In at the Deep End by Kate Davies

Cover Art Courtesy of Goodreads
I don't think I quite knew what I was getting myself into with this book, but I definitely didn't hate it. In at the Deep End by Kate Davies follows Julia as she realizes she might in fact be a lesbian after realizing that sex with men is always terrible for her. This book was definitely explicit, so be aware if you are taking a copy of it with you into public! 

Julia throws herself headfirst into the world of lesbianism, experimenting both sexually and emotionally with women and finding herself more satisfied than ever before. When she meets the alluring Sam, she falls head over heels, but there is one problem...Sam doesn't like being monogamous. And she might also be more than a little controlling.

This was an excellent read for pride month! It was rewarding seeing Julia find herself and achieve happiness for the first time in a long time. I loved the supportive friend group that Julia had throughout the story, and I wish I had more people like that in my life! I also really loved that Julia had a super commonplace job as a civil servant. She wasn't in fashion, or an executive, or anything fancy...she was just an average woman, and I think that made it easy for readers to identify with her. I also really liked the side stories happening in the book.

I think we have all dated a Sam at some point or another...someone that makes us furiously happy one minute then puts off red flags all over the place the next. We don't want to lose those moments of happiness, but also have to decide if all the negatives that come with it are worth it. You know the relationship isn't really healthy, but it's just so hard to leave. This might be challenging for some to read if you have had a Sam (I know I have) and have traumatic memories associated with that relationship.

I was super satisfied with the ending! I did take off a star because some parts just made me squirm. I was proud of Julia's sexual liberation, but sometimes it was just a little too much to read about if you aren't typically into explicit literature. I think the point could have come across just as well with a little less graphic detail.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Thanks so much to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for an ARC of this read! In at the Deep End by Kate Davies is out now!


  1. This sounds thought provoking, I wants it

  2. Great review. A new book for me. It sounds really good.

  3. Great review Mandi! As a gay man, I've known and dated some male versions of Sam - and yes, it is a painful experience if you're not both on the same page about what you're looking for. This sounds like a read that I would get a lot out of. Great review!