Reviews for Already Published Books

REVIEW: Bend by Nancy J. Hedin


33632434Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: May 8, 2017
Received From: NetGalley

Lorraine Tyler is the only queer person in Bend, Minnesota. Or at least that’s what it feels like when the local church preaches so sternly against homosexuality. Which is why she’s fighting so hard to win the McGerber scholarship — her ticket out of Bend — even though her biggest competition is her twin sister, Becky. And even though she’s got no real hope — not with the scholarship’s morality clause and that one time she kissed the preacher’s daughter.

Everything changes when a new girl comes to town. Charity is mysterious, passionate, and — to Lorraine’s delighted surprise — queer too. Now Lorraine may have a chance at freedom and real love.

But then Becky disappears, and Lorraine uncovers an old, painful secret that could tear the family apart. They need each other more than ever now, and somehow it’s Lorraine — the sinner, the black sheep — who holds the power to bring them together. But only if she herself can learn to bend.


GENDER: cisgender
SEXUALITY: lesbian


TROPES: first love
TAGS: contemporary, young adult, queer romance, queer characters, romance, coming of age, coming out
WARNINGS: homomisia / homophobia, religion (Christianity)
Please visit Riptide Publishing’s website for more information on tags/warnings for the rest of the book.


DNF @ ~10%

My review for this novel doesn’t have much bearing on the story itself, as I only read a small portion of it. It’s personal.

I knew when I picked it up, from reading the blurb, that this story was going to be primarily focused on a queer girl who lives in a small town that is very religious and incredibly homomisic. I grew up in a family that was very religious–still is, except for me–and queermisic; it’s a trigger for me. So I should’ve known not to request it, but I’d recently read another with a similar theme, though far less involved plot-wise, so I thought I would be okay. Part of me probably knew I wouldn’t be, hence requesting it on NetGalley instead of pre-ordering/buying it myself. Just reading the first two chapters was more than I could deal with. The religious aspect is so in your face and hateful, and I get enough of that in my real life to make myself suffer through it in fiction, so that’s why I stopped this.

Also, the main character and her twin sister are viciously pitted against each other by their parents and pretty much everyone else, and I hate those kind of narratives, so that was another, smaller factor of why I didn’t read more of the story.





I grew up in a small town in central Minnesota. That small town sensibility informs my writing and gives me interesting voices in my head and I strive to choose which voice to bring to the page.

I live in St. Paul with my partner, two daughters, one dog, one bearded dragon, and two cats.

I have worked as a mental health crisis worker for over twenty years.

I love reading and getting my books signed by the author. I daydream about my own stories in book form and having others read them.

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