Review: Proud | Juno Dawson (ARC)

This review is spoiler free.

43720124“Welcome to being LGBTQ+. Your life is inherently political. Politicians, all over the world, are still discussing whether or not you should have the same fundamental human rights as straight or cisgender people.”

Published: 2019, by Stripes.
Pages: 352
Format: eBook/ARC from Netgalley
Genre: LGBT, Young Adult, Short Stories, Poetry
Contains: Strong Language, Violence, Anger, Homophobia, Transphobia

I received a copy of this book from Stripes through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

‘Proud’ is a short anthology featuring the works of LGBT creators with the theme of self-acceptance and pride within the LGBT community. Featuring the likes of Simon James Green, Alice Oseman and Alex Bertie, ‘Proud’ unites the best creators around into one beautiful, hopeful book.

After attending YALC (Young Adult Literature Convention) in 2018 and witnessing the reveal of this collection on the Stripes stand, I knew I had to grab it the moment it became available. Needless to say, this book did not disappoint.

‘Proud’ contains twelve short stories, each with a gorgeous illustration to accompany it, all of which the writers and artists are within the LGBT community. With a foreword by Juno Dawson, the author who compiled the anthology, she discusses the importance of self-love and the work that has taken place to tie this collection together. The book contains a wide selection of stories, from fantasy to contemporary to poetry, that explore individual areas of the community, giving every reader something to take from and feel validated by. Each piece of work is concise and effective, making it an incredibly addictive read, whilst providing a necessary platform for LGBT creators to put their work out there and be heard. It’s a beautiful idea for an anthology, and is presented extremely well.

My personal favourite was the adorably heartfelt Penguins, by Simon James Green. Illustrated by Alice Oseman, Penguins tells the heart-tugging tale of two boys who fall for another whilst visiting the penguin enclosure at their local zoo. Already being a huge fan of both creators, it’s no surprise that this particular story gripped me the most, yet a few of the others simply fell short in comparison.

Overall, I’m in love with the concept of this anthology. It’s deeply important and a must read for every fan of YA Fiction, even if some works are a little more gripping than others.



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