Becky and Josh are almost-twins, with two mums and the same anonymous donor dad. Josh can’t wait until he’s eighteen, the legal age when he can finally contact his donor, and he’ll do anything to find out more - even if it involves lying.
Becky can’t stop thinking about her new friend, Carli. Could her feelings for Carli be a sign of something more? Becky and Josh both want their parents to be proud of them…but right now, they’re struggling to even accept themselves.
When I was invited by Usborne to be part of the blog tour for Proud of Me, I didn’t even read the blurb. I didn’t need to. After reading and reviewing Hagger-Holt’s Nothing Ever Happens Here last year, I knew Proud of Me would be good.
Becky and Josh are not just brother and sister – they are ‘almost twins’. Born to their mums (most frequently refered to as Mum and Ima) just days apart after being conceived via a sperm donor. They have a strong bond, but when they both start questioning their sense of identity and how they fit into the world, they decide to deal with things on their own terms and in their own way… which in some cases, maybe wasn’t the best choice!
As with Nothing Ever Happens Here, Hagger-Holt has created a perfectly balanced story. From my perspective, the LGBTQ+ rep is well researched and portrayed, and there is no sugarcoating of bigotry people face on a daily basis. But it also shows how young people can educate others and be a force for change.
I also appreciated the blending of LGBTQ+ with religion and the breaking down of assumptions that a person cannot identify as LGBTQ+ and openly practice their religion. This is not something I have personally seen previously in a book of this type.
My only very minor criticism of this book is that Josh and Becky’s voices sometimes felt too mature for their age but I do accept that young people now are probably way more mature than I was 20+ years ago at the same age…!
This is a story of family, communication, education, and discovering who you are. I hope it finds its way to those who need to read it most. A wonderful read and highly recommended.
Thanks to Usborne for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour for this wonderful book.
You can support your local bookshop by buying Proud of Me through them directly, or via Hive.
What do you think of Proud of Me? Will you be reading it? Let me know in the comments below.
Wishing you a wonderfully bookish week,