Hazel and Katniss and Harry and Starr Podcast: Like Real People Do

The logo for Hazel & Katniss & Harry & Starr podcast: an orange box with the words written in white fontHazel & Katniss & Harry & Starr is a weekly Canadian podcast about young adult literature, their film and television adaptations, and everything in between. Now in its sixth season, the podcast—hosted by film critic Joe Lipsett and English professor Brenna Clarke-Gray—aims to highlight the cultural worth of young adult and middle-grade texts, with a focus on Canadian, Indigenous and minority creatives and stories.

Join us weekly for deep dives, as well as a round of YA BINGO.

Book 6, Chapter 35: Like Real People Do

Brenna and Joe dip back into queer romance (and fan fiction!) with Book 1 of E.L. Massey’s Breakaway series, Like Real People Do (2022).

This is very cute and sweet…but where is the conflict?! Everyone is so perfect! Massey needs to let people suck!


Plus: comparisons to Heartstopper, Red, White & Royal Blue and The Kissing Booth 2, predictions for where Books 2-4 will go, and why Kuzy and Hawk are our fave characters.

Read on for more about this week’s episode from co-host Joe Lipsett:

YA is one of those great spaces where queer love and joy is allowed to blossom. Unlike other media that is wary of alienating conservative audiences or risking a financial loss for shareholders, YA has figured out there’s a huge demand among queer readers, as well as middle aged (often white) ladies, for these kinds of stories.

Needless to say, Like Real People Do is one in a long tradition of queer romances that don’t have a lot of conflict, but does tease out the inevitable romance to great effect. The fact that Brenna and I would have rather had a bit more bite in this is ultimately immaterial; we’re being critical for the sake of conversation.

For the intended audience, I’m sure this is catnip! -JL


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