Book Review Interview

Queer Books, Queer Readers: Erica Reads Snapdragon!

Snapdragon by Kat Leyh

Hi, I’m Erica (they/she)! I’m a ceramics artist, library worker, theatre-goer, and – of course – a reader. I sometimes share my art and my cat on Instagram: @airekker.

What queer book have you chosen to share with our readers today?

I’m glad to have the opportunity to gush about Snapdragon by Kat Leyh, a young adult graphic novel about a creepy old witch who lives in the woods selling roadkill online, a teen girl who needs her help, and a web of connections that brings everything together. I was so charmed by the expressive art, the flow of the story, the transitions – gah! It’s all just so beautiful! It’s a very wholesome read. When I finished this comic my heart felt full.

Why is this book one of your favorites?

When I was a teen I read a lot of old-dead-white-guy sci fi that was very heteronormative. I thought a lot about the future in the abstract sense, but while embroiled in these very patriarchal visions I don’t think I could realize my own identity or picture what my own future could look like. I think that’s why Snapdragon spoke to me; there’s this teen girl who doesn’t quite fit the mold or understand herself, and she finds comfort in an elder queer, and that’s just pure hope to me. That teens now will see older queer people living and thriving and imagine themselves doing the same. My great dream is for children and teens to be able to envision their queer futures and for that vision to be hopeful.

How would you describe yourself as a reader?

Flighty! I have a long, long list of books I want to read but I don’t move through it methodically at all. Some books have been on that list for a decade, but I can’t resist a pretty cover that passes under my nose. And working at the library, that happens a lot!

As a queer person, have books helped you explore or express your queer identity?

For sure. Often when I read information about identity language I think, “hmm, so that’s what some people experience and how they describe it.” But when I read queer fiction or memoir, I see that experience firsthand and I realize – wait – that’s how I feel, too. Am I also that thing? Sometimes it helps me to connect the dots on how aspects of my identity relate to each other. It opens new doors for understanding myself and articulating my own realizations.

Other than reading, are there any queer nerdy recommendations that you would like to leave with our readers?

I’ve sunken a lot of time into Fire Emblem: Three Houses. I wish it had more gay romance options, but there are some great ships to be had wrapped up in a great strategy game.

Thank you, Erica!

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