Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Review: UPRIGHT WOMEN WANTED by Sarah Gailey

Rating: 1/5 stars

I quite enjoyed Sarah Gailey’s Magic for Liars that I read earlier this year, so I thought their novella about feminist gunslinger librarian spies sounded pretty cool, but ultimately this was rather lackluster and forgettable for me.

This novella tried too hard to be gay and feminist in my opinion. Like those themes overshadowed the entire plot and all the characters became caricatures of those concepts. Esther was so naive about everything that it felt like on every page the other librarians had to teach her how to be a feminist and that girls can like girls and that non-binary people exist, and it all came off as really preachy to me, unfortunately.

I’ve also realized that I do not like the Old West setting, even though this story is set in an alternative near-future where the world has regressed back to an Old West style. I don’t know what it is but the “cowboys and guns” desert setting just doesn’t appeal to me at all. And I also am not fond of reading about time periods when it was risqué for women to wear pants.

So while Upright Women Wanted has a cool premise and covers some important social issues, I felt like it tried too hard and it ultimately just wasn’t for me. If this wasn’t so short, I would have marked it as DNF less than two hours into the audiobook because I knew early on I wasn’t going to like it. But I gave it a chance and finished it and my feelings didn’t change. I didn’t like this story but if you think it sounds interesting then I encourage you to give it a go because this was a case of my personal preferences not matching the style of the book.

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