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Natalie Flynn works with teenagers on social services projects and runs workshops for the Ben Kinsella Trust. She lives in Surrey with her partner and two young sons.
June 2016 NewGen Debut of the Month. In a Nutshell: Boundless friendship • Real-life rawness •Surviving loss A gripping, emotionally authentic debut about grief, guilt and the tragic reality of knife crime. Adam is struggling. Burdened by believing he’s responsible for his best friend Jake being stabbed to death, the unbearable weight of grief and his feelings of guilt lead to a suicide attempt. Feeling “numb” and like he “didn't have anything to say”, Adam is unable to speak when he’s transferred from hospital to a mental health clinic, and so his therapist suggests that he keeps a notebook. Through his writing, the agonising truths that led to Adam’s current state are laid bare and we learn how the fall-out from a Christmas party triggered the sequence of events that escalated into Jake being stabbed on New Year's Eve. Though he feels isolated, Adam isn’t alone. He has Josie, a fellow patient who shows him the ropes and insists that Jake's death wasn't his fault. He also has Polly, a friend who loves him, and won't give up on him. And then there’s Jake’s mum whose tear-jerking visit makes Adam realise that he had to “find some fight from somewhere... had to carry on.” While Adam’s story is heartbreaking, this deeply affecting debut ultimately shows how light and hope can glimmer through even the darkest of circumstances. Rebecca Lloyd, Editor: “Natalie Flynn’s debut novel tackles the devastating emotional fall-out from knife crime on a group of young people, and one teenage boy in particular. The Accent YA Editor Squad – a group of keen young readers who check out advance material – were clamouring to read more, drawn to this difficult subject by the authenticity of the writing. We are hugely excited to have Natalie as part of our new YA list.”