By Simon James Green
What it’s about?
Barney’s a shoo-in for his school’s LGBTQ+ Society President at the club’s next election. But when the vote is opened up to the entire student body, the whole school starts paying attention. How low will the candidates go to win? Buckle up for some serious shade, scandals and sleazy shenanigans. It isn’t long before it’s National Coming Out Day – for everyone’s secrets!
But when the group faces an expected threat – and a big opportunity – can the club members put politics aside and stand united?
What I think:
This is such a great book!
It’s fun and witty and really clever.
It addresses all kinds of issues around sexuality, gender and identity in a way that is accessible and real. The teenagers deal with all kinds of issues from the deepest and most blatant homophobia to pressure from within the LGBTQ+ community to come out and label themselves.
The election campaign brings out both the best and worst of the characters. Barney is so desperate to win that he loses sight of what he is actually trying to achieve. Up against him, Bronte is intelligent and calculating and the perfect opposition.
There is everything from fake dating, dirty tricks and sabotage, social media disasters and dastardly revenge plans. The stakes are high and so are the drama levels. There are lots of twists and turns and shocks along the way.
Beneath the fun and shenanigans, the book also shines a spotlight on some of the real issues for LGBTQ+ teens in high school – tokenistic school policies that celebrate Pride but do little to ultimately change the culture of the school, lack of appropriate sex education and prejudice from the wider community.
This is such a compelling read I absolutely raced through it. There are some really poignant moments as the characters learn to accept themselves and each other. Barney and Danny’s unlikely friendship blossoms and they share some really emotional moments.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I am absolutely not the target audience but it is so well written that I not only loved the characters and their journeys, I felt like a learned a lot about issues of representation and it has made me really think about how safe and truly inclusive my own school is.
This is a 5⭐️ read and one that will be going straight into my classroom library. Highly recommended
And as a bonus the cover is absolutely gorgeous!