In the interests of balance and all cards on the table, here's a Goodreads review from someone who really didn't like this book, and had some valid points about the representation.
And the central message that you have to be you? *hugs book*
I also really appreciated the portrayal of the stigma of mental health problems - Robbie's parents don't want anyone to know about his depression in case it harms his career.
Additionally, there's the problem of homophobia within sport, which Siegert shows sublimely in all of it's awful casualness.
Not so great bits:
- multiple suicide attempts (from the first chapter, various methods)
- homophobic attacks
- brief transphobic comments
- truly terrible parenting
- implied past physical child abuse (punching etc.)
- references to HIV/Aids
- ableism (mental health stigma)
- bullying and cyber-bullying (homophobic and ableist)
- being outed
- physical abuse/torture
- rape/sexual assault
- a sex offender
This way, the graphic stuff largely happened off-screen (off-page, whatever) and this book is therefore more likely to find it's way into the hands of the young people who need it most
I should also point out that much of the bad stuff in this book happens to our main gay character, Robbie, including *spoiler alert* [rape, sexual assault and kidnap by an online catfish; attempted suicide; being outed] *end spoilers.*
Overall though? This book is so important guys.
I recommend it, but cautiously; there's some people and situations where this book might do more harm than good.
But in the right setting, to the right person, it can certainly do more good than harm.
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