Coming out is still a huge deal.

No matter how many people cry out, “it’s 2015, why does this matter anymore?” It does. The stress and worry surrounding sexuality and self-discovery can lead to horrendous consequences. Suicide, lengthy battles with depression and feelings of alienation are still prevalent for many LGBTs in our community.

Last year a staggering one in ten men who phoned The Samaritans were concerned about their sexuality showing that coming to terms with your own sexuality can be one of the hardest things in life.

That’s why when books this powerful come along we must pay attention and remember, while things are getting better, we’re not there yet.

First-time author Becky Alertalli hits the nail on the head with her brilliantly observant story of Simon, a 16-year-old schoolboy who’s just on the cusp of coming out. Not quite there… but nearly.

Falling deeply in love over emails with an unknown schoolmate only known as ‘Blue’, whom he finds via a random post on the school’s gossip board on Tumblr, Simon is about to learn what it means to come out… Out out.

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A brilliantly confident book which shines the light on the age-old genre of coming of age and taking those hesitant steps in telling the first person, and for once about a boy meets boy and falls head over heels, brilliantly questioning why the white, heterosexual middle classes are always the default.

Achingly honest and socially awkward; readers will melt for junk food obsessed, mobile phone yielding, indie music loving Simon, who picks his way through sexuality and schoolyard politics to find his true self. They’ll cheer with sheer joy as he takes his small steps out of the closet and laugh heartedly at his first giant leap to his drunken evening out at a gay bar.

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A non-stop page turn-over for those wanting or needing reassurance ahead of their own coming out that it will be okay, or for those who want to fondly remember their first outing with a massive smile on their faces.

Pre-order from Amazon now. Out April 2015

About the author: Jake Hook
The editor and chief of THEGAYUK. All in a previous life wrote and produced songs on multi-platinum records.