TRUTH OR DARE
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.