- Title And Author: PROUD - Compiled by Juno Dawson
- Publisher: Stripes
- Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Physical
- Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Gifted by the publisher in exchange for an honest review/reaction
- Length: 352 Pages
This has been one of those books that as soon as I heard of it, I knew I was going to read it. It might not be straight away as my To Be Read pile is getting out of control. But I need I wanted to have my hands on a copy.
And I thought I did when I was approved for an eProof copy via NetGalley. Alas, the file didn’t like my Kindle. So I held fire. Then this came through my front door with rainbow shoelaces (awesome!). But I held fire on reading it as I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to read this. I was in a murdery mood, reading wise. But after going to the Stripes Blogger Event, I sat down and started to slowly work my way through the collection.
PROUD is an anthology of stories, poetry and illustrations from the top LGBTQIA+ authors, illustartors and fresh talent, each giving their own reaction to the theme of Pride.
There isn’t much else I can say. So, thoughts on this are thus…
I loved this collection. I knew I would, but it surprised me how much I loved and enjoyed the collection. Even the stories I didn’t particularly enjoy compared to others made me go “This is great!”. Plus, an anthology like this isn’t going to be please everyone with every story so I knew that as I was going in, but it was a surprise the level of talent was so high!
I would love to talk about each story and poem individually but I think I just want to give a few stories a shout out as I loved them and want you guys to know about them: “Penguins” by Simon James Green (because I love his writing), “Almost Certain” by Tanya Byrne (I love how this story tackled anxiety and demetria) and the four stories from the fresh talent whose stories were from an open call out : “On the Run” by Kay Staples, “The Phoenix’s Fault” by Cynthia So, “I Hate Darcy Pemberley” by Kameron White and “The Other Team” by Michael Lee Richardson. Each of these could be turned into novels and would be great reading (I especially think The Other Team would work great as a novel as the characters were messy and complex social/private lives and I would read this messiness up!)
I do feel like I need to point one niggle out, which isn’t a negative but as someone who doesn’t read contemporary fiction often, I noticed this. But, out of this collection, all bar one story were contemporary and while this isn’t a problem, it would have been nice to have more variety in genres - fantasy, sci-fi, historical, spy thriller, crime.
But, barring that, I loved this collection and can’t wait to force this into people’s hands.