Book review: Pulp + competition

By Robin Talley
Published by HQ

Synopsis: In 1955 eighteen-year-old Janet Jones must keep the love she shares with her best friend a secret. As in the age of McCarthyism to be gay is to sin. But when Janet discovers a series of books about women falling in love with other women, it awakens something in her. As she juggles a romance she must keep hidden and a new-found ambition to write and publish her own story, she risks exposing herself – and Marie – to a danger all too real.

Sixty-two years later, Abby Cohen can’t stop thinking about her senior project – classic 1950s lesbian pulp fiction. She feels especially connected to one author, ‘Marian Love’, and becomes determined to track her down and discover her true identity. Is Abby prepared for what she will find?

How did this book end up in my hands? I requested a review copy of this book as soon as I saw it in the HQ newsletter and my wish was granted. I am one lucky bookblogger!

Was it a page-turner? It was at first and then again at the end but I must admit that I struggled a little in the middle section as I thought the narrative had slowed down too much. I did enjoy getting to know the characters more but I just wanted to know what happened next and I was made to wait too long!

Having read the synopsis, did the book meet my expectations? I am perhaps not the best judge of this because I expected to like this book purely based on it having LGBT characters! Having said this, even though I was familiar with the pulp fiction genre, I didn’t know much about its background so I feel like I’ve learned a lot and that is something that I really appreciated.

Did I like the ending? [no spoilers] I did. It was the right level of cheesy and relatively unexpected, which was a bonus for me.

Three words to describe it. Queer. Inspiring. Sweet.

Do I like the cover? I love everything about it but I wonder how it could have been made to match the look of a pulp book cover, modern-style…

Have I read any other books by the same author? No, but I want to. I have read the synopsis of all of them and my only doubt is: Which one should I choose first?

Will I be recommending this book? Yes. It is a sweet book and it can be definitely appreciated by adults too. At first I actually didn’t think it was aimed at young adults, although I can now see how important this book could be for the younger generations. The characters feel real and their struggles are relatable because – even if a lot has changed for many of us in the LGBT community since the 1950s – a lot hasn’t!

Anything else? Yes! I will be giving away my copy of Pulp to a lucky reader, together with my copy of Whisper Their Love by Valerie Taylor, a pulp novel originally published in 1957! All you have to do is follow me on Twitter and retweet the competition post by 30/04. Open world-wide. All comments left below will count as extra entries (one per person). Good luck!


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