Ayse's Reviews > Sidecar

Sidecar by Ann McMan
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's review
May 02, 13

bookshelves: lgbt-romance
Read from July 04, 2012 to May 02, 2013

A nice fast read as a collection of short stories. Though I gave 3 stars overall, each of the stories really deserves its own overview as they were very totally unrelated to one another.

V1 -- I did not read Jericho so I did not realize this was a sequel of sorts -- there was definitely a self-referential feel to it, that had me searching out if it was in fact a continuation of another story. It is too bad really, because it was a fine stand alone. I enjoyed the story of these two women and their preparations for Valentines, but I would have enjoyed it more if I didn't feel like I had missed part of the story. Without the explicit references to what I assume is the other story things would have flowed just as easily and in fact would have made a much better reading experience for the uninitiated: the reference in chapter 4 to their previous stint in the guest suite at the local inn for example -- the very pointed mention of something so specific as red, Dr. Denton footie pajamas completely took me out of the story as I had no idea what was being referred to, and it was completely unnecessary to the overall plot line.

Bottle rocket -- this was the stand out of the whole collection. Hilarious, with lots of lesbian pop culture references and send ups of the tropes of lesbian romances. The description of the CLIT-Con (I assume a stand-in for GCLS) was really laugh out loud funny. The cycling through all the "different" genres of les-fic with the same blurb was a riot and very pointedly accurate. The names of the authors, especially V. Jay-Jay, were also amusing and very much in keeping with some of the most extreme excesses in les-fic. Though the romance was predictable from the very first moment, the development was cute and well written. With the exception of the epilogue, which seemed out of place, and which I admit to not really understanding the point of, this story alone merits 5 stars.

Falling from Grace -- a pretty typical outing really. My only complaint is really more general than this one author -- she used a very common trope of a seemingly straight girl falling for an established lesbian. I really wish that once in all of these "my husband died/left me/i left him/etc and I went on to express my true self hidden all these years" stories, the woman who goes on to have an affair with another woman self-identified as bi. The story would have been just as hot, just as interesting if the answer to the question "You've been with women before?" had been "yes" rather than "define 'been with'", especially given how strong Abbie was coming on before that moment. Aside from the fact that the "straight girl/lesbian" trope is boring and done to death, why can't anyone just be bi in these stories. Bi-ness is real and a real part of many lesbian's lives (in that they know bi people); being bi does not stop you from spending your life with a woman; being straight, however, does and should do so in our literature as well. It would be so refreshing if the character who previously had a husband, had also previously taken seriously all the times she fooled around with her college roommate, and acknowledged both parts of herself before falling helplessly in love with another woman through the course of the romance.

Nevermore! -- see above for the most part -- though there is no real description of the sexuality of the object d'amour, given that it is told completely from the narrator's point of view. Because I enjoy the writing of these stories so much, I am going to give Ann McMan the benefit of the doubt and assume that Diz did not magically turn Clarissa into a raging lesbian.

Really it was my disappointment with the last two stories, and my disconnect with the first one that made me give this collection 3 stars. The writing is very good -- I picked up a poorly written book after reading this one, and had to stop after a few pages because the contrast in writing quality was too great. It was limiting my ability to enjoy or ever read the new story due to the freshness of the quality of the fine writing in this collection in my mind. I am planning to add Ann McMan to my list of must watch out for.

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05/02/2013 marked as: read

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