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If You Still Recognise Me – Cynthia So

Thank you so much to the publishers, Little Tiger, for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Elsie has a crush on Ada, the only person in the world who truly understands her. Unfortunately, they’ve never met in real life and Ada lives an ocean away. But Elsie has decided it’s now or never to tell Ada how she feels. That is, until her long-lost best friend Joan walks back into her life.

In a summer of repairing broken connections and building surprising new ones, Elsie realises that she isn’t nearly as alone as she thought. But now she has a choice to make…

If You Still Recognise Me has been all over book Twitter and BookTok ever since it was announced and that is for a very good reason. It is incredible! This book is a love letter to those who were Tumblr teens, are nerdy, part of many fandoms and have found a large amount of comfort in those little spaces on the internet thanks to fandoms.

I love that so many people will get to see themselves represented in this book. Those who are huge parts of fandoms, those part of the LGBTQ+ community and so many more people too. It really shows the importance of both real-life and online friends and made me appreciate my own friends so much more.

Elsie’s fandom is for her favourite comic, Eden Recoiling. I have to say that by the end of the book I was truly invested in the comic storyline, wanted to know more about what would happen next and be part of the fandom myself.

The LGBTQ+ representation in this book is spectacular. We see teens, adults and even elderly people who are queer which was really refreshing to see. We rarely see adult or elderly queer representation in books and Cynthia does this in a beautiful way. Elsie, the main character, is sure of her bisexuality. But, we get to see a number of her friends figure out their own sexualities in such a way that I’m sure will help so many people. There are gay, bisexual, lesbian and asexual characters and that is only the surface level of the representation.

This book deals with so many different types of love. We see platonic, familial and romantic and it was lovely to see them all. A lot of books tend to focus on one of the types of love so it was excellent to see so many types in this book. Also, Elsie is dealing with the trauma of a past toxic relationship which is discussed in a gentle, careful and honest way.

I adore the characters in this book and all that they bring to the story. Elsie is a very relatable main character. It was interesting to see her thoughts on the situations she was going through and how these affected her. Ada is Elsie’s long-distance best friend / crush and I loved that through her we got to see an internet friendship and so much more. Joan is Elsie’s childhood best friend who she lost contact with until she happens across her in her home town one day. I loved them all and how well-developed they each were.

This is Cynthia So’s debut novel and I cannot wait to see what else they release in the future. Their writing is relatable, has so much representation and warms your heart. They are certainly an author to watch!

Overall, If You Still Recognise Me is a heart-warming book all about fandoms, finding yourself, friendship and so much more. I cannot recommend this book enough. So many people are going to find themselves thanks to this book and it very much needed in society at the moment.

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