Review of Imogen, Obviously

Imogen, Obviously Imogen, Obviously
by Becky Albertalli
High School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    432 pp.
5/23    9780063045873    $19.99
e-book ed.  9780063045897    $12.99

High school senior Imogen has always thought of herself as a straight ally to the queer people close to her. But a visit to her best friend, first-year college student Lili, complicates matters. For one thing, Lili, in the process of trying to feel more secure in her pansexual identity, has told her college friends that Imogen is her ex-girlfriend. For another, the feelings Imogen develops for Tessa, one of those friends, tend toward romantic attraction. These experiences raise uncomfortable questions for the protagonist: why is she just beginning to realize she might be bisexual? Is she “appropriating queerness”? Sexual orientation is constantly front-of-mind for these characters, who are all trying to find where they fit in. Plenty of witty banter—and an endearing romance—lighten a novel that’s full of introspection and that validates not only a variety of identities but also individuals’ paces for figuring them out.

Pubissue-From the May/June 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Shoshana Flax

Shoshana Flax, associate editor of The Horn Book, Inc., is a former bookseller and holds an MFA in writing for children from Simmons University. She has served on the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award and Sydney Taylor Book Award committees.

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