A review by plumpaperbacks
Lavender House by Lev AC Rosen

challenging mysterious sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


Though this was a good book, one I did enjoy reading, it’s also one that seems weaker as I continue to think about it. What made for an intriguing premise was, unfortunately, a rather anticlimactic story. There was a whole lot of talking about not a lot of doing, and come the end of the book, the explanations for everything felt flimsy. Maybe it’s on me for wanting a thriller from what’s clearly a mystery, but I feel like mysteries should still have some elements of drama and intensity. I didn’t get that here.

I did like the characters, though, and there’s just… There’s something uniquely compelling to me, as a queer person, about queer historical fiction. No matter how difficult it can be to read, to see the horrifying ways our predecessors were treated and the heartbreaking lengths they had to go to for their own safety, there’s something to be said about seeing that we’ve always been here, and we’ve always persisted. That’s what these characters do, too—persist.

So, yeah. Some things worked for me in this book, others didn’t, but overall, I did like it, and I do want to read the second book. I want to see more of Andy and the Lavender House family, and hopefully, I’ll really like it.

  • gay protagonist
  • Mexican lesbian side character
  • bisexual Jewish side character
  • sapphic side characters
  • achillean side characters (one is also Filipino)
  • sapphic side couples (f/f)
  • achillean side couple (m/m)

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