Monday 15 May 2023

Straight Expectations by Calum McSwiggan Blog Tour

 Sometimes you need a good YA book to give you your reading mojo back.

And that's exactly what I got with Calum McSwiggan's debut novel Straight Expectations. 


Seventeen-year-old Max has always been out, proud and just a little spoiled. Frustrated by the lack of romantic options in his small-town high school, during an argument with his lifelong best friend Dean, Max lashes out and says he wishes he had never been born gay.

Max gets more than he bargained for when he wakes up to find his wish has come true - not only have his feelings for boys vanished, but so has Dean.

With his school life turned upside down and his relationship with his family in tatters, Max sets out on a journey of rediscovery to find a way back to the life he took for granted, and the romance he thought he'd never have.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story.

A bit freaky fridayish, a bit 13 going on 30. You'd never know that this was a debut novel, the writing was so well put together.

Fitting into many genres: romance, LGBTQ+, contemporary. It's brilliantly diverse and actually quite wholesome.

The main protagonist is Max, a 17 year old who is openly gay and who's lucky enough to have very supportive parents. Then we have is best friend Dean and another one of their friends Alicia. Oh and not forgetting Max's crush Oliver Cheng.

Each character brings a different perspective and you get to see differing teenage struggles with school, relationships and generally growing up in a diverse yet still judgemental world.

Not necessarily my typical choice of book but definitely one that I'd read again and would highly recommend schools having a copy in their libraries as the messages within that are quite thought provoking for children and adults.

There was a good switcheroo within the tale and I thought that it helped to put across a few of the contrasting messages.

I guess I'd describe it as a coming of age/coming out story with a twist.

Light-hearted enough but with a solid bit of moral purpose to it as well. It's a touching story for the modern world that we live in.

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