Sunday 14 July 2013

, , , , , , , , ,

Review: Out by Joanna Kenrick

Out by Joanna KenrickOut by Joanna Kenrick (review copy) - Natalie is secretly in love with Will, her best friend. But Will has his own secret - he's gay. Which one of them will be first to speak out? From

I'm for all readers being able to access books, people of all reading abilities, so it only seems fair to include Out in LGBTQ YA Month, a book published by Barrington Stoke for struggling and reluctant readers.

Natalie has been best friends with Will since she was six-years-old, but now she's 15, she's found her feelings for Will have changed, and she's seeing him in a completely different light. She likes him. She finds it very odd, but can't stop thinking about him, and knows she has to say something. What if he likes her too? But Will beats Natalie to it and makes an announcement of his own. He's gay. And now everything will change.

There is an author note at the beginning of the book from Joanna Kenrick, explaining that she wrote Out because she was asked to by someone who wanted a story where the gay character wasn't unhappy with the fact that he's gay. Out is the result. It depicts the friendship between two friends, and how Will's announcement affects them both. Natalie has to deal with the fact that she will never be with the boy she loves, and Will has to deal with deciding to come out publicly and ask out the boy he likes, Paul, or not.

It's a really sweet story. Natalie has her moments of struggling with Will's choices because of how they hurt her, but, for the most part, is really supportive of her best friend as he tries to work out what he wants to do. And Will is so brave, and doesn't regret the choices he makes, despite the consequences.
'"It's part of who I am. I don't want to be living a lie... Do you want me to pretend?" he said softly. "Pretend it's not how I feel?"' (p52-53)
Simply told for those who struggle with reading, and a really good read that tells a great story.

Thank you to Barrington Stoke for the review copy.

Add for Goodreads

Published: 2010
Publisher: Barrington Stoke
Buy from Amazon US
Joanna Kenrick's Website


  1. Hello! Thanks so much for reviewing my book! (OUT was actually the hardest book I've ever written, despite it being so short. I wrote three completely different versions: I originally wanted to write it from Will's point of view, but it was so difficult to show the effect of his 'coming out' on other people that way. And in fact, earlier than that, I wanted to write a story that WASN'T about coming out! I wanted to write one about a boy who had come to terms with it (and so had his family) but who still had to deal with stupid attitudes from other people. But I simply couldn't find a way to do it in 2500 words.
    I was pleased with the final result though - and I thought the cover that Barrington Stoke (the publisher) gave it was just brilliant.
    It's so nice to see it's still noticed occasionally!
    Great work on the LGBTQ-themed month; a massive undertaking!
    Best wishes

    1. Hi Jo, thanks for stopping by! No worries about reviewing Out! :) I really enjoyed it. I'd love to read that other story if you ever write it!