smilingrid: Librarian Rant Review: The Jean Harlow Bombshell by Mollie Cox Bryan

November 21, 2019

Librarian Rant Review: The Jean Harlow Bombshell by Mollie Cox Bryan

Today's video is about The Jean Harlow Bombshell by Mollie Cox Bryan. I picked this up at the American Library Association's annual conference in DC. I met the author and she told me a bit about her relation to Jean Harlow before signing my book herself and stamping her relative's John Hancock underneath.

I kept it on my TBR for a while, finally spurred into action by seeing it on the new shelf at the Boston Public Library. There were a couple of things that surprised me about this story, and after the first few chapters I had so many hopes. The writing and story are engaging and I was pleasantly surprised that we have multiple characters who are part of the LGBTQ+ community. I think her intentions were good... but her implementation needs an entire, hour-long video to unpack.

SO. Before watching, please make note of these HUGE trigger warnings for use of dead names and incorrect pronouns,  heartbreaking backstories, and trans women who are only distinguishable from one another by which famous person they impersonate. Also, there are multiple murders in this book and ALL of them are people within the LGBTQ+ community. Please don't watch this video if discussion of any of these things could harm you.

As I say in the video, I am approaching this review as an ally. There are many moments that bother me as such, specifically those surrounding our trans characters, but I don't have the personal experience to inform my outrage. Please let me know if I have made any mistakes in my analysis so that I can fix them!

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