Anything But Fine

Tobias Madden

Penguin Books

September 2021

$19.99 AU

346p pb

ISBN: 978-1761042027

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Anything But Fine by Tobias Madden is a beautiful coming of age gay romance story that follows a young ballet dancer named Luca. When a missed step causes a major injury to Luca’s foot, his life changes forever - new school, new friends, and a new crush. The book is very relatable, especially when it comes to teen issues, and it would likely be most suitable for people in their teenage years. The book does a fantastic job of covering topics such as dealing with loss, toxic friends, and parental expectations, as well as exploring romantic relationships and figuring out who you are. The book also shows islamophobia and homophobia, and I liked how neither of these issues were sugar-coated - the author showed how truly hard it can be for gay and Muslim teens growing up. Seeing Luca struggle with all of these issues and seeing his thoughts and feelings about it all makes it easy to connect and relate to him, especially if you have faced similar problems yourself. The book is very well written and fairly easy to read, and makes you truly care about the characters and what will happen to them. It is a wonderful book and I would highly recommend it to everyone. 

Ash, age 14

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