Monday 1 August 2016

Read Me Like A Book by Liz Kessler

Read Me Like A Book

A brave and honest coming of age story about one girl's exploration of love, identity and sexuality - the first YA novel from bestselling author Liz Kessler. 

Ashleigh Walker is having a difficult year. She's struggling at school, and coming home to parents who are on the verge of divorce. She knows she should be happy spending time with her boyfriend - but, for some reason, being around him just makes her worry more. It's only in her English teacher, Miss Murray, that she feels she's found a kindred spirit. 

Miss Murray helps Ashleigh develop her writing skills and gives her newfound confidence - but what happens when boundaries begin to blur? What will the repercussions be for Ashleigh? And how will she navigate her own sexuality?

A thought-provoking coming of age story from a highly-skilled author, addressing coming out and LGBT themes. For fans of Sarah Waters and Jodie Piccoult.

Honestly, I was a little but nervous to read this, was worried it would cross uncomfortable lines. Turns out while Ashleigh does get feelings for her female teacher, that line is not crossed but it does awaken something in Ash that was always there: that she's gay.

Ashleigh's new teacher is young, fresh faced and really knows how to work a classroom. And also incredibly pretty, at least to Ashleigh. What I really liked about this, it wasn't immediately obvious that Ashleigh was physically attracted to Miss Murray, she just really liked her lessons and wanted to do well in them. 

It wasn't just her sexuality, although that was a big part of it. We also saw exam stress, bullying, funny friendships, the regular teenage troubles. And then there's the coming to terms with her new feelings, the strength needed in coming out to family and friends and finally accepting who she was. 

Throughout it all I thought Ash was really brave, it had to be really weird falling for a girl for the first time, let alone that girl being your teacher! I do think it was good for her though, especially how Kessler wrote about it. Like I said, the line was never crossed but for Ash to finally realise what was obviously part of her, something had to change and Miss Murray was a good influence. All in all, a great coming of age story that deals with complicated issues of sexuality and character; a fantastic addition to LGBT novels. 

Published 31st May 2016 by Orion.

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