Content Warning: abuse illness

Make Much of Me by Kayla Bashe (kayla-bird) was a fun little $2.99 read that I whipped through on my phone’s Kindle app while flying back home from my in-laws yesterday. What is it? It’s lesbian romance where an irrepressibly cheerful girl (Lily) forever physically weakened by tuberculosis and her beautiful classmate (Laura) who’s carrying the burden of an incredibly fucked-up and abusive home life come together in the setting of a music academy.

It’s full of positive energy, girls sticking together to help other girls, girls of various queernesses believing and supporting each other (there’s a bi girl and an ace girl who wind up joined at the hip), and beautiful little moments like the one where Lily’s troupe of friends go find some strapping young men willing to help carry her up the stairs so she can eat pastries from the shop on the top floor with everyone else.

I was a little jolted by the use of 21st century words like “alloromantic” in the dialogue of what I thought were supposed to be 1920’s characters (unless I read that wrong in one of the author’s ads), but that might be a generational thing, as I’m over ten years older than the author and would never presume to dictate style. I am definitely not suggesting that one shouldn’t depict the concepts of alloromanticism and aromanticism, to use that as an example, in historical fiction. Representation of all types is important.

Laura’s rescue and resurrection made me wish this was a movie, because I think this kind of story of healing needs to get told over and over again as long as people keep needing to heal.

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Shira Glassman is "a bisexual Jewish violinist passionately inspired by German and French opera and Agatha Christie novels. She and her agender same-sex spouse live in north central Florida, where the alligators are mostly harmless because they're too lazy to be bothered."

Bibliography:

  • The Second Mango (2013, Prizm Books) Golden Crown Literary Society finalist for Young Adult
  • Climbing the Date Palm (2014, Prizm Books) - "The Artist and the Devil" (2014, Vitality's free minizine, online only)
  • A Harvest of Ripe Figs (2015, Prizm Books — due out 1/21/2015)
  • Tales from Outer Lands (included free with the Figs paperback, but available as a separate eBook 2/11/2015)

She says "It's worth noting that every single one of those works has at least one bisexual character, and that "The Artist and the Devil" directly confronts and punctures biphobic stereotypes where one of the two short stories in the Tales, "Aviva and the Aliens", stars a bisexual woman rescuing herself and keeping her girlfriend safe, too. I am currently working on book four of the Mangoverse series."