Handsome – Holly Lorka

Rating: 4 out of 5.
I read a lot of biographies and autobiographies when I was younger – across a wide range of different topics – but I never really had the opportunity to access many, if any, queer voices. The younger adult me would definitely have appreciated the existence of this book and I definitely appreciated it now – especially as someone who has experienced some similar feelings at times to Lorka.

Lorka covers a number of topics, many in a humorous way, but their exploration of gender and sexuality and their relationship to both are the things that really stands out, and act as the thread for the collection of stories. The topics covered are definitely adult in nature, varying from sex toys to teddy bears and top surgery to life as a nurse. I found some of the stories genuinely heart wrenching, whilst at other times I was laughing out loud.

I can partially understand the decision to mix up the chronological narrative of the chapters, but I needed something to tie things together to make it a little easier to read. If the chapters had all been bunched together in the same general topic I might have found it a bit easier if chronology was to be avoided – but instead I was often left at times wondering where in Lorka’s life this fit, which girlfriend were they dating, where were they living etc. Perhaps in the long run none of things actually mattered, and maybe that was the point, that irrespective of those markers in life, these things still happened, but it’s the lack of chronology or grouping standing between me and a five star rating.

Lorka was definitely an interesting person to spend time learning about, and I’m definitely interested in learning more. If you like memoirs I’d recommend you pick this one up and give it a go.

I received an e-ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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