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Something to be Proud Of

"Pride, passion, friendship and fighting back — this YA debut radiates the power of coming together to bring about positive change in funny, inspiring style."

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

Through authentic narratives that alternate between Imogen (“a chaotic, leftist, autistic bisexual who wants to be a stand-up comedian”) and Ollie, the gay captain of the football team, Anna Zoe Quirke’s Something to be Proud Of teems with real-life struggles, the magic of friendship, and the power of coming together to bring about change to be proud of. If that wasn’t enough, it’s also funny and ripples with unexpected will-they-won’t-they? romance.

Having “long been aware that I inhabit a world that was built either by or for me”, a bad experience at a pride festival leads Imogen to take action by forming an activist society at school. Her vision is to create “a space where everyone, queer, trans, disabled, neurodivergent or otherwise, can come together to celebrate all aspects of their identities at once”. After enlisting Ollie’s help, along with the head girl and a clutch of like-minded peers, the newly-assembled crew set about raising money to host a pride event that will deliver Imogen’s vision.

Struggling with his parent’s recent break-up, Ollie’s initial reluctance to join is quickly overcome, largely thanks to Imogen’s infectious effervescence and humour — their friendship is a delight to watch blossom, as is the solidarity that grows between the activist group. Funny, authentic and uplifting, Something to be Proud Of is exactly how Anna Zoe Quirke should feel about her debut.

Joanne Owen

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