ANYTHING BUT FINE
Luca is a talented ballet dancer in Ballarat destined for the Australian Ballet School, when a painful accident ends his dancing career at 16. Kicked out of his fancy private school, distanced from his former “bunhead” ballet friends and forced to attend the public high school, Luca has to learn to navigate a whole new life and work out who he is without dance. He quickly becomes smitten with gorgeous school captain and rowing star, Jordan, who appears to be straight. But … maybe he’s not. What follows is a swoony gay teen romance filled with all the angst, drama and heartfelt highs you hope to find in a young adult read. Written with wit and insight, Madden draws you into Luca’s story so thoroughly you feel you could be sitting on the quad with him and his scene-stealing bestie Amina. Anything But Fine is an inclusive treasure you didn’t know you needed, but will set up residence in your heart and stay there, cementing Tobias Madden (Ballarat-born himself) as a must-buy #LoveOzYA author in just one book.
ELOUISE TYNAN VERDICT: Aussie at its best