Published by Text Publishing on September 28, 2021
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Young Adult
Amazon | Book Depository | Publisher | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia
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'I thought I was nobody’s teen crush, but turns out I was just missing the signs.'
Zoe Kelly is starting a new phase of her life. High school was a mess of bullying and autistic masking that left her burnt out and shut down. Now, with an internship at an online media company—the first step on the road to her dream writing career—she is ready to reinvent herself. But she didn’t count on returning to her awkward and all-too-recent high-school experiences for her first writing assignment.
When her piece, about her non-existent dating life, goes viral, eighteen-year-old Zoe is overwhelmed and more than a little surprised by the response. But, with a deadline and a list of romantic contenders from the past to reconnect with for her piece on dating, she is hoping one of her old sparks will turn into a new flame.
Social Queue is a funny and heart-warming autistic story about deciphering the confusing signals of attraction and navigating a path to love.
For the girl who has never been kissed, imagine finding out all the past beaus in your life who had a crush on you before – and meeting up with them to find out the signs that had been missed. This is exactly what Zoe Kelly does after starting her internship at Bumble, so she can write a series of articles about modern day dating, with autism.
Social Queue is such a fun premise – and I loved following Zoe’s journey as she discovers all the signs of attraction that had been missed during her teen years. From sitting behind her during classes, to spending time with her sibling, teasing and even flirting from the same sex – there’s no wonder why Zoe is confused. Learning about each of these encounters as Zoe meets up with each person who commented on her article was really fun, and it offered a fascinating perspective on dating and attraction. There’s some really sweet encounters as she meets up with her best friend’s brother who used to have a crush on her, along with a boy who experiences anxiety.
There are so many things about me that make me wonder if they’re actually parts of my personality, or just things I think other people would like to see in me.
Not all of these encounters are short and sweet however – there’s the player who attempts to charm her into his apartment, and another who apologises for bullying her in high school, but then somehow attempts to shame her for it. There’s a subtle balance of the more sinister encounters to the sweet, genuine encounters.
What’s certain is that the whole experience is both challenging and rewarding for Zoe – as she learns a lot about dating, love and most of all, about herself.
Zoe’s best friend Ari has moved overseas and Social Queue also explores the distance that you have from the person that knows you best. While video chats and texting may bridge the gap between distanced friends, nothing beats interaction in person.
Written by an own voices author, Social Queue offers such a warm, healthy perspective on dating but also recognising your own boundaries and warning signs when it comes to social encounters. I also loved how it navigates starting an internship and recognising your worth in the work place – and shows how even respected senior journalists in the field may not have all the answers.
I really enjoyed this read and it’s definitely recommended!
Rating: 4 out of 5
Thanks to Text Publishing for sending me a review copy of this book.
Trigger warnings: bullying, police brutality, ableist language
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