I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This has no influence on my rating.
Would You Rather: A Memoir of Growing Up and Coming Out will be released on March 6th, 2018.
4/5 – This year, I wanted to read a non-fiction book by a queer author about being queer. This spoke out to me when I saw it on Netgalley because it was exactly what I was looking for. What I didn’t expect was to relate so strongly with the author’s experience in coming out later in life and finding out who she was at the age of twenty-eight.
Katie Heaney wrote a book called Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date and it was released in 2014. She references this book often in Would You Rather because, in it, she describes never having dated, being a virgin at twenty-five, and being attracted to men. At the time she wrote that book, she had not accepted that she was a lesbian. She might not have even known despite the signs she points out in Would You Rather.
It is fascinating to have two different books, written at two different points in your life that demonstrate how things can change over the course of just a few years. At twenty-five, she is single, straight, and a virgin and at twenty-eight she has a girlfriend, is a lesbian, and is no longer a virgin. I love how candid she is about talking about her journey in coming out to her friends and family and how at first she didn’t feel “gay enough” because she hadn’t ever dated a woman. I related to her story for a number of reasons, but I’m not as candid as she is. I don’t think I would ever write, let alone publish not just one but two books detailing my love life and sexuality. I admire Heaney greatly because of it. She talks about how she continued to get emails after her first book was released from young women who related to her story and I know she will get emails for Would You Rather for the same thing.
I thought the content of the book was great, I wasn’t too fond of the format. The book is described as a series of essays and sometimes the book flowed nicely and sometimes it didn’t. I would’ve liked if the book flowed all the way through and didn’t feel as if there were unrelated essays mixed in. That being said, I loved the essay about Heaney downloading and watching The L Word for the first time while she was studying abroad. There was even an essay where she talked about her anxiety and how she had been resistant to medication before accepting she needed it. Again, I really appreciated her openness throughout the memoir about her journey and I would highly recommend it.