liralen's review against another edition

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3.0

Lovely artwork. It's worth noting that this is (as the cover says!) an illustrated memoir, not a graphic memoir, though I'd be interested to see what Chomiak could do with a full graphic novel/memoir—I suspect it would play to her strengths.

Still Stace chronicles Chomiak's long route to reconciling her religion with her sexuality. The church she grew up in was not necessarily one to cast people out for their non-heterosexuality, but it (and her family) was one to approve of the ex-gay movement, to tell Chomiak that god thought homosexuality was disgusting, etc. And since that was the church Chomiak knew and loved, for a long time she thought they must be right—that she was the one who needed to change.

There is a distinction that's missing for me here: the difference between faith and religion. By the former, I mean belief in god (or, more specifically, in this case belief in god as portrayed in the Bible); by the latter, I mean the institution of the church with which Chomiak grew up. To me this distinction is crucial, especially as Chomiak never indicates a questioning of faith throughout the book—but when she says Christian, I understand her to mean not the 2.38 billion people who practice some form of Christianity, but the much, much smaller number of people who practice her church's/family's particular form of conservative Protestantism. I'm left to wonder, then, whether at any point she questioned the religion telling her how to interpret her faith—whether she saw areas of misfit beyond what her religion said about queer relationships, or whether she explored other churches that had the same foundations but different conclusions. (To be fair: I see this a lot in memoirs about conservative religion—and leaving conservative religion—this sense that that particular interpretation is the only form of their faith.) I'd also have loved to know a bit more about Tams's path in religion, because at one point Chomiak says that the reason Tams's family was accepting was 'largely because they weren't Christians' (241); that makes me wonder how Tams herself ended up in this particular religious community herself.

As an aside—and this is not Chomiak's fault, or even the publisher's fault—do not read this on your phone. I should have waited until next week when I could read a hard copy; my eyes still ache from the tiny, cannot-be-sized-up text on my phone.

anuajit's review

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4.0

Many thanks to Netgalley, OrangeSky Audio and the author for the ALC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I don’t usually review memoirs, because it feels like I am rating someone's lived experience. And who am I to do it? The book was difficult to listen to as one would expect. There is just so much pain and self-loathing, but the joy towards the end of self-discovery and reconciliation with self is just worth it.

This book takes us on the journey of Stacey (the author) as she realized that she is attracted to women, and then hated herself for it. Because how can she be both Gay and Christian at the same time?

This dilemma and the mental torture she puts herself and her partners through is painful to say the least. The way she shoulders the responsibility of her parents happiness is so relatable that I felt the pain. I absolutely loved how Stacy talked throughout the book about her beliefs, her conversations with God and her inner turmoil. The fact that this book was narrated by the author only just added to the experience.

As a cis-gendered atheist queer woman, I did not much relate to the belief part of it. But having grown up surrounded by people who believe in God and religion with every fiber of their being, I saw them in this story. This book is truly a resource with its strong humanity and empathy which connects one to spirituality and religion.

amalgamation_of_things's review

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5.0

This is an excellent read for anyone questioning the validity of LGBTQ+ sexuality. God created us for boundless, unconditional love. Families should love their children regardless of whom they love. Many LGBTQ+ couples demonstrate more agape love than many straight couples.

seventannie's review

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5.0

I received this as an ARC in audio format by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The book is an autobiography of the author, Stacey Chomiak, and goes into great detail about the highs and lows of discovering herself while coming to terms with her sexuality and what that meant in the light of her faith in Jesus and the Catholic Church.

I had to sit on this for the past few days, to really let this book set in. While my story is pretty different because I'd say my faith isn't as strong and as important as Stacey's own is to her, I myself have been raised catholic in a small town in the most catholic place there is: Italy, I also have been struggling with juggling the beliefs I have been taught and what I believe to be true regarding gay relationships, same-sex marriage, sex before marriage, abortions, and so on.

Stacey's story really resonated with me on so many levels, I really enjoyed reading about her growing up, her struggles, and her thoughts, I will be recommending this book to everyone who will listen and I will be buying the hardcover edition for sure (it has pictures!!).

beckyjohnston's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful fast-paced

4.0

naturally_caffeinated_reader's review

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4.0

This was an eye opener fior me as a fellow Canadian was surprised to learn how strict and conservative Christians are in Canada always heard this about our neighbours to the south. I think this is an important read fir youth in similar situation to understand their feelings and that god isn't mad at you for being gay.

chantel_ingalls's review against another edition

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emotional inspiring reflective medium-paced

5.0

This memoir was so incredibly relatable. As someone who still struggles with identifying what my sexuality is (or is “allowed to be”) I found Still Stace to be relatable, sad, funny, reminiscent and so much more! 5 stars from me ❤️

ashbcgc's review

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emotional hopeful inspiring fast-paced

3.75


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

lgbtrepinbooks's review

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5.0

*As is the nature of a memoir, many topics are discussed and could be considered trigger warnings for many people.*

Trigger Warnings: Christianity, homophobia, christian shame/guilt, toxic relationship, control/manipulation, threats of suicide/blackmail, counseling, coming out, drinking, drugs, jail, sex, Gay conversion therapy

Representation: Lesbian, Bisexual, Christian, Canadian, Gay

Still Stace is an illustrated memoir about Stace’s journey growing up as a Christian, while also being gay. Raised in the church, Stacey loves God, her church, her church friends, and bible camp. This is thrown for a loop one summer while at camp, she meets a girl who makes her heart sing. This sparks a decade long journey of self discovery and how to feel at peace with her identity and spirituality.

This audio ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I loved this memoir! I may be biased based on my religious upbringing but I thought this was an excellent look into what it is like to be raised in the church but also gay. I thought the writing was clear and well organized. I loved the honesty and truthfulness from the author. I loved how Stacey put her entire heart on her sleeve and was willing to be so vulnerable for her readers. I thought this was incredibly brave and made her journey so much more relatable. While I read, I was hoping for the author to identify when they were the problem more but I think that capability comes from a place of privilege and reflection, which is unfair to assume.

I felt Stacey did a wonderful job on the audiobook. Her reading was clear and smooth. She also brought true emotions to the story. Overall, a fantastic book that religious, ex-religious, and non-religious readers alike should read!

cmstein's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful inspiring reflective fast-paced

5.0