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Book Review: What We Left Behind by Robin Talley

* I have received this book for review from NetGalley but this in no way affects my review *


What We Left BehindTitle:  What We Left Behind 
Author: Robin Talley 
Source: NetGalley
Publisher: Mira Ink 
Rating: 2/5 stars







Summary of What We Left Behind from Goodreads:

From the critically acclaimed author of Lies We Tell Ourselves comes an emotional, empowering story of what happens when love may not be enough to conquer all.
Toni and Gretchen are the couple everyone envied in high school. They've been together forever. They never fight. They’re deeply, hopelessly in love. When they separate for their first year at college—Toni to Harvard and Gretchen to NYU—they’re sure they’ll be fine. Where other long-distance relationships have fallen apart, theirs is bound to stay rock-solid.
The reality of being apart, though, is very different than they expected. Toni, who identifies as genderqueer, meets a group of transgender upperclassmen and immediately finds a sense of belonging that has always been missing, but Gretchen struggles to remember who she is outside their relationship.
While Toni worries that Gretchen won’t understand Toni’s new world, Gretchen begins to wonder where she fits in Toni's life. As distance and Toni’s shifting gender identity begins to wear on their relationship, the couple must decide—have they grown apart for good, or is love enough to keep them together?

Book Review:

       This book follows Toni who identifies as genderqueer and her relationship with Gretchen as they go away to separate universities, one going to Havard, the other NYU. 
         The book did sound really good and when I started reading this book back in August and I really liked the characters and was fully invested in the writing, it was definitely well-written. However as the book progresses you see how problematic it is. Toni switches between genderqueer and transgender and as a lot of people on Goodreads said this is not a reality for many people who identify as gender-queer. 
          I  also had problems with the relationship with Toni and Gretchen as the story progresses and I did not like the direction that it went in at all. Saying this I did like both Toni and Gretchen but the characters that they surround themselves with are not very nice... at all. One of Grethen's friends consistently calls Toni derogatory terms that I don't really want to say on my blog as Toni identifies with being genderqueer. This is ironic because for a book that celebrates LGBT+ issues in a book it just doesn't seem right and I really dislikes this aspect. I understand that this may be what some people in society still think but I would not have included in a book personally. I also have problems with the way that characters especially Toni talks about feminism in this book, suggesting that just because Cheerleaders do a carwash in their bikinis they can't be feminism when to me this just is not right at all. 
         I do feel like this book would be really good if you did not really know about LGBTQ+ issues and would definitely be more of a romance story but this just was not the case for me. I have heard good things about Robin Talley's other books so I hope I enjoy them more than this one. 


Have you read What We Left Behind? Did you like it? Leave it in the comments below. 

See you soon, 

Amy

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