4 stars for The Sum of These Things by Emily O’Beirne #FF #Bisexual #Romance


Title: The Sum of These Things
Author Name & Publisher: Emily O’Beirne (Ylva)
Publication Date & Length: December 2, 2015 — 398 pages


The Sequel to A Story of Now.

Claire Pearson has already learned a few things this summer. Like falling for a girl is easy. Well, it is if that girl is Mia.

What Claire hasn’t learned yet is that now comes the hard part: learning to trust in this new relationship. And that isn’t easy when no one has ever given you a reason to trust before.
Then there’s the pressing question of what to do with her life. Claire’s new volunteer job working with kids offers a glimpse of a potential future, but it definitely isn’t something her pushy mother is going to like.

Still, everything feels hopeful as she embarks on the next chapter of her life, armed with new friends and the warm and funny Mia. But Claire quickly discovers that negotiating this new terrain of adulthood isn’t easy. Over the rest of this momentous summer, the biggest lesson Claire must learn is how not to let anything get in the way of her happiness. Especially herself.

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I thought this was a novel that targeted a specific audience. I felt it was aimed at young adults and that it would be well accepted and appreciated by them, but also something that older lesbians could relate to.
A novel that deals with a young woman coming to terms with her sexuality and dealing with the problems associated with all aspects related to “growing up”, parents, education a future profession and social acceptance.
I particularly appreciated that along with Claire learning to deal with her sexuality Claire is coming to terms with deciding on her future job prospects. The introduction to her working with young children brings another dimension and much appreciated diversity of culture to this interesting novel.
Ms Beirne manages to cover so many of the aspects a young person feels when trying to express their sexuality and I feel this book could help many young adult in realising what they feel and what they are experiencing is not unique to them.
I also appreciated the humour, particularly when the “dog whisperer” was alluded too. The colourful and diverse characters in this novel were also a pleasure to be introduced too.
Unfortunately the one thing that troubled me was my inability to warm to Claire’s character. I found her immaturity for a twenty year old hard to accept, especially with the support system the author surrounded her with. Perhaps this immaturity was what the author aimed for but to me it was the only flaw in an otherwise excellent novel that I am sure will help many young adults in coming to terms with their own sexuality.


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Thirteen-year-old Emily woke up one morning with a sudden itch to write her first novel. All day, she sat through her classes, feverishly scribbling away (her rare silence probably a cherished respite for her teachers). And by the time the last bell rang, she had penned fifteen handwritten pages of angsty drivel, replete with blood-red sunsets, moody saxophone music playing somewhere far off in the night, and abandoned whiskey bottles rolling across tables.  Needless to say, that singular literary accomplishment is buried in a box somewhere, ready for her later amusement.

From Melbourne, Australia, Emily was recently granted her PhD. She works part-time in academia, where she hates marking papers but loves working with her students. She also loves where she lives but travels as much as possible and tends to harbour crushes on cities more than on people.


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