Gloves Off – Wrecked – Activist

Louisa Reid

In these three outstanding novels, brutal and potentially devastating subjects such as fat-shaming, coercive control (unusually, female to male), sexual assault and bullying are explored.

Gloves off, nominated for the Carnegie Medal, follows Lily as she uses boxing to overcome her issues of body image and mental health. The sub-plot of her mother’s struggles with her own mental health is equally poignant and adds an air of greater credibility to the story as they both support each other through their daily struggles.

Wrecked is a tough read. Joe and Imogen are involved in a car accident that kills a young mother. The story is centred around Joe’s court case with flashbacks setting out the events leading to the day of the trial. The tension is high throughout and it was one of those books that I couldn’t put down but couldn’t wait to finish!

Activist is a book of our time: An accusation of rape on an anonymous forum and a young woman who wants to speak out and see change, especially in her wealthy prestigious school. This is a book that teens of all genders should read together. It will trigger debate and arouse strong passions about feminism and equality. It too is essential reading.

Each superb book is written in narrative verse, which time-poor teens who are seeking a quick read but one with great emotional depth, won’t want to miss. These standalone verse novels are powerful and accessible, highly recommended!

Published by Guppy Books

Reviewed by Rachel Bolton