Audiobook, Books, Debut Author, Fiction, Historical Fiction, New Adult, Novel, Queer, Romance

Reputation is a Regency coming-of-age rom-com for fans of Mean Girls & Bridgerton by Lex Croucher in their fictional debut

Reputation by Lex Croucher
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My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reputation is a Regency coming-of-age rom-com by Lex Croucher in their fictional debut. The eBook version is 336 pages. I listened to the audiobook, which clocks in at eleven hours and is narrated by Bessie Carter.

We follow our main character, middle class Georgiana Ellers, a bookish girl forgotten by her parents and sent to stay with her uptight aunt and uncle in the English countryside. Once she meets high-class Frances Campbell, the bisexual mixed-race queen bee of of the local in-crowd, she starts to learn a lot more about “improper society.” Thomas Hawksley, a mostly quiet man with some Indian heritage, catches her eye but he seems to keep Frances and her gaggle of friends at arms length.

This book was like Mean Girls mixed with Jane Austen or Bridgerton and explores themes such as race, sexuality, consent, belonging, privilege, and status. There are several queer relationships in our main friend group, and lots of casual cultural diversity as well. It had a nice blend of wit and humor while also exploring some dark topics. It uses the lens of the Regency era to tell a story with modern themes, so keep in mind that there are some anachronisms here. But it’s a great read for the #MeToo movement and a fairly solid debut from the author.

Tropes in this book include: Regency-era, coming-of-age, comedy of errors, cliques, chaotic bisexual

CW: dubious consent, drug and alcohol abuse, sexual assault, date rape (off-page), death of family members, grief, toxic relationships, gaslighting, emotional abuse, domestic abuse, violence, mentions of homophobia and racism

Special thanks to Macmillan Audio, St. Martin’s Griffin, and NetGalley for providing an eARC of this book for me to review. All opinions contained herein are my own.

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