REVIEW: Proud, Juno Dawson

Friday, 12 July 2019

A stirring, bold and moving anthology of stories and poetry by top LGBTQ+ YA authors and new talent, giving their unique responses to the broad theme of pride. Each story has an illustration by an artist identifying as part of the LGBTQ+ community. Compiled by Juno Dawson, author of THIS BOOK IS GAY and CLEAN. A celebration of LGBTQ+ talent, PROUD is a thought-provoking, funny, emotional read.

I remember when Juno Dawson announced this anthology. I do not even know how long ago it was, but I remember how excited I was: too often our access to queer love stories have been dominated by a market by straight women, for straight women.
But not anymore.
Proud is a collection from authors across the LGBTQ+ spectrum; people of different races, writing in different styles - prose, poetry, even illustrations. The sheer vastness of the range that they all held made me proud, made me revel in how different we all are and how wonderful that is.
That is not to say that, like most other anthologies, Proud did not fall down the same cracks. But, I suppose, that is something that is always to be expected; certain writing styles were not to my taste, or did not jibe with my interests, whilst others have made me shake in anticipation of reading more from its author.
Case in point: Simon James Green’s tale of the two boys having their first kiss next to a penguin enclosure (sign me up) made everything inside me bubble up with joy and even though a month has gone by since I read it, I am still seriously mulling over whether or not to get Alice Oseman’s accompanying illustration tattooed somewhere on my body.
Overall, this was a beautiful and important collection of work; offering more diversity than I have seen in all of my years of reading. It provided a wonderfully queer platform for both established authors and unpublished new talent, and just looking at the book, both out in the wild and in the pride of place that it has gotten on my bookshelf, my heart sings just a little bit.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Head on over to for this book, as well as all of the others featured in my reviews, complete with the added bonuses of free worldwide shipping and bringing a little joy to my life.

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