Children’s Book Reviews

Children's Book Review: Femme

Publish April 3, 2015

Femme, the first YA novel by British Columbia author Mette Bach, is an engaging, coming-of-age story about taking chances, first loves, and discovering who you really are. High-school senior Sofie Nussbaum can hardly believe she’s dating Paul, captain of the school’s soccer team and the best boyfriend ever. But, despite her popularity, Sofie feels like an outsider, unable to shake the empty feeling inside. When she’s paired on an English project with brainy and brawny lesbian Clea Thompson, Sofie begins to question her own sexuality, eager to explore these new-found feelings for Clea. When Sofie tells a stranger at a party that she and Clea are “together,” Sofie is both surprised and relieved to share that she’s a “femme” (feminine) lesbian. Finally feeling “free,” Sofie’s life, and Paul and Clea’s, takes a radical, yet believable, turn. Bach’s years as a high-school ESL teacher help her understand the behaviour and motivations of these young adults, particularly in the novel’s well-paced plot, realistic scenarios, and tone. Paul’s initial resentment and later acceptance of Sofie, as well as Paul’s ex-girlfriend tagging a photo of Sofie on Facebook with the word “Dyke,” give the novel its authenticity, showing how Bach excels in her honest portrayal of complex, intensely emotional, self-aware characters. She keenly explores the weighty subjects of teen sexuality, meaningful relationships, and self-discovery with respect and sensitivity.

Femme

Mette Bach
James Lorimer & Company Ltd.
ISBN 13: 9781458407671

Jennifer D. Foster
Jennifer D. Foster Jennifer D. Foster is a Toronto-based freelance editor, mentor, and writer, specializing in book and custom publishing, magazines, and marketing and communications. She loves kidlit, greyhounds, Japan, pumpkin pie and yard sales.  

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