Author: Compiled by Juno Dawson
Published by: Stripes
Publication date: 7/03/19
My rating: ★★★★★
I received a free review copy from Stripes in exchange for an honest review
Proud is a book you need to read, seriously, you need to read it! I’m ashamed of myself for not reading it sooner. Compiled by Juno Dawson, with contributions from incredible LGBTQ+ authors and illustrators from Simon James Green, Tanya Byrne and Dean Atta to Alice Oseman, Steve Antony and Kristen Van Dam. There’s something for everyone inside, there’s poetry, short stories, fantasy, contemporary. I could not put it down, you open it with the intention of reading one before bed and the next thing you know it’s 3AM and you’ve devoured five stories. This review has the potential to go on for awhile, so I’m only going to write individual paragraphs for the ones I really loved, this doesn’t mean I didn’t like the others. I personally prefer shorter reviews and I can’t keep it short of I talk every one individually.
Penguins by Simon James Green, art by Alice Oseman:
I don’t think I laughed that much since reading Alex in Wonderland, Simon’s books are a joy to read and Penguins is no exception. There’s prom, first love, gay penguins and many, many laughs! You’ll fall in love with Cam from the first page, trust me. I wouldn’t complain of this was expanded to a novel, or more short stories, I want to know what happens after! Penguins was one of my favourites from this anthology, and one I keep going back to re-read. Alice Oseman’s art is everything, I love it so much!
On the Run by Kay Staples, art by Alex Bertie Greenfield:
On The Run is another favourite from the anthology. This story follows two teenagers who are on the run, staying in a Travelodge. This one goes down a different route, it shows that it’s okay to not know exactly who you are straight away, to go at your own pace and that those who accept and love you for who you are are the ones worth keeping around. I would love to know what happens next for Nick and Dean.
The Phoenix’s Fault by Cynthia So, art by Priyanka Meenakshi:
I adored The Phoenix’s Fault, a combination of f/f romance and Chinese culture and I could not put it down. Can we have more books like this, please? The storytelling is stunning, not a day goes by when I don’t think about this one. I still can’t think of words that adequately convey how much I love this story.
As the Philadelphia Queer Youth Choir Sings Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’… by David Levithan, art by Steve Antony:
I love, love, love David Levithan’s books! So it’s safe to assume I absolutely adored this with all my heart. It’s beautiful, heartbreaking, heartwarming all at the same time. Just getting to read more of Levithan’s writing is a privilege.
Almost Certain by Tanya Byrne, art by Frank Duffy:
I’ve been eager to read some of Tanya Byrne’s solo work after reading and loving Floored, I was not disappointed. Every single book has been added to my ‘to buy‘ list. You know when you love a story so much, you’re unable to form any coherent thoughts? Almost Certain is one of those for me, there’s so much to love about this one. As I’m typing this I’m eyeing up my copy, trying to resist the temptation to re-read it. I can’t stop looking at the gorgeous art the the back.
The Other Team by Michael Lee Richardson, art by David Roberts:
I really enjoyed this story, and went back to re-read it as soon as I finished it. I’m in no way a sport person, I’m not ignorant to the injustice and discrimination LGBTQ+ players face and The Other Team does a brilliant job highlighting it. Also, how can you not love Alistair?!
Love Poems to the City by Moira Fowley-Doyle, art by Fatti Burke:
Love Poems is just stunning! I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since my first time reading. I’m still trying to put my thoughts into words so I don’t have much to say here yet, it’s incredible though!
How to Come Out as Gay by Dean Atta, art by Leo Greenfield:
This is one of the few poems that’s worked for me and was completely blown away by it, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. How to Come Out as Gay is powerful, unapologetic and everything I love! I’m in awe, what a way to end an incredible book!
Overall I loved this anthology, it should be in every school library! I can’t recommend it enough and hope you all love Proud as much as I do!