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Publication Date: 13 May 2021
Subject: Older teen novels
Suitable for: Secondary (Year 10, Year 11)
RRP £7.99 Save 26%
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In a future England in the iron grip of a far-right government, two gay teenagers join the resistance trying to overthrow it.
"You know, when you live in a time of progress, it seems that progress is the only possible way. The idea that everything we'd gained, all of those hard-won rights, could be taken away from us, and that open minds could be closed again? But then the Outrage happened."
Welcome to England, where the Protectorate enforces the Public Good. Here, there are rules for everything - what to eat, what to wear, what to do, what to say, what to read, what to think, who to obey, who to hate, who to love. Your safety is assured, so long as you follow the rules.
Gabriel is a natural born rule-breaker. And his biggest crime of all? Being gay.
Gabriel knows his sexuality must be kept secret from all but his closest friends, not only to protect himself, but to protect his boyfriend. Because Eric isn't just the boy who has stolen Gabriel's heart. He's the son of the chief inspector at Degenerate Investigations - the man who poses the single biggest threat to Gabriel's life.
And the Protectorate are experts at exposing secrets.
NOTE : The cover has the warning "Content not suitable for younger readers" and in the front of the book is the following "Trigger warning This book is set in a future England, following a take-over by a far-right government. The following text contains homophobia and homophobic language, references to ethnic cleansing, self-harm, references to suicide, and scenes of violence that some readers may find distressing or offensive"
This is a powerful, clever and all too plausible dystopia with excellent characters and a gripping plot. The scenario of a future England ruled by shadowy, far-right megalomaniac known as the Lord Protector, where homosexuality is illegal, books and films that don't support the government's message have been banned and teenagers are sent to camps to try and suppress their sexualities and rebellious natures is not a new plot scenario but here it's so well done and feels so realistic that it really sets you on edge. But the characters surrounding our hero Gabe, who is compelling himself, are really what makes it - from his loyal band of friends who he shares his illicit film stash with, to his complicated parents who we start to gain one picture of until all of the assumptions we have made about of them are suddenly turned on its head when Gabe realises that they have been part of the resistance movement all along. There's some lovely touches as well, like the gang's obsession with the pop culture they find 'from the past' and how they imagine how life used to be when everyone could be who they wanted to be. The central romance between Gabe and Eric is beautifully handled and it's all seeming so doomed and tragic that the only criticism might be that actually it does seem to have a happy ending after all which seems a bit neat. However this works as both a decent thriller and a book that could also generate plenty of discussion for schools use for KS4/5.
The cover has the warning "Content not suitable for younger readers" and in the front of the book is the following "Trigger warning This book is set in a future England, following a take-over by a far-right government. The following text contains homophobia and homophobic language, references to ethnic cleansing, self-harm, references to suicide, and scenes of violence that some readers may find distressing or offensive"