Bottle Rocket Hearts

by Zoe Whittall

"Her pessimism and anxiety had been like a cheese-grater across our hopeful faces."

Bottle Rocket Hearts details the coming of age story of an eighteen-year old spunky Montrealer named Eve, in the mid 1990s.  In the beginning of the novel, Eve leaves her parents' house in the suburbs of Dorval to move downtown with two roommates: Seven and Rachel.  With the acceptance of her housemates and her knowledge gained from Women's Studies at school, Eve comes to terms with her sexuality and comes out. Through Eve, the reader is introduced to Montréal's queer community with wide-eyed naiveté.  

The story is set in reality; Québec is facing a referedum, and queers are rioting against assimilation.  In this present, Even struggles with her non-monogamous relationship with the wild and opiniated Della. She is forced to face the death of her friends, due to homophobia.  She goes to riots, runs from the police, and learns to dull the pain with illegal drugs. 

I found this story to be fascinating. The story's setting is so real that I could actually picture Eve biking down Ste-Catherine St with her spray painted silver Docs. As well, the issues in the story are real.  Whittall's word choice is spot-on; she has this way of making extremely poetic language work in prose.  An excellent and thought-provoking read.

♥ Meg xoxo

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