Title: Girl Hearts Girl
Author: Lucy Sutcliffe
Published: June 24th 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Non-Fiction, LGBT
Length: 272 pages
Source: Paperback purchased from Waterstones
Book Blurb (via Goodreads):
An inspiring, uplifting and sympathetic story about sexuality and self-acceptance, Lucy Sutcliffe’s debut memoir is a personal and moving coming out story. In 2010, at seventeen, Lucy Sutcliffe began an online friendship with Kaelyn, a young veterinary student from Michigan. Within months, they began a long distance relationship, finally meeting in the summer of 2011. Lucy’s video montage of their first week spent together in Saint Kitts, which she posted to the couple’s YouTube channel, was the first in a series of films documenting their long-distance relationship. Funny, tender and candid, the films attracted them a vast online following. Now, for the first time, Lucy’s writing about the incredible personal journey she’s been on; from never quite wanting the fairy-tale of Prince Charming to realising she was gay at the age of 14, through three years of self-denial to finally coming out to friends and family, to meeting her American girlfriend Kaelyn.
I picked this book up because it was one that I had turned down for review last year due to my insane TBR (which isn’t any better at this point, I have to say). It was one that I did want to read but couldn’t at the time and so I picked it up over Christmas with some of my voucher money. I’m really glad that I did because it was just a wonderful story to read.
Lucy felt strange for most of her life when she realised that she didn’t like boys and all the other girls did. Coming to terms with the reality that she was gay was harder than she thought and she worried over the reaction of her friends and family. But then she met Kaelyn online and they just clicked. Even though they were on opposite sides of the world, miles apart, their relationship grew and with it, Lucy’s acceptance of herself.
It’s rare that I read non-fiction because it just doesn’t give me the same level of satisfaction that fiction does, but this was definitely one of those books that is the exception to the rule. I had all the warm fuzzies reading this book. It’s such an honest look at a life lived and experienced to the full. Lucy doesn’t shy away from the moments when it was hard, when she was teased and bullied and didn’t fully understand herself.
While she may not have had the most difficult life – her family and friends were very accepting of her as she is – it’s still an inspiring story for anyone struggling with their own identity and/or sexuality. As a straight woman, I never had to deal with the struggle of coming out. I can’t even begin to understand how difficult it must be for some people who fear they will lose everyone they love because of something that they can’t control. It is simply who they are and it boggles my mind when I read stories of people not being accepted for that.
Lucy’s journey is full of fun and laughter and it’s a bright light in what can be a dark journey for most. I found it insightful and refreshingly honest. Her voice was so clear throughout and I will definitely be seeking out more of her work in the future.
Heart-warming and inspiring, I encourage everyone to pick this up.