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Social Queue (Kay Kerr, Text)

Neurodiverse teenager Zoe is undertaking an internship at an online media company when her first assignment, about the struggles of navigating the online dating scene as an autistic person, goes viral. Even more surprising is the number of comments from former friends and acquaintances who claim to have had a crush on her at school. Zoe realises that she has missed any kind of sign that people were interested in her and so decides to try her hand at finding out why. What she doesn’t count on is facing her former school bully, or her best friend’s brother admitting his crush. As Zoe attempts to make sense of dating and love, she must also face the expectations of the corporate world and the everyday misrepresentation of disabled people by the media. Kay Kerr burst onto the YA scene with her 2020 debut Please Don’t Hug Me, and Social Queue confirms her as an important voice in the representation of the neurodiverse experience—as well as a skilled writer of young adult fiction. In Zoe, Kerr has created a character who gives genuine insight into the challenges of being autistic and engaging in social situations designed for the neurotypical, while also being very sweet and entertaining. Zoe challenges perceptions of disabled people and uses her voice to highlight ableism in the media. At its heart, however, the novel is a story of a teenager traversing rites of passage faced by all young adults: the awkwardness of first relationships and leaving high school behind in order to reinvent yourself. Social Queue is a very enjoyable read for fans of Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal.

Erin Wamala has previously worked in publishing and is currently both a practising teacher librarian and the owner of The Kids’ Bookshop.


Category: Junior Reviews