Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo

That book. It was about two women, and they fell in love with each other. And then Lily asked the question that had taken root in her, that was even now unfurling its leaves and demanding to be shown the sun: Have you ever heard of such a thing?

Seventeen-year-old Lily Hu can't remember exactly when the question took root, but the answer was in full bloom the moment she and Kathleen Miller walked under the flashing neon sign of a lesbian bar called the Telegraph Club.

America in 1954 is not a safe place for two girls to fall in love, especially not in Chinatown. Red-Scare paranoia threatens everyone, including Chinese Americans like Lily. With deportation looming over her father--despite his hard-won citizenship--Lily and Kath risk everything to let their love see the light of day.

TITLE: Last Night at the Telegraph Club
AUTHOR: Malinda Lo
PUBLISHER: Dutton Books for Young Readers
YEAR: 2021
LENGTH: 416 pages
AGE: Young Adult
GENRE: Historical 

Partial Queer Rep Summary: Lesbian/Sapphic Main Character(s).

DNF 73 pages in (17%).

I've previously loved some of this author's other books but just didn't get pulled into this one. It starts out with a lot of the tension centering around interpersonal dynamics of Lily's friend group, and I got as far as the beginning of the deportation plotline, but it's about 50/50 whether I'll like a non-thriller YA book with no magic, and this falls in the "no" pile for me. If you like sapphic historical YA about older teens finding love, give this a try.

CW for sexual content (brief), misogyny.

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A 1950's Chinatown street lit with neon lights. Two figures embrace at the edge of a streetlight's glow.


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