I really, REALLY wanted to love this book. Queer girls, 60s/70s culture, and a road trip to Alaska? Sign. me. up. It had everything going for it in the summary.
Unfortunately, I had to DNF this book at about 65%.
What I liked:
- Obviously, I love the queer girl representation. This book actually made me reflect a lot about my own queerness and my gender presentation. I think there is a lot of value to a story that discusses issues of identity.
- There were parts where I really did like Tracy’s character and her story, especially at the beginning where she is exploring her newly discovered identity.
What I really didn’t like:
- There was a lot of very uncomfortable comparison between the oppression faced by queer people in the United States and the oppression faced by Black Americans. Tracy would casually say things that suggested she thought life was much easier for Black Americans at the time than for queer people. I’m not sure if this was supposed to be a commentary on white feminism where Tracy is able to confront and correct her past remarks, but I highly doubt this happens in the short amount of pages left from where I DNF’d. I just did not see why this comparison was necessary.
- The dialogue felt incredibly stilted and awkward. Every time Tracy had a conversation with someone else, especially with people in her family, it felt so incredibly forced. I can’t picture anyone saying most of the things Tracy and her family say to each other.
- The pacing also just seemed… off. It felt like things were happening so fast with no pause to really get the full impact of the events. I get that it’s supposed to seem like Tracy is telling the story from the present and is going through the events of her life, but it just really did not work for me.
I’m definitely in the minority with my feelings on this book. Maybe it just wasn’t for me, but I gave it two stars for the queer representation.
Thank you to NetGalley and Skipstone Publishing for an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.