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Stray City
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Books of the Month 2019 > September 2019 - GLBTQI+ Stray City

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Katrisa | 207 comments Mod
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Stray City by Chelsey Johnson by Chelsey Johnson

A warm, funny, and whip-smart debut novel about rebellious youth, inconceivable motherhood, and the complications of belonging—to a city, a culture, and a family—when none of them can quite contain who you really are.

All of us were refugees of the nuclear family . . .

Twenty-three-year-old artist Andrea Morales escaped her Midwestern Catholic childhood—and the closet—to create a home and life for herself within the thriving but insular lesbian underground of Portland, Oregon. But one drunken night, reeling from a bad breakup and a friend’s betrayal, she recklessly crosses enemy lines and hooks up with a man. To her utter shock, Andrea soon discovers she’s pregnant—and despite the concerns of her astonished circle of gay friends, she decides to have the baby.

A decade later, when her precocious daughter Lucia starts asking questions about the father she’s never known, Andrea is forced to reconcile the past she hoped to leave behind with the life she’s worked so hard to build.

A thoroughly modern and original anti-romantic comedy, Stray City is an unabashedly entertaining literary debut about the families we’re born into and the families we choose, about finding yourself by breaking the rules, and making bad decisions for all the right reasons.


message 2: by D (new) - rated it 5 stars

D Dyer | 66 comments I just finished this and really loved this book. I thought that Johnson did a really good job of being very specific to the book‘s time. But also telling a story that felt universal and relatable. The comments about the lesbian mafia and bisexual women in particular were a bit flinch-inducing but I definitely remember those conversations from the mid to thousands. The one thing I wish were a bit different was that I wish we’d spent less time focusing on Andrea and Ryan‘s relationship and more time on the relationships among her friends and later on her relationship with Beatrice. Part of that admittedly is just how much I really don’t like Ryan.


Katrisa | 207 comments Mod
I ended up liking this book more than I thought I would based on the beginning of the book. I was kind of rolling my eyes at first because I thought it was going to be a story about how Andrea was only a lesbian until she found the right guy. I am glad that wasn't the case :) I liked that her relationship with Ryan never really made sense even to Andrea. Sometimes sex is just like that and doesn't make sense. Also, I love Portland and the story really had a fantastic sense of place.


Jamie Zaccaria I liked this book well enough- it was certainly an original story and I loved most of all the atmosphere of Portland. I felt some of the secondary characters to be disappointing stereotypes but the main characters well fleshed-out. I like that the author didn't follow typical tropes. I did think the ending was a bit abrupt but overall, it was an interesting read.


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