So many young protagonists are described as wonderful, special and unique, but William Sutcliffe strikes a more realistic, even cynical note with his latest teenage narrator... Music-mad Ethan joins an LGBTQ band and comes out as gay, although he secretly confesses “it’s only the straight half of the B that I’m actually interested in pursuing at the moment”. But shy Sam has problems beyond his annoying siblings, namely his eccentric mum’s too-revealing lifestyle blog and his own accidental casting as Caliban in the school production of The Tempest. Under the brilliant snarky teenage humour is a lot of heart.
Hold the front page, or, at least, update the digital edition: a young adult book has landed that isn’t set in a dystopian warzone, doesn’t involve a bleak tale of terminal illness, abuse or hate. Absolutely no one dies. Although readers may collapse laughing because, shush, it’s dangerously funny... In among the jokes (and they really zing) there is comment on the new sexually fluid generation and how we educate our children. To the parent, every line rings true — this is a writer with real live teenagers and he is especially good on the ups and downs of sibling relations [and] young love... Sutcliffe is gifted and talented. I hope the prizes flood in. I’ll be giving this to every teenager I know.