Audrey is a teenager from a poor family trying to make the best of her life by focusing on her education. She is very driven to get the best grades she possible can as she realises a scholarship to university is her best chance of changing her life. All is going to plan until Scarlett asks Audrey to tutor her.
The interesting thing for me in this book is that Audrey is a lesbian and it quickly becomes apparent that everyone in her life knows and is completely accepting of it. Now this is absolutely how it should be but in just about every other LGBT fiction I’ve read the main character’s homosexuality is what drives the plot. It was very refreshing to see here that it was referred to in exactly the same way as a teenage girl falling for a boy usually is.
Unfortunately, other aspects of the novel are not quite as compelling. The author repeatedly explains that Audrey’s family is poor; nothing ever happens to Audrey in this book without the author telling us yet again that she is very poor. It would have helped if there had been a bit more show, rather than tell to this aspect of the book but ultimately it feels like being banged over the head with it and it detracts from the story. I think that had this aspect of the book been just a little more subtle, if we had learned for ourselves as readers how disadvantaged Audrey was, it would have elicited a bit more sympathy rather than leaving the story a little flat and cardboard cut out-like.
I don’t want to give any spoilers but I’m really not sure what the final few chapters of the book add to the story. It didn’t enhance Audrey’s budding romance, it didn’t improve her family finances, or the way they operated as a family unit. It was just very odd.
Ultimately though, I have to absolutely applaud the author for writing a book where homosexuality is a complete normality. I’ve read quite a lot of LGBT fiction, especially YA, and there needs to be more books like this where a character’s sexuality is an aside and not the main plot for a novel. For all this novel is a little one-dimensional at times, and it does go off on a rather unnecessary tangent at the end, I would still highly recommend it to all readers who are keen to read LGBT fiction where homosexuality is not the main plot point and is really just another fact about character.
I rate this book 7 out of 10.
Carefully Everywhere Descending will be out on 1st October and is available to pre-order now from Amazon
I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.