The Blue Light Special by ML Skinner has been a surprise for me, a very good one indeed, and the perfect choice after being reading lesbian thrillers that made me look forward to something lighter. This book was that, and a window to a world that I didn’t know and a so needed change from typical lesbian novels.
The story is told in Alex’s point of view, what makes her the principal character and, in my opinion, the only one, something new and refreshing in a lesbian novel that isn’t the typical love story although its base is, undoubtedly, love. Love for music, love for a woman, love for a dream, but at the end pure love.
Alex is the typical woman (not girl, you can’t call her “girl” and not being insulting her) that has been through college, has a degree that isn’t useful and is looking for herself and how she fits in the world. Alex, as any person in that age, has a dream, being famous singing and writing songs which talk about women, made for women and produced by women; songs that will change the world. Her part-time job at a bar, Smokey’s, gives her the possibility of know women, earn a modest salary and live her dream though partly because she has not a proper group. She knows Mary and plays some music with her but the real twist comes when she met Casey.
Casey is, in a way, just the opposite of Alex. Where Alex is young, naïve sometimes, and believes in dreams that come true, Casey has lived enough to know that dreams won’t happen, not as easily as Alex thinks, and life is tougher than the idealistic woman thinks. Casey is a mystery, has a lot of emotional baggage and it’s a pleasure to discover her at the same time that Alex does. She is extremely sincere too, but confusing to the point that you doubt someone can pass the giant wall she has build around herself.
Alex feels instantly attracted to the silent woman who has so many layers that it’s impossible to really know her. Casey becomes an important part of Alex’s life when she accepts being part of the eclectic group and, later, becoming Alex’s lover. That’s the moment when she thinks she has it all and when life, in its infinite wisdom, will show her that she’s wrong.
I don’t want to give more details about the book because I’m not here to tell you the whole story, that’s the author’s job and ML Skinner does it perfectly. But I’ll share my feelings about it. As I said at the beginning of this review, it isn’t the typical lesbian romance novel although is full of love, and doesn’t count with the stereotypical characters, something I’m grateful of. The Blue Light Special talks about life itself, about being young, believe in something strongly and have dreams, about fall in love to discover that you love someone you don’t even know, to accept changes and that everything has an expiration date, everything will end in some point of the journey. Accepting that and keep going is the clue.