BOOK REVIEW: Juliet Takes A Breath by Gabby Rivera

What’s a better way to finish my Woman’s History Month Reading List than with a novel about a lesbian woman of colour? There isn’t one, truly. For a month I’ve been trying to ignore my growing list of books written by men (Gaiman’s Norse Mythology among them!) and to give space to women’s voices in literature. It was really hard but it really made me think how I should do things like this more often.

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A couple of years ago if you’d like to read a book about lesbians you’d have to search very hard or just end up with Sappho who wrote around 600 years BC! Today we have a growing list of queer authors and authors who write queer characters The world is finally starting to understand why not only queer people but everyone else too needs to see different sexualities represented in media. And I use queer here to talk only about lesbian, gay and bisexual people, although we who use that word have had some annoying setbacks recently. 

The story starts with a quote from an author enthusiastic about “empowering the pussy” which is a very transphopic approach to feminism but it gets better, I promise. The main character, from whose perspective we see the world that surrounds her is a lesbian woman at a very sensitive moment in her life since she’s coming out to her family. Things don’t go as well as planned but there’s a great opportunity for her in the future, an internship with the woman who wrote the most important book in her life. Also, Juliet has a girlfriend and their relationship seems a little strange from the beginning (the girlfriend not being very affectionate) but that’s just may be because she’s still a closeted woman.

Feminism. I’m new to it. The word still sounds weird and wrong. Too white, too structured, too foreign: something I can’t claim.

This is a novel about feminism from the perspective of a lesbian of colour, which makes it very important. It’s a celebration of life in all its forms and it’s essential for women to read this kind of fiction. In the beginning it may seem to you like the writing is slow and that the author is trying to put as many information as can but soon it become a story about growing up and accepting yourself, when even your family has problems with who you are.

This character  is crucial in this world. I hope people give this book the recognition it deserves.

Published January 18th 2016 by Riverdale Avenue Books

*I received this book on NetGalley and gave it my honest review. Thanks for sharing!

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