~mistakes were made~

oml what a book! ~many spoilers ahead~

this is a sapphic rom-com, affectionately called ~the MILF book~. it revolves around a college senior (cassie), her bestie (acacia), her bestie's roommate (parker), and her bestie's roommate's mother (erin), primarily focusing on the illicit relationship between cassie and erin. did i mention that cassie, acacia, AND parker are actually all close friends?

the summary of smut

it all starts with across-the-bar eye contact, then car sex, then single-stall-gender-neutral-bathroom-almost sex. we get to drunk calls, complicated winter break secret sex, valentine's day sexting, near-friendship-ending silent treatment, secret weekend trips, and summer fun. all of that is to say it is indeed a steamy read! the sapphic lust is palpable.

thoughts and self-reflections

but it isn't JUST about smut lol. the characters are very human - at times, incredibly dislike-able; at times, startlingly relatable. cassie is a snarky, overconfident, high achieving aerospace engineer with a negative and seemingly nonexistent relationship with her family. acacia's family essentially raised cassie and continued to support her in place of her biological family. we learn that cassie is untrusting in her relationships, has a small support system, and is not particularly in touch with her emotions (of note, the romantic variety).

i was entertained by cassie's confidence and snarky personality (i looove a good snarky character that is really just a softie on the inside). but i felt most connected to her social isolation. it is hard not having your parents in your life; it is hard not having a large/more-than-one-to-two-people support system. and so i found a bit of myself within cassie's moments of solitude. cassie seemed to face her loneliness with a hard head and defiant glare aimed at any hint of significant emotion, but it was still portrayed through the pages. i am more emotion-full, but i've noticed that i seem to have an internal disdain for such ~feelings~ and tend to be dismissive and cruel toward the big feelings as they come up in my brain.

erin on the other hand is a 40-ish year old doctor who is driven by outside approval and a need to be seen as perfect. this changes as she leans into the pleasure and joy she derives through her relationship with cassie, eventually assuming the philosophy of "fuck should" - fuck the idea of what you should be doing and instead do what is best for you. she was still so often driven by the fear of saying or doing something wrong and driving her daughter away from her. but in the end, honest communication with her daughter was the key.

erin and i can both think circles around a situation before actually asking any helpful questions. it is so easy to get wrapped up in what we think we should be doing. at some point in my life, i developed some sense of fear and insecurity in my relationships relating to the idea of messing up. i get tied up in the idea of what i should be doing out of fear that at some point i'll mess up so bad or set some boundary or become *too much* and the people in my life will suddenly give up and leave, and i will be left completely and utterly alone... but alas! that narrative is challenged everyday by those who choose to stay. those to choose to have the tough conversations and show up even on the rainy days. it really does make the good times that much more joyous.

switching gears, i think this read was pretty important for where i currently find myself. i am demisexual and now nearly 6 months on testosterone. after all my 20+ years, i have been experiencing teenage horniness and sexual attraction for the time over the last few months. i still feel like my brain is going nuts. where did these thoughts come from? why? i am simply existing, why are we thinking about that? nothing at all is prompting this?? hello???? that ~spontaneous activation~ is no joke. and i didn't get the chance, unlike allosexual folks, to figure out how to manage the thoughts and feelings before the additional t-driven libido! anyways. reading from the perspective of other horny people honestly makes me feel less nuts. perhaps these thoughts are actually a really normal and common thing. (lols not that this book should be used as any sort of moral compass.) damn. my empathy for allos at large strengthens by the day.

quotes + thoughts - lines i thought were particularly funny or made me think of other things

  • "Curiosity killed the cat, and enough pussy had been wrecked already that night." (11)
    • you betcha it was :P
  • "'She fucked your boyfriend so you get to fuck her mom?' 'Yeah,' Cassie said, because that only seemed fair, right? 'Quid pro quo.'" (61)
    • lol i am sure that is exactly what quid pro quo is referring to XD
  • "'You’re a guest, Cassie,' Erin said. 'And I’m a good hostess. And you probably eat horribly at college.' Cassie smirked and responded without thinking. 'I’ve been told I’m very good at eating, actually.'" (84)
    • at this point, they were both still under the impression that sex was not happening during winter break. they are very silly people
  • "'I don’t want you to be my mom. I want to fuck you.'" (120)
    • oedipus who? don't know her. not trying to fuck my mom, trying to fuck your mom lol.
  • "Free jungle juice or not, Cassie should’ve pregamed. Greased the wheels of social interaction." (258)
    • okay but like cassie was so real for this lol. alcohol truly holds such wonderful power in social situations
  • "'You’re supposed to tell me what to make for dinner—I’m grocery shopping but all I want to buy is chocolate ice cream.' 'You gotta get at least one vegetable, Cassie.' 'Yeah, so it can go bad in my vegetable drawer and I can throw it out later?'"(262)
    • again, this is incredibly relatable. the amount of times i have aspirationally bought a vegetable only for it to go bad in the fridge... like i said. living alone/without your parents is hard.
  • "They came to watch her graduate. Her family. Came to celebrate her. Cassie hadn’t even realized it mattered to her. It didn’t maybe, not graduation itself. But the Webbs did. She still didn’t care about walking across that stage, but knowing these people were gonna be cheering for her? Yeah, that mattered." (275)
    • okay the part about graduation kinda hit hard. when i was a senior in college, i could not give a fuck about walking. what, for my family to see me walk across the stage? they would probably just complain about the cost of the trip, the amount of time they spent waiting for me to walk and for it to be over in 10 sec. that, and the fact that my parents just had no idea or no inclination to show pride in their kids. it was always ~well of course you did. you always do well.~ end of story (regardless of the number of times i expressed to them that this did not make me feel good nor validate my achievements). despite all that, i did end up walking at graduation. and it was every bit as disappointing as i imagined it to be. my father stayed home (that is what i wanted but there is something to be said about knowing when you should show the fuck up anyways because goddammit you were going to support your kid. that concept never registered for my parents. but maybe i also just pushed him too far away? i don't know and i don't have the energy to find out these days). my mom and my sister came to see me but yes the cost and timing of the trip was talked about at length before, during, and after. they left to go back to their hotel room and pack for their flight leaving the next morning *right after the ceremony*. like there was no yooopie you walked! you did it! after graduation. just bye. see you at home after you drive by yourself 2000+ miles...*sigh*. my previous therapist reminded me that there is nothing i can/could have done to get the approval and support i needed from my parents for all those years i was in their life. and i know that is true. i just don't know how to be able to find that approval within myself. i am constantly reaching for the next thing hoping for that shot of dopamine that is supposed to come with accomplishments. but perhaps there is no amount of dopamine that could fill in for emotionally immature and unavailable parents...
    • with that in mind lol reading about the support that acacia's family gave cassie upon graduation hit me hard. i don't know when/if i will be able to be surrounded by a family/community with such love and care. even so, i am indeed grateful for those who now lead me in celebrating the milestones in life.
  • "A ten-hour road trip with your best friend was a damn good time, even if you were sleeping with that friend’s mom on the side." (277)
    • the fucking audacity lmaooo this book is so wild sometimes XD. friend roadtrips are quite good tho!
  • "Fuck. As though Erin face down ass up weren’t enough; Erin on all fours, wrapping her mouth around Cassie’s cock was the greatest thing she’d ever seen. Cassie had had plenty of problems with her body throughout the years, but not having a dick had never been one until this moment." (293)
    • heehee transgender moment! ah but for real can we just take a second to ponder the possibilities of having multiple types of equipment? i'm cock and i'm cunt - and we're the fuck around and find out brothers...
  • "It was easier to let people go than to admit you wanted them in your life. At least that way you wouldn’t have to chance rejection." (317)
    • i felt called out here. i think this was the mentality of younger me. i have gotten braver since then. and that is honestly really exciting.
  • "Cassie tried not to talk herself out of it. Erin liked her. She liked her enough to look for apartments for her. She liked her enough to sleep with her, even when that should’ve fucked up her relationship with Parker. She liked her enough to drive an hour and a half to surprise her, just because she’d had a long day." (320)
    • okay but outside of the romantic context (though i imagine probably within the romantic context as well, tbd), this is such a mood. i really do have to like logic my way through relationships sometimes - like bruh. look at all of these tangible things that point towards the strength of this friendship. it is real! it is true!
  • "'Since you’re so bad at feelings, I want to make sure you get this,' Erin said. 'When I say I want to go scuba diving with you, I mean I love you.'" (324)
    • the scuba diving motif was such an interesting choice. i thought it was rather clunky but still cute in a hallmark-y way to pull it all the way to the end.

overall, it was an incredibly fun book! not perfect - definitely lacking representation for people of color, aromanticism was thrown in as the half-butt of a joke (though kinda in a respectful way??? lol idk), we fell into the somewhat-stagnant-and-primarily-serving-as-a-plot-device-to-further-the-growth-of-the-other-characters supporting-person-of-color role, and the writing was frankly not as ~pretty~ as i typically prefer. but damn i sure was entertained lol.