Title: Girl Hearts Girl
Author: Lucy Sutcliffe
UK Release Date: 24th June 2016
Genres: LGBT, Autobiography, Nonfiction
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, a young veterinary student from Michigan. Within months, they began a long distance relationship, finally meeting in the summer of 2011. Lucy’s video montage of their first week spent together in Saint Kitts, which she posted to the couple’s YouTube channel, was the first in a series of films documenting their long-distance relationship. Funny, tender and candid, the films attracted them a vast online following. Now, for the first time, Lucy’s writing about the incredible personal journey she’s been on; from never quite wanting the fairy-tale of Prince Charming to realising she was gay at the age of 14, through three years of self-denial to finally coming out to friends and family, to meeting her American girlfriend Kaelyn.
I had been meaning to read this book for so long, so I was very happy when a couple of weeks ago I found the time to pick up Girl Hearts Girl. It was quite a quick read – I managed to race through the whole thing in about an hour and a half – but really enjoyable, and also just so inspiring.
I think it would be impossible to read this book and come away not wanting to adopt some of Lucy Sutcliffe’s positive attitude and cheer. Even though the road didn’t always run smoothly for her (I talk a bit more about this in the next paragraph), she tried to be herself through and through. It sometimes took some time, but once she had come to terms with things, an example being coming out to her family, she was unapologetic about who was, and unwilling to compromise on her identity. There are examples from her childhood too which show just how strong she was in holding on to herself.
As I mentioned above, it wasn’t all rainbows and smiles, and there were some bits which were honestly just so sad. I found it rather heart-breaking actually that, while almost everyone was lovely and accepting (as people should be!), there were individuals who could be rude and insensitive. It wasn’t nice, but it was how things were for Lucy Sutcliffe. Another aspect which was sad but for a different reason was the fact that Lucy and Kaelyn were separated, and created and maintained their relationship online. It can’t be easy to manage a long-term relationship over the Internet, but they managed, and got to be together eventually.
Not only was the whole book very inspiring to read, but it was accessible too. Lucy Sutcliffe didn’t overcomplicate anything, and it was a straightforward read, which I think was the perfect tone for this book. Because it was easy to follow, I can see this book appealing to a really wide range of people, and it was definitely suitable for a big audience, in terms of age, gender, and where people are in terms of their identity. This is especially great as self-acceptance and sexuality are really important topics, so it is wonderful that so many people will certainly be able to benefit from this book.
On the whole, I think that this book was really inspiring, and left you feeling good, although with a slight tinge of sadness. I would definitely recommend this book to others, whether it’s to those who are looking to learn more about self-acceptance and sexuality, or if someone is looking to understand others around them.