When Momo agrees to drop off some notes as a favor to a friend, she doesn’t expect the door to be answered by a beautiful and mysterious (and only partially clothed) stranger, PG. On the surface, Momo and PG are worlds apart. Momo – a bit shy, very earnest and trusting – has never dated anyone, while PG’s romantic exploits are the talk of the campus. Yet the two keep finding themselves thrown together, and a budding friendship soon turns into something more. But for their relationship to have a chance, both will need to confront baggage from their pasts.
While there is real depth to the internal struggles Momo and PG face (Momo’s kindness has been taken advantage of in the past; PG has been hurt by assumptions about her playgirl image), If You’ll Have Me is a sweet, painless concoction that will warm your heart as thoroughly as hot cocoa on a winter’s day.
The world of the graphic novel, rendered in bright, bold colors by author and illustrator Eunnie, is full of women who love women – in the sapphic sense, absolutely, but the women of If You’ll Have Me also show up for each other in non-romantic ways. (For a few pages, I even thought the narrative took place in an alternate universe where men didn’t exist.) Eunnie dedicates the book especially to lesbians of color, and the story is indeed a love letter to them, one in which they take center stage and get the sweet, happy, sexy ending they deserve. If the novel is a cup of hot chocolate, it’s one made with intentionality and so, so much love.
If you’re looking to fill a Heartstopper-sized hole in your life, definitely give this a try!
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher, Penguin Teen, for review.