I’m especially sad because as soon as I heard the premise for this book I immediately wanted it in my hands (a young girl from our time who is a lesbian begins researching lesbian pulp fiction from the 1950s for a school project, and fixates on a particular author, and the narrative is split between her and the author from the 1950s; it’s part historical fiction, part contemporary).
I just had such a hard time with the contemporary narrative. I did not care about the narrator at all. She seemed like a vehicle for the reader to learn things about the 1950s culture and characters and publishing and all that without having to shoehorn it in to the historical narrative, which was utterly compelling. I had no interest in the main characters’ break up with her girlfriend or her troubled home life. Those kinds of things are exactly why I don’t normally read contemporary young adult fiction, unless there’s a hook of some sort that interests me (i.e. half the narrative is set in the 1950s during McCarthyism and the 1950s narrator is a young lesbian who finds herself writing pulp lesbian fiction).
I would still recommend checking this out if it sounds interesting to you; it very well might be a case of YMMV. But the historical section is great.