Coach M – Q. Kelly

Rating: 5 out of 5.
I’ve been thinking about this book a lot since I read it and found I needed to come back and write a review. This contains spoilers about both this book and the first in the series – Coach Z.

I read a biography of Q.Kelly and it said she likes to write in the grey of life – it’s an extremely appropriate way of describing this series of books. None of the characters are horrible, none of them are heroes, they’re just people dealing with hard things and situations.

I was originally attracted to the book because of my love of sports and lesbians crossed with basketball was right up my street. However it was the characters that had me reading both books back to back and still awake trying to finish them at 4am in the morning.

Coach M skips forwards five years from the ending of Coach Z, where we found the burgeoning relationship between Melissa and Andi ending due to alcoholism. Five years later and Andi is returning to coach the Ravens again, in the process coming face to face with Melissa again after no contact since the end of Coach Z.

The basketball descriptions in the book are great, and I loved how it accurately represents that sport is often a way of life for some. I thought Andi was great as a character, but for me it was the depiction of Melissa in Coach M that really spoke to me. Melissa is written as someone coming to terms with lots of things that people in the LGBTQ+ community often experience and then struggle with reconciling when they meet ‘the one’.

I was also really happy that whilst there is a happyish ending to the book, it didn’t break from its style and have an amazing unrealistic HEA. There is happiness and resolution – but everything isn’t tied into a happy bow just because the book ends.

I would love a third part of this series, continuing Melissa and Andi’s life together.

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