Release date: March 6, 2018
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Premise: A collection of poignant, relatable essays from the author of Never Have I Ever about coming out in her late twenties, entering into her first relationship, and figuring out what it means to be an adult.
When Katie Heaney published her first book of essays chronicling her singledom up to age 25, she was still waiting to meet the right guy. Three years later, a lot changed. For one thing, she met the right girl.
Here, for the first time, Katie opens up about realizing that she is gay. She tackles everything from the trials of dating in New York City to the growing pains of her first relationship, from obsessing over Harry Styles (because, actually, he does look a bit like a lesbian) to learning to accept herself all over again. Exploring love and sexuality with her neurotic wit and endearing intimacy, Katie shares the message that it’s never too late to find love–or yourself.
Thoughts + Feelings: I had never heard of Katie Hearney before I stumbled upon her book on NetGalley. I thought it was awesome that she had written a memoir at such a young age because it’s not something that’s done very often, unless you are already famous.
I have read very few books that are a) written by LGBTQ+ authors or b) books about the LGBTQ+ community, so I was interested to read about Katie’s life leading up to and after she had come out.
I found a lot of Heaney’s writing to be redundant and whiny. Katie seemed to retell the same stories over + over again in her memoir. It seemed like she was trying to show the stories from different perspectives, but they were all of her same stories… from her perspective. I also hate using the word ‘whiny’ to describe her writing style because I don’t want you (my readers) to confuse my idea of her whiny writing style with me thinking that she is whining about her coming out story. I have always been in heterosexual relationships, so I do not have experience with needing to come out – but from trying to understand it from the larger picture and conversations that I’ve had with people who have come out, I have an understanding of how challenging it is for a person. I just feel like there is a way to do it without whining in your writing.
“I cannot change anything about the trajectory of my past, and if I were given the opportunity, I am not sure that I would.”
In Heaney’s life thus far, she has learned a lot about herself and the person that she wants to be. That is something that I truly admire. To go from writing a book about never dating to the slow-time realization that you are queer is a big shocker to the system. Just because I didn’t love her writing style, doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate her story.
Recommend? LGBTQ+ friendly. If you know someone struggling with their feelings towards men/women, this could be a good book to help them feel like they’re not alone. If you’re looking for a memoir to better understand a segment of the LGBTQ+ community, this book is also for you!