If you recognise this woman you probably already have this book on your TBR. I have to admit though that I’d never heard of Lucy Sutcliffe when Faye approached me about being part of the blog tour for Girl Hearts Girl. Clearly I don’t spend enough time on YouTube because, Lucy, and her girlfriend Kaelyn Petras, have over 25 million views on their videos. I was, however, keen to read the book which is Lucy’s memoir of ‘Finding Herself. Falling in Love.’
An inspiring, uplifting and sympathetic story about sexuality and self-acceptance, Lucy Sutcliffe’s debut memoir is a personal and moving coming out story. In 2010, at seventeen, Lucy Sutcliffe began an online friendship with Kaelyn, from Michigan. They began a long distance relationship, finally meeting in 2011. Lucy’s video montage of their first week spent together was the first in a series of vlogs documenting their long-distance relationship. Now, for the first time, Lucy’s writing about the incredible personal journey she’s been on.
What I thought
There has been a huge drive for increasing diversity in YA in the book community online, and writers and publishers are stepping up to the challenge with some great fiction and non-fiction books about mental health and LGBTQIA issues. Lucy’s memoir is a great addition to this market and adds to the #ownvoices movement.
Although the beautifully rainbowed cover markets this as a coming out story Lucy writes about her life more generally too and touches on her experiences with anxiety, transition to university, and generally managing a long distance relationship (Lucy originally lived in the UK and Kaelyn in the US).
Lucy starts the book with sharing her ‘mantra of sorts’ about thinking that the best is yet to come and she goes on to demonstrate a real appreciation of those simple ‘best’ moments that we often ignore. Being with friends, being in nature. There’s a sense of mindfulness and joy in simple pleasures that I found infectious.
Lucy’s coming out story is mainly a positive one and will hopefully provide other teens in similar situations with the courage to be authentic. Throughout her journey Lucy mentions that she knows her friends and family are supportive but she still delays telling them and there is suggestion that it is more about her own comfort and journey in ‘finding herself’ that is the biggest barrier. Doesn’t that ring true with lots of us – that search for and acceptance of identity.
There is a young feel to the writing, and at times perhaps a little over described for me but that didn’t stop me reading this charmingly honest account in only a few hours, and searching out the YouTube videos afterwards. I’ve shared a video below that really shows the importance of having real stories available to young people discovering their sexuality. To hear from Lucy’s friends about their experience, alongside the book, is a great addition.
In another video Lucy describes this as the book she wishes she had had when growing up. I think that whatever your sexuality, or age, this is a great read for anyone, it demonstrates to friends and families the importance of being supportive when someone comes out. The main negative experience Lucy had was so damaging to her health.
I wish Lucy the best of luck with the book and her relationship. The book is out now.
The Tour-wide Giveaway
There is a tour-wide giveaway! 3 copies of Girl Hearts Girl for 3 lucky winners!
Participants must live in UK or IRL.
The Rest of the Tour
Links for Lucy and Kaelyn
See Lucy’s friends reflection on the night she Came Out