Sunday, 10 February 2019

Proud review

A stirring, bold and moving anthology of stories and poetry by top LGBTQ+ YA authors and new talent, giving their unique responses to the broad theme of pride. Each story has an illustration by an artist identifying as part of the LGBTQ+ community. Compiled by Juno Dawson, author of This Book is Gay and Clean. A celebration of LGBTQ+ talent, PROUD is a thought-provoking, funny, emotional read.

Contributors: Steve Antony, Dean Atta, Kate Alizadeh, Fox Benwell, Alex Bertie, Caroline Bird, Fatti Burke, Tanya Byrne, Moïra Fowley-Doyle, Frank Duffy, Simon James Green, Leo Greenfield, Saffa Khan, Karen Lawler, David Levithan, Priyanka Meenakshi, Alice Oseman, Michael Lee Richardson, David Roberts, Cynthia So, Kay Staples, Jessica Vallance, Kristen Van Dam and Kameron White

This book was every bit as amazing as I expected it to be. After the success of Change, Proud had a lot to live up to. It's ended up being one of my favourite books of short stories that I've ever read.

I enjoyed reading every single story and poem and thought the book was brilliantly illustrated. Each contribution gave me different emotions: I laughed, cried and thought about the stories long after I finished reading them. They also covered a wide range of subject matters, genres and experiences. It's rare to find a book of short stories where every single one had me gripped. 

Some of my favourite stories were written by the (as yet) unpublished authors that were included. I loved Karen Lawler's Pride and Prejudice retelling, entitled I Hate Darcy Pemberley. It's witty, the characters are brilliant and I wish it was a whole novel! I also really enjoyed The Phonix's Fault by Cynthia So, a beautiful fantasy story with a fairytale quality. 

Another favourite story was Penguins by Simon James Green, illustrated by Alice Oseman –what a perfect combination! This story was absolutely adorable and the gay penguins made me cry happy tears.

Absolutely everyone should read this book. I'll certainly be reading it again! Thanks so much to Stripes for the review copy.

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