Review: Under the Rainbow

Hi and welcome to the reading world!

I am so excited to be sharing a review for one of my more recent reads and 2021 favorites so far this summer, Under the Rainbow by Celia Laskey.

Under the Rainbow by Celia Laskey
Published: 2020 by Riverhead Books
Format Read: Print
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Under the Rainbow starts off following a teenage girl who has recently moved to a small town. She is the daughter of a leader in a LGBTQIA+ nonprofit dedicated to helping with inequalities and homophobia through a multi year task force living among these townspeople. However, this book doesn’t focus on this character’s narration alone and instead reads more like a short story collection of interconnected perspectives rather than following one linear narrative. All of these individual perspectives are of those involved in this town: some are townspeople who’ve lived there prior to the task force from the nonprofit moving in, some are task force members, some are teenagers, some are adults, some identify as LGBTQIA+ and some do not. The stories of these people and the impacts of their interactions with each other shape the experiences they all have across the several year time span the novel covers.

I thought that the structuring of this story to follow different perspectives was really well done. It’s definitely not written to be a light and fluffy read and does tackle serious issues around homophobia and other difficult topics. However, there are still moments of community, levity, and growth throughout. I also really appreciated how much character development could be seen even with the limited page count the reader follows an individual character’s perspective in. Since the story centers around this small town, characters would be referenced or reappear and so the outcomes of their narration could still sometimes echo throughout the novel. I really loved experiencing the story in this manner.

Overall, Under the Rainbow is a novel I definitely plan to reread in the future. Although the reader only follows each individual’s narration for a limited amount of time, the distinct voice of each character and the journey they each go on contribute to the overarching story of the way the lives and experiences in this town changed over the years the task force was there. It’s one I definitely consider a favorite read!

As with any book I talk about here on the blog, I would highly recommend checking out a resource for specific content or trigger warnings. The Storygraph has a user compiled list of triggers for each book on the website, which could be potentially helpful if you’re looking for a specific resource.

Try this book if: you enjoy contemporary fiction that explores serious issues through character development, you enjoyed the introspective narrations, interconnected storytelling, and moments of levity and community in Anxious People

Thank you for stopping by!


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