Epically Earnest by Molly Horan
Publication Date: 21 June 2022
Having never read Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, I cannot speak to the similarities between it and this modern-day retelling (or so it has been billed). I can, however, talk about how much I enjoyed this book. Molly Horan’s debut novel is alive with vibrant characters, and is so much more than just your typical queer YA romance. Yes, it is that as well, but there is a larger story arc about adoption, and the difference between the family you’re born into and the family you call your own. Our main character, Jane, became internet-famous as a one-year-old infant found abandoned in a train station. Now eighteen and having found a close familial match on an DNA matching website, she struggles with not only the possibility of finding her birth family, but also with the question of if she even wants to.
While wrestling with that decision, Janey is also wrestling with a long-time crush on Gwen, who is beautiful and comes from a wealthy family who would definitely not approve of Janey as romantic partner for their daughter. I do feel that the familial repercussions for Gwen was a thread left hanging at the end of the story, but that just means there is room in my head for there to be an ultimate HEA for this couple as Gwen’s family shows them unconditional love and acceptance.
Janey is occasionally overshadowed in this book by the wonder that is her best friend, Algernon Moncrieff. Algie is a known breaker of hearts, and now has his sights set on Janey’s cousin Cecil. The author leaves just enough out of their developing relationship that I want – nay, I *DEMAND* a book about this opposites-attract couple.
In addition to the aforementioned #CecAl story, I am looking forward to reading more by this author in the future.
Thank you to NetGalley and Clarion Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.