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Mistakes Were Made

Updated: May 2, 2023

I love a good summer romance. I can’t read romance any other time of year. I read Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers in February and hated it. I re-read it in June and oh my goodness, what a great book! So, point is, it’s July and the perfect time for a juicy summer romance. This summer, I turned to Mistakes Were Made by Meryl Wilsner (thanks NetGalley for the advance copy!). While it is next to impossible to find a decent lesbian romance that doesn’t fall into boring or downright offensive tropes (looking at you, When Katie Met Cassidy), I trusted Wilsner because of her excellent handling of the characters in her first book, Something To Talk About.

As in her first book, Wilsner works with characters who are already out and comfortable with their sexuality – no

horrible hand-wringing as a naively straight girl comes to terms with the fact that she might like girls. Instead, the hand-wringing is over the appropriateness of a relationship with your best friend’s mom. The mom in question is a complex and feminist character, coming into her own as an independent and self-sufficient woman who can choose to place her own happiness first, even as a mother. Honestly, with the recent repeal of Roe v. Wade and the exhausting rhetoric from certain politicians about the agency a woman gives up when she gets pregnant, I applaud Wilsner for writing a character who can be a woman first, mother second. However, the mother’s love interest is less complex, a student with a troubled childhood who somehow rectifies her mommy issues by dating a mother? Frankly, I’m confused by her motivations. Not about her attraction to an older woman, which is great representation and something we need to see more of, but about her attraction to this older woman, someone in a completely different stage of her life and someone who jeopardizes her relationship with her best friend. I was told as a young woman that if a man in a different stage of his life shows interest in me, that’s a red flag. The same should hold for lesbians – we don’t need to be toxic to be queer!


Overall, despite some problematic elements, it was a super cute summer romance. Steamy in all the right places, and fast moving enough to keep me reading. Let’s be honest, we’re not reading these books for their perfectly respectful and nuanced feminisms.

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