What We Left Behind
By Robin Talley
Published by Mira Ink
Available in paperback and ebook
What We Left Behind, Robin Talley's second novel is a great YA novel looking at the gender and sexuality issues. Not only is it an informative book but it is riveting too.
Toni and Gretchen are the couple everyone envied at high school. They never fight, they are there for each other when their families are being difficult over their sexuality and they are deeply in love with each other. Nothing can shake their relationship.
But college is just around the corner and this will be the first time in their relationship that they will be separated with Toni heading to Harvard and Gretchen heading to NYU. They make a promise to say together and prove to their friends that a long distance relationship can last the distance.
But being at college is life changing for both Toni and Gretchen and it is not just the pressure of studying and dancing. Toni, who identities as genderqueer, starts to hang out with a group of transgender students and immediately feels at home with people who understand the struggles. Gretchen on the surface is all smiles and happy for Toni but in reality isn't sure what this means for their relationship and what it means for her identity. Their relationship is in the balance. Tissues will be needed once you start to reach the end of the novel - trust me!
This is more than a complex teenage romance. Yes, this book looks at love, relationships, sex and identity as both Toni and Gretchen move into adulthood but What We Left Behind looks at how young people struggle to find a space in a society that likes to put binary labels on people and their gender.
This is a fascinating read on topics which we don't talk about enough. So go out beg, borrow or buy this book because trust me, you won't be able to put it down.
You can buy this book from your favourite bookshop.
Thank you for Midas PR for sending me a copy.