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She gets the girl - YA Fiction Review

‘She gets the girl’, is a sapphic YA fiction novel. It explores issues of self identity, predominantly in relation to queer expression, and also branches out to explore how this may intersect with cultural identity.

The message of the story is very much so one of self-acceptance. To me it connotes the idea of self-discovery as being a journey, one that is not always straightforward, but is ultimately fulfilling.

The story follows the main characters Alex and Molly, two young girls settling into their newfound freedom at college, as they navigate new friendships, dating and family issues. They end up crossing each other's paths by chance, at a party the night before classes start. As their personalities clash, they seem an unlikely pairing. Their friendship blossoms as they decide to help each other win over their respective crushes.

As the story progresses, the two open up more and more to each other and find out that they have more in common than they first thought.

Why I enjoyed this book

I enjoyed this book because of its depictions of queer joy. It had you rooting for both of the characters to end up happy. I think it’s very important for young LGBTQIA+ people to read about people like them who end up happy. Our mission at Faerie Press is to create spaces for more children and young people to feel represented, and stories like this one are the kind of stories centred around queer joy that we hope to spotlight.

Moreover, I also love that the book is written by a queer couple. I believe that when LGBTQIA+ writers tell queer stories, they feel very poignant and impactful. The book is co-authored by Rachael Lippincott and Alyson Derrick. In an author interview by Beth Edwards they are quoted saying

“She gets the girl was inspired by our own love story. We spiced it up a little of course. We made the characters extreme opposites and wrote some juicier scenes than what actually happened in real life, but the bones of our story are still there.”

This is a book I would have loved to read when I was a teenager. Amidst the rise of queer YA stories, particularly fiction, I find myself discovering a lot of comfort in stories of queer joy. As someone who struggled to figure out my identity until I was out of my teens, reading these stories makes my inner child and my inner teenager happy.

Linguistic style

The dual narrative style of the novel allows the reader to gain an intimate insight into both of the characters, which in turn allows us to watch as the love story develops from both of the girls’ perspectives.

While the book explores some darker topics such as alcoholism and racism, generally the tone is humorous and lighthearted. The characters hardships whilst important in shaping who they are, are not the main focus of the story. This allows us to delve further into the character dynamics and chemistry between Alex and Molly without the stakes being too high.

I think this quote is a good representation of the tone of the book and a further insight into the story, “Some things have to fall apart because they don’t belong together, but some things belong so much they could never break”.

Overall, I think this is an uplifting book for young readers.

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