“She Gets the Girl” is a young adult fiction novel that is co-authored by New York Times bestselling novel “Five Feet Apart” author Rachael Lippincott and debut writer Alyson Derrick — set to be released on April 5. The story is written from two polar opposite perspectives points of view of its two main characters, Alex Blackwood and Molly Parker, as they struggle with their respective relationships while simultaneously tackling their freshman year of college.
Molly Parker has pined after the same girl, Cora Myers, all throughout high school without making a single move. She knows almost everything about her, yet she’s too scared to make the first move, let alone strike up a casual conversation.
On the other hand, Alex Blackwood is all confidence, a total player that exudes confidence. She excels in charming ]the girl, flirting with the girl and getting the girl, but maintaining a that connection beyond a hook-up is foreign to her. Between an alcoholic mother, extreme trust issues and intense emotional unavailability, Alex is lost. After a fight with her girlfriend Natalie, Alex is inspired to coach Molly in the art of getting her girl to prove that she is capable of being considerate of people other than herself.
This enemies-to-lovers YA novel takes a predictable yet heartwarming turn as Molly and Alex unwittingly fall in love with each other throughout the course of the novel. It serves as an ideal, realistic example of what young lesbians deserve to see in bookstores and feel represented, as books like these have been missing from the shelves for far too long.
While extremely lighthearted as a whole, both characters deal with intensely personal issues outside of their romantic relationshipromances, such as like Alex’s mom’s battle with alcoholism and Molly’s mom’s internalized racism. These parallels within the characters allow for the development of a deeper interpersonal relationship among the characters that helpshelp them relate to one another and realize they are not so different after all.
Lippincott and Derrick wrote “She Gets the Girl” together, based on their own love story, and their characters, Alex and Molly reflect their inspirational lesbian success story.
In an interview with We Need Diverse Books, Lippincott noted, “Molly and Alex exist, on the surface, as polar opposites, but when you peel back the layers they’re able to connect on a deep level. They seem really different … but when you dig down deep enough, like Alex and Molly do, they really aren’t. I think one part of it intertwining so seamlessly is that these characters, from almost the very start, challenged each other in a way that brought out the best in the other, and because of that, they’re able to grow and change.”
The separate point of view in this story and the authors’ respective writing styles blend together nicely as their connection to one another produces a lyrical flow in their process, evident by each page and chapter blending together seamlessly.
The realism in this story as a slow burn sapphic romance story was touched upon by Derrick in the same interview.
“I think the media has trained lesbians to savor the buildup, because unfortunately, we don’t always get the payoff. Nothing like a good back of the hands brush or a longing stare from across the room to get our hearts pumping. And second, it was the only way to do it realistically. Alex and Molly really butt heads in the beginning. The way they see it, they have nothing in common, the other person could never understand them, and honestly I don’t think they really trust each other at all. So we needed to give them plenty of time to break down each other’s walls and open up,” she said.
Despite being targeted towards a Young Adult audience, Lippincott and Derrick’s Their writing style together is simple yet nuanced, making it suitable for young readers and older, despite being targeted at a YA audience. Each character is developed so differently, but the audience can still audience members easily get to know and learn to love each character for their flaws as well as their strengths. With Alex and Molly’s relationship being is so heartwarming and relatable, “She Gets the Girl” provides a perfect addition to the growing body of lesbian literature.
The slow yet steady influx of lesbian books in the mainstream has been a long time coming, and just like every little kid who used to get lost in the romantic heterosexual escapades of “Twilight” or “The Fault in Our Stars,” young gay kids deserve that sense of visibility. It is a powerful thing to see a version of oneself represented in the media, and “She Gets the Girl” is an amazing step in the right direction to getting every little girl recognized, validating their existences and underrepresented experiences.
“She Gets the Girl” normalizes the lesbian identity by not making it a big deal, which in turn, makes it a huge deal. There is no fetishization or coming-out sob story. Coming out stories have been done, and to some extent, they are overplayed. There is no homophobia, internalized or otherwise. This book is about normal college lesbians falling in love in the zaniest way possible, just like any other YA novel featuring straight people. The only difference between this book and other YA romance books is that the characters are gay, which is a fresh take on many of the existing works of lesbian literature.
The lighthearted, nonchalantness of this book is exactly what makes it so lovable. It is comforting and sympathizable for queer people and straight people alike. Lippincott and Derrick’s work on “She Gets the Girl” is commendable, and it will hopefully inspire more lesbian fiction novels as well as promote a sense of self-acceptance and pride in young lesbian readers.
Derrick and Lippincott are not the only authors working to bring forth more representative lesbian stories. To name just a few, authors like Emily Danforth and Casey Mcquinston are actively working to bring more intersectional representation to lesbian fiction in their novels “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” and “One Last Stop” respectively.
“She Gets the Girl” is available for purchase at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Books A Million, and other online and in-store retailers. It is also available on Audible as an e-book.
Lillian Dunn is an Entertainment Staff Writer for the spring 2022 quarter. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.