Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Book Review: Ramona Blue
AUTHOR: Julie Murphy
PUBLISHED: May 9th, 2017
PREMISE: A girl realizes she's bisexual over an eventful few months...
MY REVIEW: Chances are if you've heard about this book, you've heard about the big stink raised on Goodreads by people going on about how this was lesbian erasure. I know I heard it and that made me hesitant to pick it up. Because lesbian erasure is a thing that goes on in entertainment and it's gross. But after reading people's reasons for deciding it was lesbian erasure...I started to smell bs. Namely bs in the form of bi-phobia.
First, it didn't help people that they came to the conclusion that it was erasure because they read (the admittedly very bad) blurb. I'm sorry, if your basing your opinion on a blurb...I can't take your opinion seriously. Second, several bisexual people, who actually had read the book, started to clear things up and people just basically straight up said they were lying or tried to invalidate their experiences when some of them said they went through exactly what Ramona did in this book. That right there, ticked me off. Stop invalidating others' experiences just because that hasn't been your experience, okay? Not everyone figures out their sexuality the same way. No one's experience is universal.
So after that, and more then a few bi-phobic comments made by the people protesting the book (another big red flag for me), I decided to just check it out on my own and guess what: there was no lesbian erasure. Ramona makes it very clear she is still very into women, she's just now also into men. That's not really lesbian erasure guys. Ramona was always bisexual. She was just realizing it now and that is a thing that happens sometimes. If she dated Freddie and then decided oh, she just likes guys now, and did the gross it was just a phase thing, THAT would be lesbian erasure and I'd be right there protesting the book with you. But that wasn't what happened. Now, if we want to talk about the thing with her ex-girlfriend...that could also qualify, but the author also makes it incredibly clear that what that character said is all sorts of wrong and not okay. So I'm sorry, you all don't really have a case. Let this be a lesson: stinks raised on Goodreads about stuff are not always right. Read the book and form your own opinion.
That issue out of the way, onto the actual book: it was okay. I do feel Murphy could have handled some issues here and there better (like the thing with the ex-girlfriend). There are plots that are never fully resolved and issues brought up and then dropped as soon as they're brought up. The plot also stalled a lot in the middle. As a book, this is a pretty average contemporary. There are some good lines here and there though.
WHO SHOULD READ: Julie Murphy fans
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five could have been better, but still good feelings