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Read Me Like A Book by Liz Kessler - Review

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Where did I get it? It was another of the books that Lucinda lent me; she knew I wanted to read it. I saw Liz talk on the LGBT panel at YALC last year, so the book was on my radar. 
What's it about? Ashleigh is in her final year at college, about to do her A levels. She meets Dylan at a party and starts going out with him. She falls out with her best friend Cat. She has a new English teacher, Miss Murray, and begins to feel strange things about her. She sleeps with Dylan, but it doesn't work out between them. She joins the debating society because Miss Murray runs it, and makes frriends with Robyn. Little by little, she realises she's gay. Her parents have split up and both her parents are seeing other people, which is complicated too.
Basically there's just so much in this novel, this isn't even half of the twists, I swear. And yet nothing is explored in a very believable way. Ash seems to almost float above everything; the only times her feelings seem genuine are when she meets Taylor (who she ends up going out with). It's really clunky and oddly done.
I also found it quite offensive that whenever Ash told someone that she was gay, their response was that they already knew. It happens quite a few times - with her mum, with Cat, with her dad's girlfriend's son. It's a really offensive thing to say to a queer person - you cannot know their sexual identity before they do, and even if you suspected (by using probably horrendously outdated and possibly offensive stereotypes) you can just shut up and support them instead. 
What age range is it for? 13+, it's very tame.

Are any main characters LGBTQ+? Obviously.

Are any main characters non-white? If they are it's not mentioned.  
Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? No
Is there any sex stuff? Some kissing
Are drugs mentioned or used? No

Is there any talk of death? No

Are there swear words? Only mild ones
Would I recommend the book? Not really, no. 

How many stars? 3 out of 10. It was lauded as something groundbreaking in LGBT YA literature, and it really, really isn't. 

Where is the book going now?
 Back to Lucinda

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