Read Me Like A Book by Liz Kessler
Published by: Orion Children’s Books
I was given a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
P L O T
Ash is in a few tricky situations. Not only are her parents splitting up for good, and she’s wondering if she really likes her boyfriend, but she’s also started having feelings for her teacher, Miss Murray. Confused by her identity and family situation, Ash has to really figure out what would make her truly happy.
C H A R A C T E R
I really enjoyed Ash’s perspective. There were lots of little details about other stories from her life that were relevant to her current situation, and that kind of story telling reminded me of Geek Girl in some way. And, although she’s struggling with a lot of things, in the end, she doesn’t push herself completely out of her comfort zone. She seems to do what’s best for her, and sometimes that’s the most important thing.
She has quite a spunky best friend, Cat, who she falls out with half way through the book, but their friendship dynamic is certainly interesting. It’s typical of YA, for best friends to be as different as night and day, and that’s the same with Cat and Ash. I thought I was bored of this trope, but what the girls fought about was very realistic. I think that’s a word I can use to describe the whole book.
T H E M E
So, obviously, the big pull of this book is that the main character is falling in love with her female teacher. In my last review, I talked about how pupils falling in love with their students seems to only happen in books, and it ends up being completely ridiculous because the teachers always decided to reciprocate feelings. BUT, Miss Murray did the sensible thing, the thing any teacher would have to do in that situation. That’s not to say the feelings weren’t returned, but it just added another realistic aspect to the story.
Ash’s journey in discovering her true identity was really lovely to read. It was nice to see her cycle through different relationships and figure out what worked for her. In the end, teacher-student relationships will never end well, but I was very happy for Ash at where she was when I finished the book.
I also think it’s important for lesbians to be a more prominent part of YA. There’s been a very promising increase in LGBT+ representation in books recently, four in the books I’ve read this month alone, but the spectrum definitely covers more than gay relationships. To see lesbians and transgender teens in YA is an excellent sign that the market is changing for the better!
V E R D I C T
I really enjoyed Read Me Like A Book. There were so many elements in it to enjoy, and so many things going on in Ash’s life. Overall, what made the book so successful was how realistic it was and for that, I give it 4 stars.