Hi everyone, I hope you’re well! Apologies for the lack of posts the last couple of days – I had some work come up last minute that got a bit hectic, but don’t worry, the Queer Thrillers Recs post will be up in July instead! Today is another exciting post with the book tour for It Goes Like This by Miel Moreland – one of my most anticipated releases of the year – hosted by the wonderful TBR and Beyond Tours! I highly recommend that you check out the full tour schedule, which you can find here, and read everyone’s amazing posts! Without any further ado, here’s my review of this amazing book, as well as a cute wee moodboard for our fave queer superstars!
Title: It Goes Like This
Author: Miel Moreland
Genre: Contemporary, LGBT+, Young Adult
Synopsis: In Miel Moreland’s heartfelt young adult debut, It Goes Like This, four queer teens realize that sometimes you have to risk hitting repeat on heartbreak.
Eva, Celeste, Gina, and Steph used to think their friendship was unbreakable. After all, they’ve been though a lot together, including the astronomical rise of Moonlight Overthrow, the world-famous queer pop band they formed in middle school, never expecting to headline anything bigger than the county fair.
But after a sudden falling out leads to the dissolution of the teens’ band, their friendship, and Eva and Celeste’s starry-eyed romance, nothing is the same. Gina and Celeste step further into the spotlight, Steph disappears completely, and Eva, heartbroken, takes refuge as a songwriter and secret online fangirl…of her own band. That is, until a storm devastates their hometown, bringing the four ex-best-friends back together. As they prepare for one last show, they’ll discover whether growing up always means growing apart.
It Goes Like This by Miel Moreland is a really exciting sapphic debut novel, following queer pop band, Moonlight Overthrow, a few years after their split, having barely spoken a few words to each other since. Eva is finally getting her life back to normal by attending college, and Steph is putting their family as their number one priority, whereas Celeste is selling out tours nationwide and Gina is taking the acting world by storm. But after a storm devastates their home town, where their band first began, the four ex-band members must come back together to raise funds to help rebuild, but this means re-opening wounds that haven’t been touched for years, including Celeste and Eva’s difficult breakup.
I absolutely adore books about queer and sapphic bands and singers, and so, of course, this was high up on my anticipated releases of 2021 list! Something I love even more than just queer bands is when members of said bands are dating in the book, so naturally I had really high hopes for this one. And Miel Moreland did not let me down! First and foremost, while reading this book I couldn’t help but feeling that it reminded me of some wonderful sapphic adult romances that I’ve read in the past – namely Hammer’s Strings and Beautiful Things, Love’s Falling Star, and Not This Time – and I make that comparison in the best possible way because I loved all three of those books! Miel Moreland managed to capture the dynamics of these bandmates so, so well, and her writing style truly lends to the story in a way that I really believe that this is one of those wonderful reads that makes the bridge between YA contemporary novels and adult sapphic romance novels, which are two of my favourite kinds of books to read!
The characters are by far the best part about the book! We follow the perspectives of all four of the band members, and I think that the book worked so well because of that choice. The whole way through the book I was really rooting for Eva because she really deserves so, so much! She wears her heart on her sleeve yet is so tough, and I loved seeing her passion for music, her passion for studying, and her never-ending passion for the four of them together. Celeste was a really interesting perspective, because she was the only one of the four, prior to the events of the book, to really stay in the music industry post breakup and I really loved seeing how she dealt with that, particularly relating to her being a solo act. Gina was another of my favourites – you could tell that she was so devoted to her bandmates and one of the uniting forces between them and I really loved that about her. I also loved to see her softening up throughout the book and accepting that she really was falling for someone, and it was so cute! Finally, I really appreciated Steph and both their fierce loyalty and love for their family, and their outspokenness about being genderqueer – particularly relating to the fact that they’re not a girlband, just a band!
I only had one critique about the characters, and about the book as a whole I guess, and that’s the ages they were written as. While they were together as a band they were around 15-17/18 years old and around 19 years old during the events of the book and I just didn’t believe it. Not only did they all act much older (though I do understand that being in the limelight at such a young age does almost force you grow up much faster than perhaps you’d like), but I also think that the plot would actually have worked better and made more sense if they were in their late teens prior to the book and maybe early to mid 20s in the present day sections.
But anyway, back to the positives! I mentioned it a bit earlier that Steph is genderqueer and, in fact, every member of the band is queer – with them each explicitly on page mentioning that Eva and Celeste are lesbians, Gina is bisexual and Steph is genderqueer and pan. This is, sadly, not seen all that often in YA contemporary, and I was so, so happy to see it in It Goes Like This! Furthermore, Gina is a dark skinned Black woman and Celeste is Jewish, with perhaps some of the other characters also being Jewish. All the representation throughout the book was amazing to see and it made me so, so happy!
Overall, this was a really fun read that I honestly could not put down (no, literally, I was playing The Sims in one hand with my Kindle in the other) and I can’t wait to see what Miel Moreland releases in the future!
About the Author:
Miel Moreland writes character-driven contemporary Young Adult novels. Born and raised in Minneapolis, she has a Midwestern heart but wandering feet. When not making pop music references and celebrating fandom, she is likely to be found drinking hot chocolate and making spreadsheets. She currently resides in Boston.