From Publishers Weekly
Take a wry, reflective 17-year-old, add the Sex Pistols, Sisterhood Is Powerful and a generous handful of safety pins, and you'll have Sprecher's delightful portrait of the artist as a young, punk lesbian. Even before Melany's term paper is flunked (somehow "Eve: Lesbian-Feminist Extraordinaire" just doesn't cut it with her Milton professor), she's got problems. Having escaped from her family to a large, anonymous university, she finds herself at loose ends. In punk rock, she discovers music that mirrors her state of mind: "It sounded as discordant as I felt"; and at a local punk club, she meets Iso, a "real lesbian"-more precisely, she falls on top of her while drunkenly pogoing on a table. Melany soon discovers that punk and lesbian-feminism don't mix easily, and that Iso has her own agenda. As Melany travels through school, relationships and her maturing sense of self and purpose, Sprecher's first novel evokes the political and artistic climate of the times through both the lyrics of established bands and those written by Iso's sister, Janie. In Melany's ultimate integration of her seemingly disparate concerns, Sprecher convincingly demonstrates that punk and feminism indeed share some essential methods and goals. Melany's search for personal and political meaning and her growing sense of agency and responsibility offer a welcome contrast to the all-too-common destructive, nihilistic protagonists of many contemporary writers.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
A down-to-earth love story with a feisty, punk-feminist, lesbian twist. It's the 1980s. Think Sex Pistols, safety pins, Doc Marten boots, and blue hair. Melany embraces punk, a sound as discordant as she feels--shocking, offensive, ``fuck-you music.'' At 17, longing to escape high school, Melany passes the California Proficiency Exam and enrolls in college as an English major. There she suffers through American Lit, wondering ``why these straight white guys who could afford to fuck their way through Europe were so angry,'' meets fellow punk, like-minded English major Patti, who becomes her best friend, and falls hard for a woman named Iso. At first, Melany feels conflicted about the sexual identity thing, worrying that she'll lose it in poetry class and let slip that she slept with a woman the night before when she means to comment on iambic pentameter. She also wonders how she could be a lesbian when ``women's music'' like that of Holly Near gives her a headache. Iso doesn't want the hassle, so she moves on to someone else, but in the meantime, the lesbian teacher in one of Melany's Women's Lit courses becomes a confidante and role model. She tries getting over Iso, but, arguments from Patti and Iso's own sister (a sweet 14-year-old punker with whom Melany bonds immediately) notwithstanding, she still finds herself heartbroken. When Patti comes out, despite a long discussion about why they should keep things platonic, Patti and Melany become lovers. The two maintain a long-distance relationship when Patti goes to grad school in New York and Melany goes to D.C., but, after four years, they decide to go back to being pals. Soon Iso arrives on the scene to break Melany's heart once more--only this time, the most unlikely person arrives to pick up the pieces. A unique voice and wry takes on feminism, sexuality, political correctness, and punk music make this startlingly sweet, albeit not too deep, debut a standout. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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