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Fin & Rye & Fireflies

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“It started with a kiss…as love stories often do. Jesse Andrews had the arms of a Greek god and he was on the track team. The night of our kiss fell on a Friday.” Then, only a few days later, Fin’s world is turned upside down - and not in a good head-over-heels-in-love way - when Jesse cruelly outs him. An event which ultimately leads to his family leaving town. But a fresh “It started with a kiss…as love stories often do. Jesse Andrews had the arms of a Greek god and he was on the track team. The night of our kiss fell on a Friday.” Then, only a few days later, Fin’s world is turned upside down - and not in a good head-over-heels-in-love way - when Jesse cruelly outs him. An event which ultimately leads to his family leaving town. But a fresh start isn’t going to change the truth of who Fin is. And it’s not going to stop his sexuality causing everyone all sorts of problems. Everyone, that is, apart from his new best friend Poppy, her girlfriend-in-waiting June, and his new crush Rye… So, while Fin and Rye are enjoying some seriously intimate moonlit moments together, Fin’s parents decide to pack him off to the local ReSouled ‘therapy camp’. It’s a nightmare - and there’s no easy way out. Can Fin’s squad hatch a plan outrageous enough to spring him before the ‘conversion’ acolytes force him into the straight and narrow?


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“It started with a kiss…as love stories often do. Jesse Andrews had the arms of a Greek god and he was on the track team. The night of our kiss fell on a Friday.” Then, only a few days later, Fin’s world is turned upside down - and not in a good head-over-heels-in-love way - when Jesse cruelly outs him. An event which ultimately leads to his family leaving town. But a fresh “It started with a kiss…as love stories often do. Jesse Andrews had the arms of a Greek god and he was on the track team. The night of our kiss fell on a Friday.” Then, only a few days later, Fin’s world is turned upside down - and not in a good head-over-heels-in-love way - when Jesse cruelly outs him. An event which ultimately leads to his family leaving town. But a fresh start isn’t going to change the truth of who Fin is. And it’s not going to stop his sexuality causing everyone all sorts of problems. Everyone, that is, apart from his new best friend Poppy, her girlfriend-in-waiting June, and his new crush Rye… So, while Fin and Rye are enjoying some seriously intimate moonlit moments together, Fin’s parents decide to pack him off to the local ReSouled ‘therapy camp’. It’s a nightmare - and there’s no easy way out. Can Fin’s squad hatch a plan outrageous enough to spring him before the ‘conversion’ acolytes force him into the straight and narrow?

30 review for Fin & Rye & Fireflies

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kai

    I was given the incredible opportunity to read an early version of this book last year and then read it again just a couple of weeks ago. It's a sweet, wholesome queer YA perfect for fans ofHeartstopper: Volume One and Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. Expect doggos and kisses and pancakes. I was given the incredible opportunity to read an early version of this book last year and then read it again just a couple of weeks ago. It's a sweet, wholesome queer YA perfect for fans ofHeartstopper: Volume One and Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. Expect doggos and kisses and pancakes.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dash fan

    5☆ A Unputdownable Must Read! Fin finally plucks up the courage to kiss his crush Jesse, only to be completely humiliated when Jesse and his bully friend Jake call him out as queer and tell all the parents about Fin's sexuality. Ashamed and Upset, Fin's parents decide to relocate to Lochport to hopefully give Fin a fresh start, removing him from unnatural temptations and hopefully stop him being gay! Fin is fed up and bored with his new home so decides to go exploring. It's here he meets the endea 5☆ A Unputdownable Must Read! Fin finally plucks up the courage to kiss his crush Jesse, only to be completely humiliated when Jesse and his bully friend Jake call him out as queer and tell all the parents about Fin's sexuality. Ashamed and Upset, Fin's parents decide to relocate to Lochport to hopefully give Fin a fresh start, removing him from unnatural temptations and hopefully stop him being gay! Fin is fed up and bored with his new home so decides to go exploring. It's here he meets the endearing, loyal, feisty, Poppy and Devilishly handsome Rye. Poppy stands up to 4 bullies when they call Rye names. She hears this and challenges all 4 of them. Fin is in awe of Poppy, and thinks he's found his new crush with Rye. June is also a member of the group of friends & Poppy's girlfriend, she is the first trans girl in Lochport and also the leader of the queer-straight alliance at their school. Rye goes to Kettle Lake where he watches the fireflies. Rye suffers with anxiety and he visits Gully’s Forest as it has an air of magic about it and that helps him settle his anxieties. But will Rye and Fin ever give into their feelings for one and other, or will it all be too late when Fin gets taken away by his parents after they discover Fin's desires for Rye! This book deals with some subjects that some might find sensitive such as transgender, gay, coming out, religion, drug abuse, homophobia and conversion therapy. I absolutely loved Fin and Rye, their on off budding relationship was so heartwarming and endearing. They were both so hurt in the past and Fin struggling with his sexuality and Rye with his previous relationship they were both scared to give into their feelings. But when Rye took Fin to watch the fireflies my heart melted for them. Fin & Rye & Fireflies is a highly compelling, endearing, thought provoking and heartwarming story with some emotional and powerful moments. This story will get under your skin for all the right reasons. This story is more than a Romance, it's a story of self acceptance, sexuality, self discovery, love, friendship, strength, relationships, being United and standing up for what is right, Family acceptance, support, first loves and an adorable fur baby!, Once I started reading Fin & Rye & Fireflies I couldn't put it down, I just had to keep reading. This is my first book I have read by Harry Cook and I can't wait to read more! I can't recommend reading this heartfelt book enough as once you read it, then it will stay with you for a long time! Thank you to Love Book Group Tours for this copy which I reviewed honestly and voluntarily. You can Find this Review and all my Other Reviews on My Blog :- http://dashfan81.blogspot.com/2020/08...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Anniek

    Thanks so much to Ink Road Books for the ARC in exchange for my honest review. I definitely felt the fireflies while reading this novel. Before reading, I looked up what it was about, and knowing it dealt heavily with homophobia and conversion therapy, I was afraid it would be a very heavy read. It's really a testament of this book that it wasn't. Yes, it does deal with heavy topics like conversion therapy and homophobia from parents, but there's also a lot of fluffy, wholesome content, and overal Thanks so much to Ink Road Books for the ARC in exchange for my honest review. I definitely felt the fireflies while reading this novel. Before reading, I looked up what it was about, and knowing it dealt heavily with homophobia and conversion therapy, I was afraid it would be a very heavy read. It's really a testament of this book that it wasn't. Yes, it does deal with heavy topics like conversion therapy and homophobia from parents, but there's also a lot of fluffy, wholesome content, and overall I found that the book had a great balance because of that between talking realistically about difficult things LGBTQ+ teens can deal with while also just sharing an incredibly lovely love story. I found this book hard to put down and read most of it in one sitting, and while I felt so immersed and the story was mostly so heartwarming, I do have to admit I had a little more trouble reading the past 90 pages of the book or so. This is the part that deals the most heavily with conversion therapy, and it's also the part where Fin's parents have to start seeing sense and come around. Seeing as this was a fairly short part of the book, I found this all a little rushed, and I would have liked to see it paced out more. Rep: gay MC, Black gay MC with anxiety, trans Indian adopted side character, pansexual side character, other smaller LGBTQ+ side characters CWs: conversion therapy, (religious) homophobia, transphobia, anxiety, panic attacks, drugs and alcohol, absent parent 

  4. 4 out of 5

    Marieke du Pré

    Aw, this is a killer of a book, the banter, the cuteness, the fluffiness, all wrapping heavy stuff. I was reading another one. An okay read. And then I swiped through my to read list, just to look. Fin & Rye was out. I fought myself for a couple of hours. I needed to finish the other one. Fin & Rye wouldn’t run, right? That book will still be available in a couple of days, right? I can be patient, right? Okay, confession. I started reading the preview. Bought the book in an instant. Read it. And Aw, this is a killer of a book, the banter, the cuteness, the fluffiness, all wrapping heavy stuff. I was reading another one. An okay read. And then I swiped through my to read list, just to look. Fin & Rye was out. I fought myself for a couple of hours. I needed to finish the other one. Fin & Rye wouldn’t run, right? That book will still be available in a couple of days, right? I can be patient, right? Okay, confession. I started reading the preview. Bought the book in an instant. Read it. And loved it. It’s a fast paced story and because of the banter and the fluffiness at first it seems an easy read. But it isn’t. At all. Under all that cuteness it’s hideous and angsty. We need these kinds of books to show time and again that it’s okay for a teen to be gay, pan, trans whatever. When a child is born we only want it to become a happy human being, right? So Harry Cook, a great YA debut, please surprise me with another lovely story!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Johann Shah

    well well well, isn't it the same that Harry Cook actor? I must have it. well well well, isn't it the same that Harry Cook actor? I must have it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kelly (Diva Booknerd)

    Contains sensitive issues such as homophobia, transphobia and conversion therapy. Please tread carefully friends. As far as the town of Lochport are concerned, Fin Whittle is a heterosexual son, his parents are conservative members of the community and there is absolutely nothing out of the ordinary here. His father certainly didn't evacuate his entire family because his son is gay and this fresh start, terribly disguised as a work promotion, it's most certainly not a bigoted overreaction of the Contains sensitive issues such as homophobia, transphobia and conversion therapy. Please tread carefully friends. As far as the town of Lochport are concerned, Fin Whittle is a heterosexual son, his parents are conservative members of the community and there is absolutely nothing out of the ordinary here. His father certainly didn't evacuate his entire family because his son is gay and this fresh start, terribly disguised as a work promotion, it's most certainly not a bigoted overreaction of the sexuality of your child. Most certainly not. They certainly aren't concerned about the welfare of their son after his sexuality became the hottest gossip in the small conservative and religious community, labelled as perverted with unnatural tenancies. Surely their new home in Lochport will set him straight. Insert fist shaking and extreme eye rolling here. Fin is lovely and tenderhearted, he identifies as gay and although he's confided in a few close friends, isn't ready to tell the world just yet so when he was cruelly outed by his former crush, his confidence took quite the beating. His parents more concerned with how they're perceived rather than the mental and emotional wellness of their son, as though sexuality is a choice and his father can threaten the gay out of him. Fin's distress is palpable and confronting, especially for queer readers so please tread lightly friends. Fin's father isn't old school, as Fin's brother Elliot would describe him, he's a conservative asshole and a foreboding presence in Fin's life. Lochport is a seaside town with a small and inclusive community of queer students representing gender, sexuality and straight allies. Poppy identifies as pansexual, she's totally in love with June, her former girlfriend, transgender and chairperson of the Queer Straight Alliance. June is a gentle soul, I loved her sense of justice and wanting to educate others to create an inclusive environment. Poppy is a firecracker, fiercely loyal to her friends, brutally honest and won't hesitate to knock anyone down a few pegs for being a dickhead. Everyone needs a Poppy in their life. Rye, along with his trusty sidekick British Bulldog Thelma, is the perfect example of why we need more kind and compassionate male characters in young adult. He's wonderfully sensitive and wears his heart on his sleeve. Rye has anxiety and when it all becomes too much, escapes to his secret hideaway at Kettle Lake, chilling and watching the fireflies dance upon the water. At the lake under moonlit skies, Rye and Fin begin falling for one another, the coy smiles and gentle touches are beautiful and I treasured seeing them finding solace with one another. I was absolutely horrified by Fin's father, his beliefs and straight up homophobia. His mother is slightly more understanding but allows Fin to be treated like shit to appease her husband. I wanted to slap them both into next week. Here you have a wonderful young man, smart, sensitive and compassionate, who just happens to be gay and he's stuck with these horrible shithead parents who send him to conversion therapy to brainwash the gay away. Thank goodness for Elliot, Fin's older brother who has returned home from travelling abroad. He recognised from an early age that Fin may have been gay and wants nothing more than to love, cherish and support his brother, standing up to their father so Fin isn't in this fight alone. I don't know what kind of Christian malarkey this is but I was fuming. Conversion therapy isn't something I know much about but how fucking dare anyone tell someone that falling in love, regardless of gender, is unnatural, that they're unnatural and these charlatan assholes should be imprisoned. The heaviness surrounding queerphobia, conversion therapy and the issues the queer community face is balanced wonderfully with a hopeful and tender story of friendship, falling in love and the strength and resilience of queer teens. It's beautifully written and an incredible young adult debut from Harry Cook, who will no doubt become a force to be reckoned with. Just outstanding!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rae

    Believe me when I say that I really wanted to love this book, I really do. I swear, I even put this off on hold for quite a while because I wanted to read it on the perfect moment. The reviews were set on a pedestal and the premise of the story is ugh. But I just couldn't get into it- and it's not like it's that bad. The message is nice, and it's not like Fin and Rye didn't have chemistry (they oozed chemistry, they were adorable- they're perfect- I'm the captain of the ship, deal with it) B Believe me when I say that I really wanted to love this book, I really do. I swear, I even put this off on hold for quite a while because I wanted to read it on the perfect moment. The reviews were set on a pedestal and the premise of the story is ugh. But I just couldn't get into it- and it's not like it's that bad. The message is nice, and it's not like Fin and Rye didn't have chemistry (they oozed chemistry, they were adorable- they're perfect- I'm the captain of the ship, deal with it) BUT this was just not it. I'm sorry to rain on the five-stars parade but I literally can't read this book without going whuuut every now and then. This just reeked so much of Tumblr scenarios and Wattpad that I can't help but do a double-take. The characters were so inconsistent, so persistently hot then cold that I literally cannot bruhh. I love Fin and Rye, and I love the whole gang but they were just so confusing that sometimes, it's a little hard catching up with them. (view spoiler)[I hated the inconsistency of Poppy's character- like I couldn't get a grasp of who exactly she is. I also didn't like how on-and-offish her relationship with June is. The relationship thing was thrown straight to my face like a curveball that I just went like okay. It's not like it's just Poppy, it's every single one of them except the antagonists which I assume where the parents, but hey, I can get passed that- the friendship and chemistry were solid so I can get through it, I think. (hide spoiler)] Then there's the dialogues. There's something about the way the characters talked that stopped me from truly falling for the story and made me realize, huh, I'm reading, y'know? The dialogues were sometimes just so awkward and weird that I can't help but cringe. (view spoiler)[To top it off, I don't think I like the ending much. It's an okay ending- a happy ending even, and I'm a sucker for happy endings. But this one was just really pushing it for me- how Fin's parents came around, how they exactly bail Fin out of the re-souled institution, how they brought the Claire girl along, it's just so- it's wrapped way too nicely. It just went all out, and while I don't know if the author intended that, I didn't like it. But hey, I'll take what I can take. (hide spoiler)] Small rant aside, it wasn't like this was such a bad book. I think what saved it for me was the inevitable chemistry Fin and Rye shared, while some of the dialogues they share were awkward (not sure if it's intentional or not), they weren't really such a bad match. This was surprisingly a very easy read, although it can get quite frustrating, but it's a nice happy read if you're looking for something light. (view spoiler)[PS. I also think there was way more to Elliot being supportive of the LGBTQIA+ other than Fin identifying as gay (the rainforest story that his dad oh-so-rudely interrupted didn't pass my eyes), I wish the author expanded on that for a bit just to give more clarity to his character. But overall, how weird Elliot may be- we all know who best brother of the year award is going to. (hide spoiler)]

  8. 4 out of 5

    Brooklyn Tayla

    I received a finished copy of Fin & Rye & Fireflies from Newsouth Books Australia in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts are my own. Sometimes you’ll read a book, or, hopefully, many books that’ll make you think ‘okay, it’s going to be quite hard to put into words how much I appreciate this story.’ These are the types of books that make one just feel compelled to clutch it to one’s chest, often rendering a reader into a state of utter devastation (for any number of reasons) and equally ma I received a finished copy of Fin & Rye & Fireflies from Newsouth Books Australia in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts are my own. Sometimes you’ll read a book, or, hopefully, many books that’ll make you think ‘okay, it’s going to be quite hard to put into words how much I appreciate this story.’ These are the types of books that make one just feel compelled to clutch it to one’s chest, often rendering a reader into a state of utter devastation (for any number of reasons) and equally making one feel completely elated and empowered, too. I’m going to purposely digress off path for a moment, if I may. Thus far, well, at the time of composing this review, I’ve read now 76 books. My most recent 5 star read was the earth shattering Aurora Burning – which I’m certainly not over! I finished that on the 11th July and after that, I found myself reading a lot of pretty fabulous 4 star reads! Yet, I found myself wondering when I’d find my next 5 star reading experience! For me, Fin & Rye & Fireflies is nothing short of a completely heart wrenching, shattering yet equally inspiring triumph of a book! This beautiful book compelled me to feel so many emotions, well and truly! There were times when I was just consumed with a fiery anger at the injustices that Fin found himself having to be subjected to! Fin, a young teenage boy, who’s essentially outed by his male crush and as a result, his narrow-minded, set-in-his-old way of thinking Father, packs Fin and the family off to another town to flee from the shame and judgement that comes from having a homosexual son! Throughout this book, Fin’s Father often eludes in an intimidating and often borderline threatening towards Fin, warning him to curb his homosexual tendencies (yeah, because it’s totally a sin, isn’t it?!) or Charles will scoot Fin off to a camp that supposedly reforms these people from their sickness. It’s just completely devastating that any young child, teenager, heck, even adult, should be the recipient of anything other than unconditional love and support from any adult figure in their lives, yet Charles has his feet and mind so readily planted in the old way of thinking, that something’s drastically wrong with Fin for liking guys. Frankly, it hurt a lot to read about! Fin is honestly the sweetest ray of sunshine (as is Rye, and thankfully the latter has a completely wonderful and altogether quirky Mother who embraces her fabulous son for nothing short of who he is!). Whilst Fin’s Brother is completely accepting of him and not at all hesitant to call out their Father’s garbage thoughts about Fin (cue the cheering, honestly, I was so so appreciative that Elliot is fiercely loyal to his Brother, unafraid to defend Fin against their hurtful parents!). I also found it quite sad that Fin’s Mother, who often reassures Fin that they love him (which I’ve no doubt that she does, but I just found myself low-key lamenting that she was (in my opinion) slightly intimidated by her husband and wouldn’t defend Fin at all or even appear to acknowledge the damage their subjecting him to by sending him to a camp that is nothing short of wrong, in every aspect! Every family scene where Fin was essentially targeted by his Father in a slightly threatening manner to say that he hopes his son is keeping on the (impending cringing pun) straight and narrow. Like, ahhh, why not just love your son as he is?! Celebrate the fact that he’s found some amazing friends, let alone a guy who loves him so, so much! Fin’s friends are absolutely brilliant, I love how wonderfully diverse their little circle is, how excited and swept up I felt when they were lobbying for trans and other LGBTQIA rights (such as the freedom for trans students to use gender specific bathrooms (truly, I think it’s low-key bemusing that this is even a problem? Like, a toilet is a toilet is a toilet, no?!) June, the young trans woman and all around fabulous and fierce exuding human, is brilliant. She’s such a loyal friend to Rye-bread (I loved, loved, loved Rye’s nickname! So wonderfully wholesome!) and even if June and the equally loyal and fabulous Poppy (pansexual, all ’round awesome human being) are often fickle and back and forward in their romance, it’s completely clear cut that they are literally perfect for one another!! Fin & Rye though, oh boy, they gave me all of the feelings! Their romance and chemistry just flowed so naturally, I loved it! Definitely things weren’t ever cruisy for either of them with Fin having to skirt around his parents suspicions and his Father’s confounded fears about his son falling back into old ways and Rye having to accept his seemingly dreamy then boyfriend Eric might actually be bad news as Poppy would often say, yet when Fin & Rye meet, fireflies completely happen and the result is completely fuzzy-enducing with more than the healthy amount of angst added! I couldn’t put this beautiful book down and to say it’s become a fast favourite of the year is hardly an understatement! Honestly, everyone needs to read Fin & Rye & Fireflies, it’s just completely beautiful and there’s so much of its plot and characters that will be staying in my mind for a good while to come! I absolutely cannot wait to see what’s next for Harry Cook!

  9. 5 out of 5

    jordslibrary

    This book had me feeling ALL of the feels. Although a super cute queer YA love story, the author (@harryjcook) also touches on some serious topics and struggles that the queer community face in their daily lives I.e homophobia, transphobia, conversion therapy. I found myself feeling quite emotional during the second half of this book. In particular while reading the chapters focusing on conversion therapy. CT is a dangerous practice that targets LGBTQ youth and seeks to change their sexual or ge This book had me feeling ALL of the feels. Although a super cute queer YA love story, the author (@harryjcook) also touches on some serious topics and struggles that the queer community face in their daily lives I.e homophobia, transphobia, conversion therapy. I found myself feeling quite emotional during the second half of this book. In particular while reading the chapters focusing on conversion therapy. CT is a dangerous practice that targets LGBTQ youth and seeks to change their sexual or gender identities. This is still legal in many countries across the world. Minors are especially vulnerable, and conversion therapy can lead to depression, anxiety, drug use, homelessness, and suicide. This book opened my eyes to how privileged I am to have grown up with amazing family and friends. Even with a great support network I still felt ‘ashamed’ and ‘embarrassed’ about who I was growing up, that there was something wrong with me from society’s perspective, so my heart breaks for anyone out there who is or has been attacked for being their true selves and for anyone who feels alone. You are loved💛! Within these important topics throughout the book, there’s a beautiful, moving and funny story. With amazing characters, Poppy in particular, who has you laughing out loud. The ending had me BEAMING. I have been singing Madonna - like a prayer on repeat! This book has made its way into one of my favourites! I need a movie adaptation, please and thank you. Rating: 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  10. 5 out of 5

    Karen Andrew

    Meet Fin, a young sixteen year old boy who has recently been 'outed' to his parents as being gay. Their response? Move the family away. They are highly religious and Fin's sexuality doesn't fit with their views. They relocate to Lochport where Fin meets a new group of friends. Poppy who is pansexual, June is trans and Rye who is also gay. Rye has a boyfriend, Eric and Eric isn't openly gay. Rye has his heart twisted and broken and Fin is there for him and the two form the most beautiful of relati Meet Fin, a young sixteen year old boy who has recently been 'outed' to his parents as being gay. Their response? Move the family away. They are highly religious and Fin's sexuality doesn't fit with their views. They relocate to Lochport where Fin meets a new group of friends. Poppy who is pansexual, June is trans and Rye who is also gay. Rye has a boyfriend, Eric and Eric isn't openly gay. Rye has his heart twisted and broken and Fin is there for him and the two form the most beautiful of relationships much to the disgust of Fin's parents. Tragedy strikes when Fin is forced onto a programme to 'straighten' him out by trying to brainwash him. This story follows the four teenagers, their relationships, their laughs, their tears, their loves and their hates. I loved the lengths that Fin's friends go to to have his parents listen and try and understand that Fin being gay is perfectly normal and their interference is what is causing him more pain. I'm ashamed to admit that this has been my first LGBTQ book however it will not be my last. Harry has written this beautifully, I laughed and I cried and it is well deserved of 5 stars.

  11. 5 out of 5

    kelly ♥

    this was very sweet and very quick to read! definitely gave me simon versus the homosapiens vibes and i think if you enjoyed that you’ll like this a lot. fin and rye were good characters with their own backstories and traumas to work through but their support for each other was sweet and comforting. their relationship developed slowly which was nice and gave the reader time to get to know them each. the supporting characters were fun (with the exception of fin’s parents, ew) and added a lot of h this was very sweet and very quick to read! definitely gave me simon versus the homosapiens vibes and i think if you enjoyed that you’ll like this a lot. fin and rye were good characters with their own backstories and traumas to work through but their support for each other was sweet and comforting. their relationship developed slowly which was nice and gave the reader time to get to know them each. the supporting characters were fun (with the exception of fin’s parents, ew) and added a lot of humour and loveliness to the story! my only gripe is the ending was so... cheesy BUT sorta what i was expecting from a book like this so it fit.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Polly

    This is such a lovely and wholesome contemporary romance! It deals with issues such as homophobia and conversion therapy sensitively, but highlights how important it is to be aware of these issues and taking a stand against them. The characters are wonderful and fun and I couldn’t help but fall in love with them! It’s a quick read, but this doesn’t detract from how enjoyable it is, and I finished it in one sitting as I didn’t want to put it down! Also, how stunning is the cover 😍😍 Thank you to @ This is such a lovely and wholesome contemporary romance! It deals with issues such as homophobia and conversion therapy sensitively, but highlights how important it is to be aware of these issues and taking a stand against them. The characters are wonderful and fun and I couldn’t help but fall in love with them! It’s a quick read, but this doesn’t detract from how enjoyable it is, and I finished it in one sitting as I didn’t want to put it down! Also, how stunning is the cover 😍😍 Thank you to @lovebookstours and @harryjcook for my place on the tour & my copy!

  13. 5 out of 5

    The Nerd Daily

    Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Simone Richter Sometimes, very rarely, you stumble across a book and think: This book is going to change lives. Fin & Rye & Fireflies is one of those books. It is important and soul wrenching in the most delicious way. Fin & Rye & Fireflies gives off a clear message: You are strong and you are perfect the way you are. Read the FULL REVIEW on The Nerd Daily Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Simone Richter Sometimes, very rarely, you stumble across a book and think: This book is going to change lives. Fin & Rye & Fireflies is one of those books. It is important and soul wrenching in the most delicious way. Fin & Rye & Fireflies gives off a clear message: You are strong and you are perfect the way you are. Read the FULL REVIEW on The Nerd Daily

  14. 4 out of 5

    Triston

    I absolutely ADORED this book! From page one, I was invested in this story! Fin and Rye are the cutest and I just want to protect Fin, Rye, Poppy and June AT ALL COSTS!! THEY ARE MY BABIES AND YOU WILL NOT HURT THEM! On a more serious note, this book is brilliant. It has got characters who are grounded and well developed that are likeable and loveable! It has great humor, from tongue-in-cheek witty dialogue to dry puns and silly shenanigans! It has beautiful and romantic scenes and secenery, I mea I absolutely ADORED this book! From page one, I was invested in this story! Fin and Rye are the cutest and I just want to protect Fin, Rye, Poppy and June AT ALL COSTS!! THEY ARE MY BABIES AND YOU WILL NOT HURT THEM! On a more serious note, this book is brilliant. It has got characters who are grounded and well developed that are likeable and loveable! It has great humor, from tongue-in-cheek witty dialogue to dry puns and silly shenanigans! It has beautiful and romantic scenes and secenery, I mean I kinda wish I had a Kettle Lake near where I lived! The writing is modern, and easy to digest. The themes are relatable and relevant. The characters relationships with each other, their friendship and support is something I haven't seen in many books, I mean the scene with the counter-protest had me all emotional! Also the discussion around queerness, and being who you are, Fins parents arcs, the END, guys it was Marvelous. And I absolutely adored everything about this book! It reads like a cutesy fluffy story, but it deals with some very serious themes, from abusive relationships to conversion therapy! So it may read like a lighthearted fast paced story, but it is so much more than that once you peel off the layers! Harry Cook has written a masterful debut, and I hope we get to see more from him soon!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    "Nope. Absolutely not!" would be my answer if anyone asked if they should read this book. Formulaic plot we’ve read a bunch of times before in queer books, the characters were abysmal, and the writing style just was so plain? I can see why people would think their love story is sweet, but it’s very much so on the surface level? It lacked depth in my opinion. As did the narrators/protagonists, the only thing that sets them apart are their names lol. Would give this 0 stars, but Goodreads doesn’t al "Nope. Absolutely not!" would be my answer if anyone asked if they should read this book. Formulaic plot we’ve read a bunch of times before in queer books, the characters were abysmal, and the writing style just was so plain? I can see why people would think their love story is sweet, but it’s very much so on the surface level? It lacked depth in my opinion. As did the narrators/protagonists, the only thing that sets them apart are their names lol. Would give this 0 stars, but Goodreads doesn’t allow that.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Terry Sheehan

    I'm used to writing movie reviews and I'm probably not in the reader age group that Harry Cook hopes to reach with his wonderful GLBTQI Romance novel that has a sting in its tale. As a mature age Proud Gay man over 70 years and still very young at heart plus happily married ,who in a few days time is celebrating the wonderful milestone of a two years wedding anniversary and last July 45 years of a loving caring and happy life with my same sex partner I want to more than recommend Harry Cook's nov I'm used to writing movie reviews and I'm probably not in the reader age group that Harry Cook hopes to reach with his wonderful GLBTQI Romance novel that has a sting in its tale. As a mature age Proud Gay man over 70 years and still very young at heart plus happily married ,who in a few days time is celebrating the wonderful milestone of a two years wedding anniversary and last July 45 years of a loving caring and happy life with my same sex partner I want to more than recommend Harry Cook's novel . In fact I think it should be on the required reading list in every school in Australia. Why? you may ask a Romance novel about a group of teenagers living, loving having fun and supporting each other through the adversity of adolescence and coming of age. Well my answer is because it's a message of hope and becoming who you truly were meant to be to any GLBTQI teenager ,especially any who are experiencing alienation from their parents,family or friends or the terrible depression due to bullying at school and to educate the perpetrators who practice bullying innocent people just for who they are. Growing up gay in 1950's 1960's Australia was torture for me at school but like the characters in Harry Cook's novel Fin, Rye, Poppy and June I found my Community and learnt that my sexuality was not a sentence of loneliness and despair that fun romance and eventually love and total Acceptance of who I am was not only possible but was necessary to live a happy free and sometimes joyous life. Harry's novel for my cinematic mind deserves to be made into a movie ,his grasp of language (some new hip jargon like Rad I had to look up) breathes life into these wonderful young people. Harry Cook's novel set somewhere in Australia, where States are still debating to outlaw the cruel and inhuman practice of Gay Conversion therapy is perfectly timed and this subject is the sting in the tail of the story that I mentioned earlier but it's not a heavy depressing read . The excellent movie "Boy Erased "based on Gerard Conley's memoir does the same but is a much grimmer tale. Finally one of the many pleasing aspects of Fin &Rye and Fireflies is that it's not set in a big city metropolis tale so it would resonate with the GLBTQI Community in rural or small towns,where even more education and understanding is needed for the many issues that young people experience like Parental and family alienation when they come out and school bullying by piers who have been programmed by predudice and ignorance that's why Fin &Rye & Fireflies by Harry Cook intelligently and accurately explores the contemporary issues that our young GLBTQI Community is still experiencing in 2020 but it's thankfully in many ways to young authors like this that it's getting easier.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kate A

    Just before I picked up this book I happened to see a few good reviews for it which got me really excited for diving in. Honestly I couldn’t recommend this book enough, it is just wonderful. I was a bit unsure after reading the description whether it would be a lighthearted or quite a heavy read. I mean fireflies, diners, pride parades and vinyl all sounded exactly like my cup of tea but ‘conversion therapy’ is a pretty substantial topic. However it manages to strike the perfect balance even when Just before I picked up this book I happened to see a few good reviews for it which got me really excited for diving in. Honestly I couldn’t recommend this book enough, it is just wonderful. I was a bit unsure after reading the description whether it would be a lighthearted or quite a heavy read. I mean fireflies, diners, pride parades and vinyl all sounded exactly like my cup of tea but ‘conversion therapy’ is a pretty substantial topic. However it manages to strike the perfect balance even when it is dealing with the harder subjects, like Fin’s intolerant parents or the bigotry that comes from other people, there is still always a glimmer of hope and the warmth of the support from his friends. The characters in this book are everything, they are genuine and diverse and make me feel all squishy inside. Fin is just wonderful, he has so much to navigate and he could be angry and resentful but instead, he is enjoying his new friends and his crush on Rye. I feel like I really connected with Rye because some of the feelings he was dealing with I remember going through when I was that age, he always wants to see the best in people and is quick to blame himself when things don’t work out. The relationship between Fin and Rye made my heart happy, they start as friends and it slowly turns into something more but even though both of them have a lot to work through they really fight for each other, any time they were together I could feel the fireflies too. Poppy and June were great characters as well, I liked that they were all friends but also trying to work out their relationship at the same time. The friendships all felt really authentic, they didn’t always agree with each other and they sometimes thought too much about what they were each going through but when it came to it they would all show up for each other. Special mention should also be made for Thelma because I love a cute wee doggo who loves a snuggly nap. I also appreciated seeing the different levels of support from the parents, it was good to have a representation of what real acceptance can look like in contrast to the intolerance, but also to have the situations evolve and to allow there to be progress. I think it’s so important for young people going through the same thing to see that it can be possible and that if acceptance doesn’t come from your family that you can find it through friends. Fin & Rye & Fireflies is just such a joyful book and I hope that we get more of the same from Harry Cook, I’ll be looking forward to his next book. Originally posted on everywhere and nowhere

  18. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    This book. This! Book! Fin & Rye & Fireflies was so much more than I hoped it would be. Harry Cook has created a beautiful, yet at times confronting and realistic, story. With each ache of the heart, and tear shed, you are met with that little spark of light.. a glimmer of hope. Perhaps fireflies. I’ve only just finished this book, and I miss the characters already. Here’s to everyone finding their Poppy, their June, Elliot, Karen, and whoever stands by you while you are unapologetically yoursel This book. This! Book! Fin & Rye & Fireflies was so much more than I hoped it would be. Harry Cook has created a beautiful, yet at times confronting and realistic, story. With each ache of the heart, and tear shed, you are met with that little spark of light.. a glimmer of hope. Perhaps fireflies. I’ve only just finished this book, and I miss the characters already. Here’s to everyone finding their Poppy, their June, Elliot, Karen, and whoever stands by you while you are unapologetically yourself. And here’s to looking out for the Fins and the Clares. We may know them, we may be them, but through it all, we support them. This book will stay with me for a long time. Now... Go out there and make magic.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Joelie

    I really enjoyed this. These characters were so lovely to get to know and there was so much light and shade through this whole story that it felt so well balanced. It was a little darker than what i was expecting especially since it is compared to "simone vs the homo sapiens agenda" but it was a really great take on a coming of age story that a lot of people should read. It made me so angry that this sort of thing still happens to young impressionable people, especially from their parents, the p I really enjoyed this. These characters were so lovely to get to know and there was so much light and shade through this whole story that it felt so well balanced. It was a little darker than what i was expecting especially since it is compared to "simone vs the homo sapiens agenda" but it was a really great take on a coming of age story that a lot of people should read. It made me so angry that this sort of thing still happens to young impressionable people, especially from their parents, the people they are supposed to trust and rely on. But the more information thats out there the better society will adapt their mind set. Great read

  20. 5 out of 5

    Pearce Jacobs

    I was completely in love with Fin & Rye, and every other character beautifully written into this story. The story is warm and endearing but also real and at times heartbreaking. It tells a story every young LGBTQI+ kid would at some point feel connected to, which is a rare thing. Harry Cook has meticulously crafted real relationships between young queer characters, their friends, and family - and it was lovely to be immersed in!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Trisha

    Inclusive, hopeful and romantic

  22. 5 out of 5

    Simone

    Don't mind me, guys. I'll just be over here crying over this book. Don't mind me, guys. I'll just be over here crying over this book.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    this soooo does not deserve that second star, but lgbtq+ books are my jam and if it featured a hetero couple, i would have definitely left it at 1 star. this is the book version of "and then everyone clapped" and it was such a badly executed story, full of all the possible cliches in the world, insta-love once again, cringy lines, dull characters without flaws and antagonists without good traits and i just couldn't get through it the way i hoped, a disappointing experience tbh this soooo does not deserve that second star, but lgbtq+ books are my jam and if it featured a hetero couple, i would have definitely left it at 1 star. this is the book version of "and then everyone clapped" and it was such a badly executed story, full of all the possible cliches in the world, insta-love once again, cringy lines, dull characters without flaws and antagonists without good traits and i just couldn't get through it the way i hoped, a disappointing experience tbh

  24. 5 out of 5

    Wolfram-Jaymes von Keesing

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. [A general Content Warning for spoilers, discussion of aversion therapy, discussion of homophobia and harm, and me having a negative opinion (I'm only half sorry)] - Have you ever seen Terry Gillam's 'Brazil'? The 1985 dystopian film about an office clerk who falls obsessively in love while sorting out a tragic system error? Take yourself to the scene where Lowry's strapped in a chair. He's about to be interrogated (and probably die) when Robert De Niro and his swat team of rogue plumbers swing in [A general Content Warning for spoilers, discussion of aversion therapy, discussion of homophobia and harm, and me having a negative opinion (I'm only half sorry)] - Have you ever seen Terry Gillam's 'Brazil'? The 1985 dystopian film about an office clerk who falls obsessively in love while sorting out a tragic system error? Take yourself to the scene where Lowry's strapped in a chair. He's about to be interrogated (and probably die) when Robert De Niro and his swat team of rogue plumbers swing in to save the day (don't question it). Lowry flies off to have weird mid-air sex with Jill, and whoever isn't dead settles down in the country. Only Lowry's still in the chair. It was all a dreeaam. In reality he's gone comatose from fear, and almost certainly pooped himself. Now hold those images while we discuss this book and aversion therapy. I've a suspicion Cook neither experienced the process himself, nor engaged with someone who has, as aversion therapy's the only reason his first protagonist grows a backbone. Fin doesn't fight his parents before being sent to Re-Souled, after all. Not really. He remains mostly complicit until he steps foot in that place and suddenly becomes loud, proud, and sassy. Aversion therapy does not give you room for these things. You are made to feel ashamed of that pride. You learn to become both agreeable and quiet so the nightmare ends quicker. My suspicion only grew as Rye, Poppy, and June rocked up to stage their prison break; accompanied by their parents and The Whittles (who put Fin in Re-Souled in the first place). This was the De Niro moment. They storm the stage in colourful costumes, perform a medley of five or six (?) queer anthems, and Rye gives his big speech about his man being perfect. The Jill moment is them storming out together and heading home for their happily ever afters. The comatose moment was me wondering if this was so unbelievable — so removed from reality — that it could actually do harm. How effectively does this convey aversion therapy as a nightmare? How could I defend this fever dream from conservative ridicule? How do I tell survivors this isn't making a joke of their trauma? At least I didn't poop. I feel Cook should have skipped the aversion therapy arch and ended fifty pages sooner. It was nice up until then. I do, however, also think Cook relied too heavily on other sources to appeal to his readers. His pop culture references came across as well-used and a little scattered (pulled from totally different times) — giving the overall impression of a book written for consumption and not for survival. Some scenes also felt like rewrites of scenes from other YA novels. Lastly, does it start in America and end in Australia, or was that a 'woops'?

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lily | Literary Lily

    I won a free ARC of this book from the publisher in a giveaway Ugh where do I start with this book it was so perfect?! Whilst it wasn't as light and fluffy as I was expecting, this book is full of heart, loveable characters and realistic depictions of growing up queer. I am so happy young people will have this book to look to for hope and love and community. The thing that really stole the show for me with this book was the characters. The cast was diverse and each character was distinct and full I won a free ARC of this book from the publisher in a giveaway Ugh where do I start with this book it was so perfect?! Whilst it wasn't as light and fluffy as I was expecting, this book is full of heart, loveable characters and realistic depictions of growing up queer. I am so happy young people will have this book to look to for hope and love and community. The thing that really stole the show for me with this book was the characters. The cast was diverse and each character was distinct and fully fleshed out with their own motivations and backstories. I loved each and every member of the little friendship group and their supportive parents, but for me Rye and his mum Karen were the heart and soul of this book. Their warmth and energy was honestly a little healing and so fun to read I adored them. What was special about this book was that even though it dealt with unsupportive (read: abusive) parents and conversion therapy, there is always a constant theme of hope and power in community. Even in Fin darkest moments his chosen family gave you a sense of hope that I have not felt in a book like this before and I really treasured it. I can't say I ever knew where this book was going, and most definitely didn't know if there was going to be a happy ending, but I adored it nonetheless because the queer kids were living their truths and uplifting each other to the best of their abilities. It was realistic whilst remaining a story of hope and love and family. Of course, I can't review this book without talking about the romance. It was kind of a slow burn? But also kind of instalove? I can't really pinpoint it but it was perfect and sweet and wholesome and I was here for it. Fin and Rye are just adorable and were such a wonderful match and I wholeheartedly believed in how their relationship developed. I loved them so much. I think the easiest way to describe this book is that its a warm hug from your chosen queer family after a rough day battling the homophobes. It is not the easiest read at times, but it is such a feel-good read. You can't help but fall in love with Fin and Rye and root for them throughout this book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kristel Greer

    I was sent a copy of this book for review. I adored this book from start to finish and sat up until 3am as I just couldn’t put it down. Fin is outed in one of the cruelest ways and his family move to a new town to avoid their humiliation of having a Gay son. Unfortunately life for Fin doesn’t get better at home as his parents expect him to forget all this unnatural behavior and be "normal". When Fin and Rye meet they have an instant connection and care strongly for each other. However, the path of I was sent a copy of this book for review. I adored this book from start to finish and sat up until 3am as I just couldn’t put it down. Fin is outed in one of the cruelest ways and his family move to a new town to avoid their humiliation of having a Gay son. Unfortunately life for Fin doesn’t get better at home as his parents expect him to forget all this unnatural behavior and be "normal". When Fin and Rye meet they have an instant connection and care strongly for each other. However, the path of young love sometimes doesn’t run smooth. The story is a moving and poignant portrayal of teenage characters as they fall in love, struggle with anxiety due to the trauma of their pasts and navigate life as a young LGBT+ teenagers. Fin and Rye are both sweet, slightly damaged but wonderful people. They are realistic and I felt their pain and their joy. (I bawled my eyes at parts and giggled uncontrollably at others). Poppy and June are two of their friends who are also wonderful representations for the Pansexual and Trans community. They were strong, independent young women who fight for their beliefs and fiercely protect their friends. As the story develops the support Fin receives from his friends and the way in which he is treated at home crashes together and the fallout has earth shattering consequences for Fin and Rye. The book dealt with LGBT+ issues such as homophobia, transphobia and the hurtful reality of parents not always being accepting. It also deals with the harsh reality that conversion therapy shockingly still occurs and the devastating effect these awful and damaging programs have on peoples' self-worth and mental health. I give🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟for this story as it was by far one of the most lovingly written LGBT+ stories I have read and I feel strongly that representation matters. Seeing diverse characters with different sexualities and identities portrayed is essential today more than ever. Their story hit home for me and I hope to read more from this gifted author in the future. This book is for everyone as love and friendship is the core narrative in this story.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kerry https://likeherdingcatsblog.wordpress.com Robinson

    This is such an eye opening, emotional but uplifting novel and it was so irresistibly wonderful. Fin’s parents make him up sticks and move to a whole new life in Lochport because of a cruel joke forcing Fin to come out. Horrified, his parents think a new start is in order however once again the bullies strike and Fin is outed before he even has time to settle and now his parents care looking at conversion therapy. Despite the heavy and thought-provoking themes of homophobia and conversion therapie This is such an eye opening, emotional but uplifting novel and it was so irresistibly wonderful. Fin’s parents make him up sticks and move to a whole new life in Lochport because of a cruel joke forcing Fin to come out. Horrified, his parents think a new start is in order however once again the bullies strike and Fin is outed before he even has time to settle and now his parents care looking at conversion therapy. Despite the heavy and thought-provoking themes of homophobia and conversion therapies this book also is a wonderful story of acceptance, friendships and love and I couldn’t put it down. Fin himself is a gentle character who has fully come to terms with his sexuality but isn’t as confident about other people knowing. His parents are homophobic, and Fin is trying his hardest to avoid their wrath. When his new, openly gay friend Rye has his heart broken, a beautiful and supportive friendship develops with some romantic chemistry but can either boy put their pasts to rest and let themselves enjoy being together? I adored June (a black transgender young woman) and Poppy (who is pan sexual) and their determination to stick up for their friends. I loved how much they were willing to do to support both boys but particularly Fin by educating his parents to get them to change their minds. This is a book with a romantic plot but it’s about so much more. It contains themes of sexuality, friendship, self-love and acceptance and standing up for what you believe in. I would say it works well for the younger end of the YA market too and I found it charming and uplifting.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Laura Nelson (Tangents and Tissues)

    Wow! Just... *sniffs* Wow! *wipes eyes* Wonders will never cease! I’m at a complete loss for words. My heart is currently full to bursting. I’ve said this before in my reviews, but I live for the day when who we love no longer matters. Growing up is hard enough. Yet, imagine that ten-fold when you have to deal with the bigotry of others. Most especially when faced with it from your own family. Ugh, my heart wept for Fin! I count myself very lucky to be The Mommy’s daughter. Rye’s mum, Karen, reminds m Wow! Just... *sniffs* Wow! *wipes eyes* Wonders will never cease! I’m at a complete loss for words. My heart is currently full to bursting. I’ve said this before in my reviews, but I live for the day when who we love no longer matters. Growing up is hard enough. Yet, imagine that ten-fold when you have to deal with the bigotry of others. Most especially when faced with it from your own family. Ugh, my heart wept for Fin! I count myself very lucky to be The Mommy’s daughter. Rye’s mum, Karen, reminds me of her in so many ways. All mum ever cared, or does care, about is that I’m happy and healthy. That extended to my friends as well. Our house has always been a safe haven if needed. I don’t have to look far to know where I get my dose of cray-cray from *snorts*. It will come as no shock that I was never part of the ‘in’ crowd as a teenager, lol. My friends and I affectionately christened ourselves The Misfits. We were just us – oh, the tales I can tell! It’s amazing, isn’t it? How a story can transport you back in time. My teenage self may not have faced the same issues as Fin and Rye, but I could identify with their struggles! This one-time blonde Goth would definitely have had their backs. Chock full of feels, Fin & Rye & Fireflies cements my believe that you should never have to ask permission to be yourself. I wish I could give the author a big squishy hug for sharing this heartfelt, and at times heartrending, story with the world. I loved it! Right! Enough of my emotional word vomit! I’m away to do what any self-respecting reader with a book hangover would do after finishing such epicness – I’m off to eat my feelings!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Blue

    Want to see more... Bookstagram Website Thank you Newsouth Publishing for this book in exchange for an honest review This is the kind of book that will smash you in the heart and leave you breathless. I honestly struggled after this book, because at this moment in my life, it really resinated with me. You meet Fin, who has found himself outed by his male crush and vocal about his narrow mindset and views. Poor Fin not only get rejected but his shame filled father decides its in the family’s best i Want to see more... Bookstagram Website Thank you Newsouth Publishing for this book in exchange for an honest review This is the kind of book that will smash you in the heart and leave you breathless. I honestly struggled after this book, because at this moment in my life, it really resinated with me. You meet Fin, who has found himself outed by his male crush and vocal about his narrow mindset and views. Poor Fin not only get rejected but his shame filled father decides its in the family’s best interest to pack up and flee town and hide the shame of having a gay son. But no matter where they live, Fin faces the brutal opinions and threats of his homophobic father. You can’t help but feel sorry for Fin, you legit want to rescue him from his family, but you want to protect him from any harm. Not only in this story something that is definitely real but it is real life for many young beautiful lives, so having this book as something to relate to is HIGHLY important! Not only that it shows that sometimes your family isn’t that of blood but who you hold in value in your life, and those that accept you no matter what. What I love is the support system that is around Fin, that accept him for who it is and help him in any way that they can. Honestly this is the book that 2020 needs, a little light in the darkness. Not only is this book eye opening but it is needed. Cook has a way of bringing these stories to life, making it real for the readers and literally tearing at all our heart strings. If this book isn’t in your TBR, then maybe it should be!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tara

    I honestly love this book, the characters are smart and adorable, there’s a constant ‘will-they-won’t-they’ going on and it’s just so amazing all around. While reading I realised multiple times that I was screaming, laughing, crying and squealing all at the same time for different reasons. The ending was so beautiful I cried.

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