About the book:
A genre-defying debut, this queer historical YA centers a wild and reckless trio who fly in the face of small town tradition—full of compassion, love, and determination to live the lives of their choosing.
It’s Norway 1904, and Asta Hedstrom doesn’t want to marry her odious betrothed, Nils—even though a domestic future is all her mother believes she’s suited for, on account of her single-sided deafness, unconventional appearance, and even stranger notions. Asta would rather spend her life performing in the village theater with her friends and fellow outcasts: her best friend Gunnar Fuglestad and his secret boyfriend, wealthy Erlend Fournier.
But the situation takes a dire turn when Nils lashes out in jealousy—gravely injuring Gunnar. Shunning marriage for good, Asta moves with Gunnar and Erlend to their secluded cabin above town. With few ties left with their families, they have one shot at gaining enough kroner to secure their way of life: win the village’s annual horse race.
I loved reading this book. It was unique and full of diversity. I loved the queer and disabled rep throughout the book. It was fun to read and had a few touches of realism in it.
Things I loved about the book:
– I loved the trio. (Asta, Erlend, and Gunnar). Their love for each other was so heart-warming. I loved how the author had them face trials throughout the book, proving they chose each other and would stay together.
– When Asta dyed her hair. I loved how she looked at her differences and saw beauty. She was a strong female protagonist in a world where her only life would be marriage.
– Erlend and Gunnar. In a world that forbid their love and relationship, they were really true to each other.
– Fred. I loved his character. He just accept Asta for who she was and allowed her to help him with the horses.
– The plot development was really great. It had many plot twists, and had you wanting to read more. It was a page turner and hard to put down.
– The use of old-fashion/classic words. This book is set in Norway 1904. The author really set the tone of the book by using these words. I loved reading them, but sometimes did not understand their meaning completely.
Things I didn’t enjoy:
– I would have loved to see Gunnar’s POV in the book. Reading only Asta and Erlend’s POV made the book seem incomplete.
– The last few chapters were a bit confusing and fast paced.
Overall, this was a fantasic read. It had great plot and character development. Asta, Erlend, Gunnar and Fred were amazing characters. They were accepting of each other and stood together. This book was a great example of being different and loving yourself for it.
I received an ARC from Soho Press and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
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