Author: Robin Talley
Genre: YA LGBT Historical Fiction/Contemporary
Publication Date: November 13, 2018
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.
In 1955, eighteen-year-old Janet Jones keeps the love she shares with her best friend Marie a secret. It’s not easy being gay in Washington, DC, in the age of McCarthyism, but when she discovers a series of books about women falling in love with other women, it awakens something in Janet. As she juggles a romance she must keep hidden and a newfound ambition to write and publish her own story, she risks exposing herself—and Marie—to a danger all too real.
Sixty-two years later, Abby Zimet can’t stop thinking about her senior project and its subject—classic 1950s lesbian pulp fiction. Between the pages of her favorite book, the stresses of Abby’s own life are lost to the fictional hopes, desires and tragedies of the characters she’s reading about. She feels especially connected to one author, a woman who wrote under the pseudonym “Marian Love,” and becomes determined to track her down and discover her true identity.
In this novel told in dual narratives, New York Times bestselling author Robin Talley weaves together the lives of two young women connected across generations through the power of words. A stunning story of bravery, love, how far we’ve come and how much farther we have to go.
I have read almost everything Robin Talley has put out and loved each one, and Pulp was no exception. Before I get into my thoughts, let’s take a minute to appreciate the cover on this book. I feel like the designer did a great job capturing the pulp fiction essence, and I have major heart eyes whenever I look at it.
Pulp follows the stories of two young queer women from two different time periods, Janet in the 1950’s and Abby in the present day. One of the most interesting aspects of this book for me was to see how things have changed for the LGBT community, and also how things really haven’t changed. Robin Talley does a great job of showing how far we’ve come, but still maintaining that we have a long way to go as a society. Robin Talley is one of my favorite LGBT authors, and I’ve been able to find pieces of my own identity in every book of hers that I’ve read.
I will say that Pulp is a bit slow to kick off, in my opinion. It’s nothing too tedious, but things feel a bit draggy in the beginning, so if you’ve picked this one up and you’re having trouble getting into it, I definitely recommend you keep going. The story picks up and you won’t be able to put it down! The characters are super well written, and both stories are quality, fleshed out experiences. They tie together nicely in the end.
I give Pulp 5 out of 5 stars, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for an entertaining read. I mean, where can you go wrong with a book about lesbian pulp fiction?