A good lesbian YA read with some bumps

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lesbian YA read

A good lesbian YA read with some bumps

Review of ‘Synclair’ by Rachel Gold

This was a good lesbian YA read with some bumps. Over the past year or two, I have fallen back in love with YA. I used to really struggle with this genre but the quality of YA books nowadays is really impressive. Rachel Gold was one of the few YA writers I could read even when I was struggling with YA. And now that I’m enjoying it again, I was really excited to read this. This was a good, well-written story, but I didn’t connect to it like I did Gold’s other books. Gold is a talented author who writes about people and issues that many authors shy away from. She was one of the first to write about a character wanting to transition, from their POV. She wrote one of the first books I’ve read about someone who was genderqueer but also had intersex parts. And she wrote about systematic racism in a way that was eye-opening. For this book, Gold chose to write about religion. As we all know religion can bring people together, yet it can also be very polarizing.

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I’m not a religious person, I think the spiritual tag fits better on me, but I’m always interested in learning. I liked that this book was talking about many different religions from Catholic, Protestant, Judaism, Atheism, Wiccan, and even a bit of mysticism. The main character Synclair, a 17-year-old female, is home alone for the summer with her older brother. Synclair’s parents don’t believe in god so this is the chance for Synclair to find the right religion for her, which she feels has been missing her whole life. It would also be nice if she could find a girlfriend this summer too.

I thought that was an interesting premise and I was prepared to learn a few things since I normally do when reading Gold. The problem for me is that it became too much. I think it was well done most of the book, but around the 70% mark, I felt it was getting too much and that the book was almost losing me. One of the things I enjoy so much about Gold is her strong YA voice. Instead, I felt like her voice was becoming more new adult to just adult. When I was 17, we would talk about Buff the Vampire Slayer episodes, field hockey, and whose turn it was to drive to the under 21 dance club. We were not having these deeply religious and philosophical conversations. Sure, kids could be smarter now than we were 20 years ago, but some of the talk was even trying to go over my adult head. And again, maybe not having a religious background hindered me, but this still lost the YA feel in my opinion.

I liked the main character of Synclair very much. I cared about her journey and was rooting for her. I normally cry multiple times in Gold’s books so I was surprised that nothing ever moved me enough for that to happen. That was a slight disappointment since I like YA books that make me feel. I also had trouble with Synclair’s romance. I did not really care for the girl she was interested in so it felt a little flat.

On the good side, I loved the ending. I was hoping for it, I had everything crossed for it, but I still did not expect it. I have to give Gold a lot of credit for that choice and it was great. I would actually love a book that starts where this one ended so I could see their senior year and everything that they go through. It was a great ending that really helped my enjoyment since I struggled in other parts.

If you are new to Gold, I would not recommend starting here. I would suggest Nico & Tucker or In the Silences instead. If you are a fan of Gold or are interesting in a YA that tackles religion, then I would recommend this. There were some bumps for me that were part of personal preference and partially just things that I didn’t think worked as well. This didn’t move me like Gold’s books normally do, but it was still well written like always. 3.50 Stars.

A copy was given to me for an honest review.

lesbian YA readlesbian YA read

Synclair
lesbian YA read

This was a good lesbian YA read with some bumps. Over the past year or two, I have fallen back in love with YA. I used to really struggle with this genre but the quality of YA books nowadays is really impressive. Rachel Gold was one of the few YA writers I could read even when I was struggling with YA. And now that I’m enjoying it again, I was really excited to read this. This was a good, well-written story, but I didn’t connect to it like I did Gold’s other books. Gold is a talented author who writes about people and issues that many authors shy away from. She was one of the first to write about a character wanting to transition, from their POV. She wrote one of the first books I’ve read about someone who was genderqueer but also had intersex parts. And she wrote about systematic racism in a way that was eye-opening. For this book, Gold chose to write about religion. As we all know religion can bring people together, yet it can also be very polarizing.

URL: 3.5 stars, Religion

Author: Rachel Gold

Editor's Rating:
3.5

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