TRUTH OR DARE

Foreword Reviews - - Spotlight - MYA ALEXICE

C. Spencer, Bold Strokes Books (MARCH) Soft­cover $16.95, 978-1-63555-148-8

Truth or Dare fol­lows the in­ter­twin­ing lives of six les­bian women in New Eng­land. Each have dif­fer­ent re­la­tion­ships with one an­other; some are lovers, some are friends, oth­ers are exes who still com­mu­ni­cate.

Through al­ter­nat­ing first-per­son nar­ra­tives, the book re­counts what hap­pens to them dur­ing a par­tic­u­larly nasty bliz­zard. For se­rial play­girl Jessie, the bliz­zard snows her in with her best friend Hadley and ro­mance threatens to ruin their sta­ble friend­ship. For Ella and Sam, the storm pro­vides a chance to reignite their com­pla­cent mar­riage. And for Ryan and Brie, ten­sions rise as Brie strug­gles to adapt to do­mes­tic life.

Truth or Dare is an en­tirely fun read. It’s a low-ten­sion slice-of-life med­i­ta­tion on the way that lives in­ter­sect. It is also char­ac­ter driven, which works well at some points and flails at oth­ers, mostly be­cause there are so many char­ac­ters to track. Char­ac­ters’ voices aren’t al­ways easy to dif­fer­en­ti­ate from one an­other, though they are all witty, and their in­ter­nal di­a­logue is filled with taut prose and laugh-out-loud mo­ments.

When Truth or Dare reaches into the realm of the erotic, it ex­cels. Such scenes are sexy and pal­pa­ble; they’re strik­ing and tense in a way that much of the rest of the book does not main­tain. Be­yond its sex scenes, the book is fluffier, filled with cozy story lines in­volv­ing lik­able women.

The book’s im­por­tant rep­re­sen­ta­tion of queer women aside, there’s a trou­ble­some lack of racial di­ver­sity in the book’s New Eng­land set­tings. Still, there’s much so­lace to be found in the book’s snowed-in, re­laxed at­mos­phere and pleas­ing plot. This book is a must for fans of multiple-char­ac­ter struc­tures and shows like The L Word.

Truth or Dare is charm­ing with its sto­ries of queer women fall­ing in and out of love. It is smart, funny, and ro­man­tic—the per­fect read for a snowy night in.

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