Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Sarah Moon
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
If you had the chance to speak to your younger self, what would you say? This is the question that famous queer writers answer in letter form in The Letter Q. The writers have lived through the trauma of growing up queer and can see how life turns out on the other side. In these letters, each writer offers a piece of their story and their past while also conveying the message that it does get better. Though some writers use humor and others use strong emotion to convey that message, each possesses an admirable self-compassion and a desire to comfort and advise their former self. Ultimately, most writers share that their adulthood is filled with more passion, creativity, and confidence than they could have ever imagined. But they never would have been able to reach that point if they didn’t first endure some of their darkest and loneliest moments.
Because The Letter Q features different writers with various styles and perspectives, the letters are varied and fresh. Some of the writers specialize in graphic novels, so some of the letters are in the form of comics. Though only a few of the letters use severe profanity, the words are used enough times that the book does need a “severe language” warning. Also, the more explicit sexual content is mentioned once or twice, so the book does bear a “severe sexual content” warning. However, for the most part, the writers only talk about physical attraction in generalities, though attraction is a large part of the subject matter, since the writers’ main purpose is to talk about coming to terms with sexuality. In this book, sexual orientations other than heterosexuality are presented as acceptable, healthy, and not needing to change. If a reader is searching for a book about people coming to terms with being gay by denying it, this book is not the place to look.
*Contains severe language, severe sexual content, and moderate violence.