Tuesday, September 29, 2020

The Times I Knew I Was Gay by Eleanor Crewes
[Review + ARC Giveaway]

 
Synopsis (via Goodreads): A charming, highly relatable graphic memoir that follows one young woman’s adventures in coming out and coming of age.

Ellie always had questions about who she was and how she fit in. As a girl, she wore black, obsessed over Willow in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and found dating boys much more confusing than many of her friends did. As she grew older, so did her fears and a deep sense of unbelonging. From her first communion to her first girlfriend via a swathe of self-denial, awkward encounters, and everyday courage, Ellie tells her story through gorgeous illustrations—a fresh and funny self-portrait of a young woman becoming herself.

The Times I Knew I Was Gay reminds us that people sometimes come out not just once but again and again; that identity is not necessarily about falling in love with others, but about coming to terms with oneself. Full of vitality and humor, it will ring true for anyone who has taken the time to discover who they truly are.

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I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

The Times I Knew I Was Gay was my first time reading a graphic memoir, and I really enjoyed the experience! It was an interesting way to tell a really important story, and I think the illustrations were able to show another layer of the author's life. Unfortunately, it was hard to tell who was who, so I was often confused as to who the images were supposed to be depicting. A lot of the characters looked very similar, and I think the sameness detracted from the overall appeal of the book.

Additionally, this story was mostly highlights, so it was like watching a 15 second Reel on Instagram. You only get a glimpse of the whole picture, and I would have liked more details and interactions with people. I get more out of a single comic issue (roughly 20 pages) than I did out of the 320 pages of this book. It made it hard to connect with the author/main character and the story they were trying to tell. I do think this book will be something a lot of people can relate to, but it lacked a certain oomph. A very interesting concept though!

Eleanor Crewes shows the world that there are a lot of different ways for people to "come out," and that sometimes it happens more than once. Maybe you admit it to yourself in the shower one day, but don't mention it again for several years when you're shopping with your best friend. It may be another couple of years before you're able to talk to your parents about it, or list it on your social media pages. It's different for everyone, and no one should feel bad about the road they have to take to get there. There is no "right way" to discover yourself and who you're meant to be. (★★★⋆☆)


Giveaway Rules: This giveaway officially starts on September 29, 2020 and ends on October 13, 2020 (two weeks!). The winner will be announced on October 14, 2020 on this post within the Rafflecopter form, and also notified by email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond or I will have Rafflecopter choose another winner (read my full giveaway policy here).

International entries are okay as long as The Book Depository ships to you. Click here to check! I will have a finished copy of this book shipped to you, and an additional US winner will be chosen for the physical ARC I already have.

To enter – fill out the Rafflecopter form below - - easy! *This is only for a copy of the book shown, not the book sleeve in the photo. Yes, I reused something I originally posted on Instagram. ;)

6 comments:

  1. I have never read a graphic memoire, only fiction graphic novels.

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    1. I typically read comics as single issues unless I'm REALLY behind. After a while, they'll starts combing like six issues into graphic novel to save space, and I own a few of those as well. My Scooby Apocalypse series is all graphic novels since I started late, and now I wait for them to combine single issues before getting the next one. I like for my stuff to match. ;)

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  2. Never heard of a memoire done in graphic novel form. Sorry to hear this one lacked a bit of the oomph you hoped for.

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    1. It was a really interesting concept! I just think it failed to deliver the oomph. :)

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  3. I love the premise behind this one but perhaps not the format, being a graphic novel. It sounds relatable for so many queer readers. I was reading the article that VE Schwab wrote the other day, about how she was well into her adulthood before finding her identity and how it evolves until queer friends find a space that they feel at home in and I thought it was a lovely analogy. It sounds like it would have worked much better as a written novel rather than a graphic novel. Sorry you couldn't have enjoyed this one a little more Linds but lovely review!

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    1. I do think this book will be very relatable, but I wish it had been developed a little more. I think the content could have been expanded on, and the illustrations a little more polished. It's frustrating when the characters look too similar to differentiate.

      I haven't read that V.E. Schwab article, but now I want to find it! It sounds like an amazing read. <3

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