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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Bow To Me is a young adult and new adult coming of age/social issues story written by G.C. Julien. Kaitlyn hadn’t really focused on her sexual identity until that moment when Samantha walked into Mr. Tanore’s English class. She had had a boyfriend until she had gotten tired of him trying to get her to go farther, but she was not really a girly girl. Kaitlyn hated wearing feminine clothing, and she was pretty ambivalent about sex. Samantha’s sudden appearance changed everything. She was electrifying, hostile, and everything about her warned of danger, but Kaitlyn was transfixed by those green eyes and that stunning, black-as-night hair. She hadn’t seriously given it a thought if she was a lesbian or bisexual before, but something about Samantha had her wondering. And when Samantha chose to befriend her, Kaitlyn realized it was probably the wrong thing to do, but she found herself unable to resist the other woman’s domineering personality.
G.C. Julien’s social issues story, Bow To Me, follows the coming out of an eighteen-year-old girl whose religious parents’ first instinct is to send her for sexual conversion at their church. There are no blacks or whites in this compelling story, only muted shades of gray as Samantha provides Kaitlyn with the strength and support to recognize and accept her sexuality, even as she leads Kaitlyn on a destructive path that takes her out of school and into alcoholism while in submission to the stronger woman’s lifestyle and worldview. Julien’s characters are well-defined and authentic. I especially liked Maddi, the co-worker at Kaitlyn’s pharmacy job, who becomes a friend and mentor, and Andrew, Kaitlyn’s sister’s boyfriend, who somehow bridges the tension between Kaitlyn and her family after she comes out. Bow To Me is at times a cautionary tale, filled with dark visions of lives wasted, but that part of the tale that brilliantly shows a young woman coming to terms with her sexuality and coming of age works so well both because of and in spite of her relationship with Samantha. And it makes the story ultimately a triumphant and uplifting one. Bow To Me is most highly recommended.