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3.96  ·  Rating details ·  52 ratings  ·  40 reviews
2nd Edition

Some kids’ heads are in the clouds. Harriet Little’s head is in outer space.

In 1950s America, everyone is expected to come out of a cookie-cutter mold. But Harriet prefers the people who don’t, like her communist-sympathizer father and her best friend Jackie, a tomboy who bucks the school dress code of skirts and blouses in favor of T-shirts and blue jeans. Harr
ebook, 2nd Edition, 50 pages
Published March 19th 2018 by Ninestar Press
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Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  52 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Sara ➽ Ink Is My Sword
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 “CUTE” Stars

Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Short novella following Harriet and Jackie, exploring their sexuality and gender stereotypes in the 1950’s after Second World War.

I love this book because:


Do I even need to say anything else? There was this scene where they were reading Charlotte's web and it was SO CUTE.


This is an f/f romance. I want to assume both of the mc’s identified as lesbians because they never mentioned be
This is a truly beautiful novella written from the point of Harriet who recounts her experience of growing up and coming of age in the post WWII McCarthy era. She recalls seeing Jackie for the first time when she is eight and starts at her school but is dressed as a boy. Harriet questions why she’s dressed as a boy and she responds, “I’m a girl. Whatever clothes I wear, that makes them girls’ clothes. Because I’m a girl. That’s what my mom says, and I think she’s right.” From then on they become ...more
Mar 04, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a sweet short story of coming out and stand proud in a post-war rural society but without the usual family dramas and school bullying. So is a positive and engaging reading. Very enjoyable.

ARC received from NetGalley for an honest review
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is such a very sweet and beautiful love story, setting the bar high for lesfic and making me wish more of the genre was as gentle and as gorgeous as this is. My only complaint is that it had to end.
Det. Nidhi
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So I couldn't read anything for the last two weeks thanks to my exams. And when exams were finally done, I needed major therapy. I had recieved a copy of this book from the publisher almost a week ago and boy was I excited to read this.
This is a story set in the late 1950s if I'm not wrong. One of the protagonist is the titular tomboy, while the other lead is the confused girl coming to terms with herself.
The story is quite believable and I loved how neither of the characters made a big deal o
This book was provided for free by Love Bytes and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This review was first posted to Love Bytes: LGBTQ Book Reviews. It has been slightly edited here for content.

This is one of my favorite lesfic works of 2018 so far, and definitely my favorite YA read. I intended to read it throughout a day, but I finished it in one sitting. Despite its short length, this feels like a contained love story that has us rooting for an unconventional couple from the first cha
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful quick read about gender stereotypes, sexuality and finding out that love has been in front of your face the whole time... It’s a really sweet, light, quick read which will definitely warm your heart. Though extremely short, it definitely packs a punch and covers some really important, vital topics in a wonderful way. I found this insightful, interesting, diverse and interesting to read. Though short, I didn’t find it lacking in substance. I often find that with shorter reads I feel a ...more
Aj Smith
Jul 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a very well written and utterly adorable novella, tracing not only the lives of Jackie and Harriet as they grow from eight year olds into young women, but also American culture and society in the 1950s.

Both characters are incredibly vivid and their behaviour as young children and emotional turmoil (damn you Mandy) as teenagers is very real and recognisable. This is also a book full of hope as we see in the latter stages, which I'm not going to spoil, but the sky is the limit for these w
Thanks to net, Janelle Reston and NineStar Press, LLC for the advance copy for my honest review.

I never really was a huge fan of short stories, till the late Marina Keegan made me realize I was missing out on some really good writing.

Not a bad read, Janelle Reston packs a lot into this one, easily could have been developed into a series verse being really a 50 page outline. As Harriet tells her story, of growing up in the 50's dealing with gender stereotyping, sexuality and liking f
J.A. Ironside
Mar 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
ARC provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review


Sidebar but on twitter the other day, I saw a post begging for a light rom-com type story featuring lesbians. The original tweet made the point that minorities get books about issues, whereas everyone else gets exciting fantasy and sci-fi, historical and contempory stories. (They definitely have a point. Not all stories featuring LGBTQIA+ characters should be about the struggle for identity and equality. Sometimes they should just be st
A.M. Leibowitz
This is a quick read, perfect for a quiet morning with a cup of tea. It's a sweet, gentle story about self-discovery and realizing the love you've been waiting for has been there all along.
Both Harriet, the narrator, and Jackie, her best friend, are the kind of role models girls of any orientation could use. They're smart and interesting and unafraid of having opinions that go against the grain. It's a joy to see their friendship blossom and then bloom into something more.

This story is very low
Roxy Katt
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is truly a delightful book.

This book is a lesbian romance and coming of age story about young Harriet Little and tomboy Jackie Auglaize. The path is not quite smooth for either of them however, as Harriet is not always sure what she wants.

The 1950s are maybe the most heavily stereotyped decade of the previous century, and it is difficult to write about them without an over-larding of negative stereotypes or the sickly scent of “Happy Days” nostalgia. Janelle Reston, however, has avoided bot
Beth Younge
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved this book so much and the more i think about it, the more i love it! The two main characters were written really well and i felt like they grew so much from when we meet them as children in the beginning to the beautiful passionate lovers they become. The way that Reston wrote made the locations came alive and the way that she made the 50s seem was great. The only thing that means i can't give it the full five stars is that it was too short and i feel like it could be developed into a fu ...more
Feb 27, 2018 marked it as dnf-and-dnw
I'm not sure what's more distasteful here - that the MC PREFERS her Nazi-sympathizer father (you know, the people who would definitely send a lesbian to the gas chambers) to other people, or all the femme bashing in this book. All the 'prefers sci-fi to sockhops' and 'it will take more than frilly dressed and feminine wiles' bullshit.

Like, no thank you. I don't need to trash other women's wants and interests to build myself up, and I sure as fuck don't want to relate to a character who thinks it
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
A quick read and a good story. Keep in mind that it is set in the 50s and 60s and gender rules were pretty set in their ways back then and I think the author does a fine job of sharing them with us. My only issue is with Harriet’s father. Not with his beliefs that communists (Russians) weren’t as bad as everyone was making them out to be in the McCarthy era, but rather with the ease and understanding of his daughter being a lesbian. That just doesn’t ring true for me. Just because he is open min ...more
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
5 stars
A sweet and interesting short novella of 17,000 words following two girls in 1950s America, finding themselves and each other, with a great epilogue. Highly recommended.
eARC via NetGalley
Rike Random
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: trash-reads
Loved, loved, loved this! This cute novella just got more and more captivating with every page and I loved this look at growing up as a lesbian in the post-WWII US.
Mar 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a cute f/f romance story set in the Cold War era, and is between Harriet who is interested in STEM fields grow up from childhood to adulthood, and Jackie who dresses up like a ‘tomboy’, as in, not the feminine norms of the era. Their relationship is shown progressing from childhood, to adolescence when Harriet is crushing on another girl who is she is seeing secretly, to her realizing she liked Jackie all along, and them growing up and growing old together, and while it is short, it deve ...more
Honing Words
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: would-recommend
It’s never easy to start with an author you’ve not read before. It takes time to settle into their style and there is a certain trepidation you may not even like them.

It took a page and a half with Janelle Reston’s new book, Tomboy, to know I already cared about her characters and would want to read more of her stories.

We find our girls, Harriet (the narrator) and the new student in school, Jackie, forming a lifelong bond from the first day of 4th grade some time in the 1950s, and then watch a
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Merissa (Archaeolibrarian)
Tomboy is a short but sweet, dare I say gentle, novella about two young girls. One is the tomboy in the title, and one comes from a "traditional" family. The story is told through Harriet's eyes as she compares her upbringing and beliefs with those of Jackie, who is allowed to wear clothes more suited for a boy. Her mum isn't exactly 'normal' though, and this great attitude has rubbed of onto Jackie. We meet them as young children, and stay with them as they progress through school, until they'v ...more
Mar 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, lgbtqia
This was a really cute novella. It was more of a long short story than an actual novel, though a lot of time (from age 8 all the way through the MC's teenage years) was covered in the 50 pages.

It read a lot like a lesbian version of 1950s TV shows... Leave it to Beaver, Dennis the Menace, Father Knows Best. The MC was unsurprised to find that she had feelings for her girls, and no one else really made a huge fuss about it either. Some people knew the truth about her and others didn't, and that w
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
I was really excited to get an advanced copy of this book because we so rarely get lesbian stories featuring characters in different time periods and the 50's are definitely a fun era. I enjoyed the fact that the space race was included as well, but I couldn't help but feel (like I often do with historical fiction) was kind of tossing historical facts and references at us in a way that doesn't really feel like it was a result of a natural conversation, even if one of the characters had an intere ...more
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
“The first time I saw Jackie, I thought she was a boy.”

Tomboy is a very sweet and delightful love story set in post-war America, following Harriet’s growing up and the gradually blossoming relationship between two school friends. Harriet is frustrated by the rigid expectations of the times and is more interested in space travel than in boys, make-up and marriage. And as time goes on, she also finds herself drawn to glamorous, very feminine screen and music stars - and to Mandy, the prettiest gir
Michelle n Jodie
Mar 11, 2018 rated it liked it

*I was given a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair review

What an enjoyable read. The story line encourages you to remenise back to a time when your thoughts and feelings about girls and where it all sat in the world were starting to emerge. The author delves around those tender feelings and awful hurts that we have all been through and I thoroughly enjoyed the early part of this novella for that reason. The second part appears a little rushed with not enough depth provided into life after sc
This is a cute short story/novella, but it's really one that could have benefited from the full scale novel treatment. At fifty pages, spanning nearly 70 years between the two characters, it's quite ambitious and also sparse in terms of character development or arcs. The coming of age story in a post-World War 2 America between two young girls is interesting, but I found myself more interested in the history and how that time period would impact their thinking and relationship. With just a few c ...more
Cindy Stein
This books spans many decades, beginning in the 1950s when Jackie, the tomboy, enters a new school and catches the attention of Harriett, who narrates the book. Their friendship and eventual relationship is described during their grade school and high school years in some detail. Then things speed up considerably through to the present era.

The earlier chapters are sweet and interesting though a bit too stereotypic of what we'd expect from a 1950s childhood of hiding under desks to avoid nuclear
Helen Kord
Dnf. It just didnt read like a historical novella, and the pace was all over the place. There was some truly nonsensical behaviour in the start of the book that threw me off the rhytm and I never managed to get into it

(The behaviour being that a mother lets her young daughter go to school on the first day of school year, in the deep american south in the 50s, with short hair and male clothes, causing the girl to be removed from the class and forcefully changed into more "feminine" clothes. I get
Mar 04, 2018 rated it liked it
I don’t know what to think about Tom Boy by Janelle Reston. I read this last night and I’m still not sure what to think. It was meant to be short and sweet. I could see shades of that in this but it felt too much like fanfiction to me. It was like I was supposed to know who Harriet and Jackie were already but I didn’t. And there wasn’t enough happening that I knew anything about either of them. There is so much potential for this story. I just felt like I was given a teaser of the scenes that wo ...more
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was looking over the list of NetGalley books I had not reviewed and saw this one. I picked it up not knowing that it was a scant fifty-pages long and devoured it in one sitting. The story takes our protagonists from childhood to the winter of their lives and it is incredibly sweet and cute. This is the book I have been craving since I finished Leah on the Offbeat. I see that the author mostly writes lesbian erotica, which I may check out in the future, but any other love story she publishes wi ...more
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Janelle Reston lives on a lake with her partner and their black cats. She loves watching Battlestar Galactica and queering gender. Her work has been featured in Best Women's Erotica, Volume 2; Best Lesbian Erotica, Volume 2; and the 2018 Lambda Literary Award Finalist Unspeakably Erotic. You can keep up with her at ...more

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