We Need To Talk About Ramona Blue:
TO EVERYONE WHO GAVE THIS BOOK ONE STAR WITHOUT READING IT:
First off, know that I am not going away. I am going to stand here and scream this from the rooftops as many times as I have to. Because I am tired of my voice and my story being drowned out. This book tells my story. If I get even one person to at least consider they might be wrong, if even one person buys this book because of me, then I’ve made a difference.
I respect your opinion and based off of the original synopsis I completely understand why you felt that way - indeed I agree with you. I understand why the initial synopsis made you angry, really I do. The b.s. trope that lesbians (or any LGBT+ girl) can be ‘cured’ by finding the right boy is not just offensive and incorrect, but incredibly, incredibly harmful. And when it’s used as much as it is, it leads to people in the real world justifying their homophobic thoughts with - “I can f**k that girl, she’s secretly straight anyway. I can make her change her mind. She just needs the right guy.” Corrective rape is a very real danger and one that is directly impacted by words like those in that synopsis.
But this isn’t what the book is about. When the author, Julie Murphy @andimjulie, was informed of how offensive and harmful the synopsis/blurb was she started arranging to have it changed. Because here’s the thing: authors don’t get to write those. Some random person at the publishing house does. It’s that random person that made the harmful words and who misunderstood the book.
The new synopsis is up on this goodreads page now . Please read it and maybe consider changing or removing your rating?
Because this book isn’t about 'lesbians can be cured.’ This book is about bisexual girls, girls just like me, who grow up not knowing that they are bi. Believing that because they like girls they must therefore be lesbians or because they like boys they must therefore be straight. I’m the latter; in this heteronormative world I spent years believing I was straight before I realised.
This book is for all the girls like me who think they fit into one box because they like someone and then one day, realise they have feelings for a different gender. It is about how confusing and scary and downright terrifying that is. It is about lying awake all night thinking “but does liking this boy mean i was straight all along?” “do i actually like him or is it because i’m supposed to?” it’s about worrying that you can’t change your identity because people already know you as a 'lesbian.’ Worrying that you’re just attention seeking or greedy or unable to make up your mind, that you’re on the fence and you need to choose.
This book is about the moment of relief when you finally find the name that suits you - bisexual. Or, perhaps when you decide that it’s okay to not know for sure right now. And how much weight is taken off you once you know who you are, and you have an identity.
I haven’t read the book yet but the new revised synopsis reflects that the book will actually be about those topics. You’re punishing the author for what someone else misunderstood and wrote as a harmful piece of promotion. Notice how different (and not harmful) the synopsis is now that it’s been written with the author’s suggestions instead of just by some dude? That to me suggests that the book itself, written entirely by her, will be much more like the new synopsis than the old one.
Oh, and you will also notice that I mentioned I haven’t read the book yet. So how then, you wonder, am I able to sit here and say that the book will be about all of the things above?
Because I am that girl. I went through all of those things. Mine was vice versa to Ramona - I believed that I had to be straight because I liked boys and if you like boys that’s all you can be right? Wrong. It was so, so hard for me to figure out who I am, where my place in this world is. It took me four years to get where I am (I’m 18 now). And I still haven’t finished this journey - my parents don’t know. I know, from reading this new synopsis, that that is what this book is about because I have lived it. I know because the author is bisexual, married to a man - she has lived it too.
Tumblr I just don’t get it. We cry and cry for more representation but when you have it you destroy it’s chances with negative reviews before it’s even begun. All because it’s the “wrong sort” of representation. You don’t want this bi girls story, my true story, because it shows that sometimes girls who like girls also like boys. Not always but sometimes. And sometimes we end up with those boys.
Please, buy this book. Promote this book, please at least undo this low rating until you have read it. This book could have saved me so much heartache when I was fourteen. It could have let me know that I was not alone. It could have saved me six months of self-harm, an emotionally abusive relationship, bullying for being 'frigid.’
I didn’t have this book when I was facing all those things. But the next bi or pan girl could. We could save them.
Representation is important. Lesbian representation and positive, good representation at that, is important. But so is bi girl representation. And this book just happens to be one for the bi girls. This doesn’t have to be either or, bi girls existing doesn’t mean that lesbians do not. Please, let’s not harm each other’s chance at representation. Let’s support each other.
Please, at least let’s read this book before we give it a rating. Please help the next girl like me before she is hurt.