The Melody of You and Me
by M. Hollis
read in February 2017
It has probably been over a year since I’ve read a New Adult novel. I wasn’t aware that The Melody of You and Me is New Adult before I picked it up, but it has convinced me that I should pick up the genre more often, because this was a lot of fun!
Like I’ve said, The Melody of You and Me is definitely New Adult. There are some explicit sex scenes, but I thought that was a good thing. We need to read more about sex-positive women. Furthermore, female masturbation is normalised.
Even though this is only a novella, it discussed some important topics, such as the concept of ‘coming out’, pansexuality, racism, etc. I very much appreciated this, even though it was only briefly.
Personally, however, I wish the main character Chris explained why she identifies as pan instead of bi. Because I can’t decide how to label myself, and I had hoped this book could’ve helped me with that. Unfortunately, it didn’t, but that doesn’t mean the representation is any less meaningful.
Anyway, so besides our main character who is pan, the vast majority of the female side characters are also queer. On top of that, Chris’ roommate is Cuban-American and Josie is of Filipino descent. And as far as I can remember, there were no male characters in this book, which didn’t bother me at all!
It always bothers me when someone comes out and the other person reacts with “Oh, of course I knew”, but I couldn’t put into words why it irked me so much. And this book finally did!
“You knew?” Josie sounds incredulous.
“Oh my God. Yeah, of course I knew. You are twenty years old, and you have never had a boyfriend,” Jessie exclaims.
Cringing inside, Chris feels the need to interrupt and correct her, but Josie is faster than her. “That has nothing to do with my sexuality,” she starts. “Some people never date boys or people from other genders but are still attracted to them. There are lesbians who date boys before understanding the roles that heteronormativity tries to force them into.”
Because this was a novella, everything developed a bit fast and was predictable, but that’s only normal when you have to tell an entire story within 100 pages.
Even though this isn’t written by a pansexual author, I am still going to consider this ‘pansexual own voices’ for Diversity Bingo 2017. The author explains here why this book is still worth reading, even though it isn’t own voices!
conclusion: The Melody of You and Me is a very enjoyable and diverse read: almost all the characters are queer and some of the side-characters are people of colour. I definitely want to read more novellas like this one in the future!