All of the Above by Juno (James) Dawson


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Toria is starting sixth form in a new school, in a new town and she wants to find a group of friends and fit in. She meets Daisy, who introduces her to a group of friends who are different and interesting, especially the loud mouthed and confident Polly, and Toria feels that she has found her place. As she settles further into the group of friends, she meets the gorgeous Nico Mancini and life could not be better. However, not everything is as sunny as it seems and people are hiding secrets that pull at friendships and make Toria question whether she really does belong and who she really is.

There is a lot going on in this amusingly written book – cutting, anorexia, discovering your sexuality (gay/lesbian/bi), friendship, whether you should label people according to their sexual preferences, relationships with your peers and your parents. Ultimately is is Toria’s story – how she copes with a world and with friends who are not as clear cut as she thinks. As Toria adjusts to each revelation, she questions herself and who she is and what she wants. It is a coming of age book and the main underlying message is that things change – the person you are and the things you want and how you feel and you shouldn’t fight it or question yourself but embrace it. The book does not sugar coat the difficulties that teenagers face as they develop and discover themselves and it gives the reader plenty to think about. However, at times, I felt overwhelmed with all that was going on and, for me, I felt that ultimately less might have been more.

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