Read: 23rd April 2017 – 25th April 2017
Spoilers in review: Mild
“Listen, I’m perfectly happy to help you out with difficult concepts. Like that time I explained anaerobic respiration to you, but I do not have the time or the energy to explain really basic stuff. Especially when the meaning is in the actual word. Bisexuality. Hear that? Bi.“
Future Leaders of Nowhere follows Finn and Willa, who have both been sent to a summer camp for high achievers along with some other people from their respective schools and a few others. There, along with your typical outdoorsy activities (hiking, climbing, etc), they participate in a game of territories. Each group is given a different economic and political situation (which is then mirrored in where they sleep, be it a house, cabins or tents) and then have four weeks to negotiate with other groups as if they were actual nations.
They also fall in love. Because this is a romance novel.
I really enjoyed reading this book. It’s told in third person, which I find much easier to read than first person. The first half follows Finn and the second half follows Willa. While this does mean that you suddenly have to learn the names of a bunch of new secondary characters, it didn’t detract from the flow of the plot at all. If anything, it reflected how Willa didn’t know her group all that well and had to get to know them better as the weeks went on.
The developing friendship – and romance – between Finn and Willa felt natural and was a joy to read. I loved how open they were with each other about how they were feeling. Miscommunication for drama isn’t fun, and I’m so glad that was avoided here!
The supporting cast was extremely diverse and they all interacted in ways that actual teenagers would, especially when on a camp like this. Even the arsehole felt like a real person. Most of them didn’t get that much focus, but in this context that’s okay! Lots of characters = less development for people other than the protagonists. And the character development for Finn and Willa was very good.
I’ve gotten used to not seeing bisexual characters in media. And on the rare occasions when they appear, I’ve resigned myself to never seeing the B word get used, and it being ‘I just don’t like labels’ and ‘I like people’ and so on. I was expecting this to be more of the same. But no! the B word was used! Everything is amazing! I’ve already recommended this book to multiple friends and will continue to do so!
One issue that I have with this book is that the climatic event felt a little rushed and glossed over. This was probably due to pov restrictions. As neither Finn nor Willa were there, it couldn’t be shown. It’s a shame, but seeing as it’s pretty much my only problem, I don’t mind that much.
I didn’t enjoy my last Emily O’Beirne novel much, but I’m so so glad I decided to give her works another chance!! I will definitely be picking up the sequel!!!
I received a copy of this book from Ylva Publishing in return for an honest review.
Review originally posted in 2017