Review: Clancy of the Undertow by Christopher Currie

Title: Clancy of the Undertow
Author: Christopher Currie
Pages: 288
Genre: YA, Fiction, LGBTQA
Source: Free ARC from Text Publishing

Rating: A

Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from Text Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review (and trust me, honest is always what you’ll get).

Summary: Clancy is a not-yet-out gay Australian girl who hasn’t completely come to terms with her feelings. As if that isn’t enough for a teenager to deal with, she lives in a small town where everyone knows everyone and her father was involved in an accident that resulted in the deaths of two local teenagers. Let the soul-searching and self-discovery begin!

Review: Clancy is someone I would want to be friends with. She’s witty, smart, interesting, just the right amount adventurous, loyal to the few people she truly cares about, and a big enough person to realize when she’s messed up and own it. Of course, she’s a teenager, and she acts like one, and I appreciate the realness of that as well.

More than that, Clancy feels like an outsider, which is relatable to a lot of us. She’s just coming to terms with the fact that she likes girls and hasn’t told anyone. Her family is a bit dysfunctional. She only has one quasi-friend. And she feels like a nerd because she goes to Nature Club and loves it, but she doesn’t feel she fits in there either. Despite all of this, she tries. She continues to do what she likes, she doesn’t deny her feelings, and she takes opportunities to connect, even in unlikely circumstances. And the accident, which is really just background, actually serves to highlight all that she has, and acts as a springboard to a better understanding of her family and herself.

A great piece of contemporary YA. It isn’t too heavy or overly complex, but addresses the topics of family dynamics, the usual struggles of being a teenager, of trying to find your place in the world, of coming to terms with who you are and what you want, and it does so in an approachable and relatable way.

The one thing I would note, not as a complaint or discouragement, but simply something to be aware of, there were a fair number of regional/geographical colloquialisms that I was unfamiliar with. FYI: A doona is a kind of bed covering. J

In all seriousness though, a really, really good read.

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