Review: Stage Dreams by Melanie Gillman

In this rollicking queer western adventure, acclaimed cartoonist Melanie Gillman (Stonewall Award Honor Book As the Crow Flies) puts readers in the saddle alongside Flor and Grace, a Latinx outlaw and a trans runaway, as they team up to thwart a Confederate plot in the New Mexico Territory. When Flor–also known as the notorious Ghost Hawk–robs the stagecoach that Grace has used to escape her Georgia home, the first thing on her mind is ransom. But when the two get to talking about Flor’s plan to crash a Confederate gala and steal some crucial documents, Grace convinces Flor to let her join the heist.


I received an eARC of Stage Dreams in exchange for an honest review.

I had a phase in college where the only thing I read for fun was webcomics. That is when I first discovered Melanie Gillman and their lush, queer work. I haven’t kept up with my webcomic reading or finished As The Crow Flies, but when I heard they had a graphic novel coming out, I knew I had to read it.

Stage Dreams needs trigger warnings for mentions of war conscription, mentions of assumed transphobia, kidnapping, discussion of the Confederacy in the Civil War, robbery at gunpoint, and physical violence. I know that seems like a lot for a graphic novel that is absolutely sweet as pie, but it’s not as bad as the trigger warnings make it seem.

This was everything I wanted to be. It was beautifully illustrated, completely affirming for every queer character in it and full of rebellion. What more could a girl ask for from a graphic novel?

I loved how Flor and Grace got to know each other and slowly learn to trust each other. As far as the romance goes, it’s pretty slow burn with only one kiss at the end. There isn’t anything I would change about it except that I wish there was more of the story coming out soon! I’ll be waiting with bated breath for the next story!

You can pick up a copy on Amazon, Indiebound or The Book Depository and read this story for yourself! I highly recommend it.

A Fox Emoji with heart eyes and hearts floating to the sides of its head

Disclaimer: All links to Indiebound, The Book Depository and Amazon are affiliate links. If you buy through those links, I will make a small amount of money off of the sale.

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