I love a good friends-with-benefits-to-lovers story. THE RULES provides that, and some yummy, steamy goodness, as well as authentic character development.
For my Goodreads challenge this year I made a commitment to read 50 books and make half of them by indie and/or Indigenous creators. I couldn't help but support a fellow Atmosphere writer in the process of reaching that goal, so I picked up Witches & Vampires by Brianna Witte, an Ontarian author who has a number of short story publications under her belt.
I've leveled up as an author. Today I received my first bad review. It's not to be unexpected. It's part of the game. Do bad reviews hurt? Yes. Am I upset about it? Not really. That wasn't always the case.
This is an amazing book, harsh without being for titillation, much like Handmaid’s Tale and Gather the Daughters. It hurts. It gives hope, and takes it away, and gives it again in very cruel ways. If a dark peek into the worst of humanity interests you, I suggest you add After the Fire, and Moonbeam’s story, to your reading list.
Apart from these conveniences which allow the plot to happen when many a young woman would be roadblocked, UNPREGNANT gives us a very real look at the circumstances of accessibility to reproductive healthcare. It's a coming of age story that shows the mixed signals we give teens, expecting them to act as proto-adults while disallowing them the agency to make informed decisions for themselves. It's a vast canyon that seems as wide as the distance between Veronica and the only clinic she can find that is legally allowed to help her, and I can't help but think Hendriks and Caplan gave us this metaphor intentionally.
I've been very lucky to receive some lovely reviews, most recently from C.L. Walters, who is another local author here. You can read her whole review here on Goodreads.