I’ve spent the several days since I read Night Shine, Tessa Gratton’s latest YA novel, trying to articulate to myself why I found it much more annoying than satisfying. On the face of it, a novel with a queer protagonist, a queer prince, and two queer love stories—along with coming-of-age and plenty of magic—should be precisely my sort of thing, or at least the sort of thing I’m predisposed to like. But I don’t, really, and I’m finding it hard to put my finger on just why exactly that is.
It may be that living through our current pandemic moment has altered my ability to enjoy reading, but a) I’ve enjoyed some things, and b) I’ve always been cranky, and I seem to be getting crankier as I grow older, this might just be a case of a mismatch of book and reader. Or to put it differently: wrong desk, wrong day.
(Review contains spoilers.)