Solid Premise Marred By Pervasive Bigotry Against Anything Non-Queer. My book stats don't lie- I read pretty well damn near everything. I've read several lesbian/ bisexual (of all forms) romances over the years, and actually still have another outstanding one to read in the next few weeks. And this one, as a slow burn with very heavy concepts... eh, it works reasonably well. Even as I find myself writing a 4* review and mostly siding with the existing 1* - 2* reviews that are currently on Goodreads as I write this as far as my own personal feelings about the book. But I pride myself in my "subtractive method" and trying to be objective-ish when deducting stars, and really the only thing objectively wrong here is the bigotry against anything non-queer, as noted in the title. As in, literally every single character - religious or not - that is not queer in this book is a bad guy, and while there is a singular queer bad guy as well - the ex-girlfriend of one of our MCs here - even this is portrayed in a better light than the non-queer characters. Yes, there is also a trans character that plays a small yet somewhat important role as well.
But, as I constantly say - "someone is going to LOVE the book for *EXACTLY* the reasons a given reviewer HATES it, and vice versa", and I fully expect this to be the case here. A girl/ girl romance, no matter how you want to classify it, already has a fairly limited market, for any number of reasons. Within that market, I expect this tale to do reasonably well, as it is actually reasonably good from certain perspectives. Outside of that market, I think the bigotry so pervasively on display here is going to sink its chances even more than the girl/ girl romance nature of the tale.
I will say that as someone who frequents Walt Disney World and as a former runner with a couple of half marathons (though never a Disney one) under his belt... the sequences inside the park were actually quite fun, and the descriptions of a half marathon... show this particular runner didn't train and/ or prepare particularly well for that length of race. Just to toss in a couple of observations I haven't seen in other reviews as well. :)
Overall, if you're into queer and/ or girl/ girl specifically romances... give this one a try. I genuinely do like to try to support debut authors, which is the actual primary reason I picked up this ARC, and there is certainly a sizeable market amongst those who will more readily agree with the author's overall perspectives. If you're less open to those types of romances... I'd say skip this one. There are certainly less problematic ones out there to try to broaden your horizons with a bit than this one, and maybe you skipping it will spare the author a 1* or 2* review. Recommended.
Originally posted at bookanon.com.