Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Review: Screaming Down Splitsville by Kayla Bashe

3.5 stars

I'm a big fan of both alternate histories and less-used time periods as settings, so Kayla Bashe's sweet F/F romance Screaming Down Splitsville was right up my alley. 

It's set in an alternate 1950s where Magi with special powers are imprisoned and subject to experiments. Flip was rescued from a facility and placed in a safehouse. She's happy cooking and playing mechanic while other inhabitants of the house go off on my rescue missions, but she's never forgotten the girl in the cell next to her's. Then, one day, she's sent on a rescue mission of her own, to save that very same girl. 

Emma Rose has long since given up hoping, so even once she and Flip are on the run, she knows it won't be long until she's caught and returned to a miserable and painful life as a dehumanised guinea pig. But Emma really likes Flip: she's caring and she's the first person in a long while who has made efforts to communicate with Emma, who is mute. But, with her powers still shackled and the belief that recapture is inevitable, will she be able to fight for herself and Flip, and what they might have together?

I had to keep reminding myself that this was set in the 1950s, not because it didn't have a strong sense of place (it did), but because I associate the 1950s with housewives and roast dinners, and the women here broke all the stereotypes. To borrow my grandmother's lingo, they're real go-getters, even when they don't realise it themselves. But this doesn't come at the expense of other facets of their characterisation, but I'm not going to into this too much (or at all), because I think it's better if you just experience Flip and Emma Rose for yourself.

Both girls were given strong and unique voices, as part of a beautiful and lyrical style of writing. However, I did feel like there were isolated incidences towards the end where the writing became a bit clunky, and resorted to showing rather than telling. 

Information about the alternate world in which the novella takes place was integrated well, never overwhelming the story, but not leaving the reader with too little context. There were times where I would have liked for there to be more background given, but that was more out of curiosity than anything, and I recognise that it probably would have overwhelmed the story. I do hope that the author chooses to expand this world; there's one secondary character in particular that I would like to see get her own story. 

Overall, Screaming Down Splitsville was a lovely little YA or sweet F/F romance, with the characters' tenderness and youth making for a great low-angst read. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...