Book Review: Just Girls by Rachel Gold
I found this whole cache of small-press LGBT teen books at the library that totally weren’t getting checked out. So I checked a bunch out to save them (In libraryland, the general rule we follow with teen books is that if something sits on the shelf without getting checked out for a year (and it doesn’t have specific local interest and it’s not bound to become a “Classic”) it gets weeded or sent to community redistribution).
Who: Tucker and Ella. Tucker’s a kinda butch lesbian and Ella’s a femme trans girl
What: Both entering their freshman year of college, they become suitemates and friends due to some terrible transphobic stuff that is happening on campus. All kinds of stuff happens, ranging from live action RPGs to protests to sex to lots of political conversations.
When: Modern era
Where: Some university in a far away non-urban place
Hot damn, this is one full book. If I don’t hang myself up on the idea that maybe too much was trying to be accomplished in a single book, I can say that this book is actually quite good. Lots of stuff happens, yet there’s a clean and tidy ending. It’s one of the few books I’ve read with a trans girl narrator, and I think it covers so much ground (see the tags) because there aren’t a lot of books with the same agenda/circumstance.
As a person who majored in women&gender studies in college and who resides in both academic and queer communities, I can say that the author and I are definitely on the same wavelength, and she makes a lot of really good points about how problematic institutions can be. If some of the right teens actually come into the library and pull this one off the shelf, it’s gonna rock their worlds. In a good way.