ALL OF THE ABOVE

Pride Life Magazine - - LITERATURE -

JAMES DAW­SON Hot Key Books £ 6.99 – Young Adult Fic­tion When 16-year-old To­ria Bland moves to the faded sea­side town of Brompton-on- Sea she has all the usual teenage anx­i­eties of the new girl start­ing at an un­fa­mil­iar school. So it is a re­lief when she meets the ir­re­press­ibly cool, foul-mouthed wild-child Polly and falls in with the group of al­ter­na­tive kids, a cast of bril­liantly drawn and in­di­vid­ual char­ac­ters. One game of crazy golf later, To­ria is in­tro­duced to Nico, the hot lead singer of the lo­cal band, and she falls for him hard. So far, so typ­i­cal teen story. But as things progress with Nico, and To­ria gets to feel at home with her new cir­cle of friends, maybe there is more to her feel­ings for Polly that she first re­alised. A funny, au­then­tic and mov­ing pol­y­sex­ual com­ing out story with a dash of Bud­dhist phi­los­o­phy that deftly ex­plores is­sues in­clud­ing al­co­hol de­pen­dency, anorexia, vir­gin­ity, self-harm, self-dis­cov­ery and love. The char­ac­ters com­mu­ni­cate and ra­tio­nalise just how you would imag­ine mod­ern teenagers do to­day. James Daw­son is the win­ner of the Queen of Teen 2014, an award that cel­e­brates the au­thors of teenage fic­tion.

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