glad for the journey.
Take out the very superficial puzzlement about identity that one character *almost* has, and this is a very tired, very cliche, very poorly written book about two people falling for one another in the most boring ways possible.
I should have loved this book. Lesbian dealing with alien invasion and mind control issues coupled with thoughts about aging, letting, go, accepting change, and can you be human without struggle? Sign me up!
Have you ever argued with someone who quoted past conversations from say 6 years ago with startling clarity and then told you what each pregnant pause in that long-ago conversation really meant? Reading Frances’ mind was sort of like that. Frustrating, unreliable despite her best efforts to maintain the opposite, and unsettling.
I actually think that character building is where Mohanraj really shines. Yes, the world-building is interesting and complex (thankfully we are given the exact right bit of information so that we can follow along and care without getting overly bogged down), but it is the characters who will stay with me.
Being straight should not be the default assumption. It just… shouldn’t. BUT it is nice to be able to find wlw books when that is what you are hankering for. But aslo, this novel is far more complex and interesting than the label “lesbian novel” would imply. It is a novel that tells a coming of age story about a lesbain.