Penguin, 2019, pp352, [pounds sterling]7.99 978 0 24136 706 3
Arriving at her new school, Simone deals with the usual friendship issues and an emerging crush on a boy named Miles as she strives to bring everyone together as director of the school musical. But life for Simone is far more complicated due to her HIV positive status and her concerns to manage this information following a breach of trust which caused her to leave her previous school. After she receives a series of notes threatening to expose her status unless she breaks contact with Miles, Simone must find the strength and personal resources to stay true to herself while building the trust and support she needs to move forwards. There is much to commend in the way the author manages to inform the reader about sexual health and HIV and the dangers of ignorance and how it fuels risk and prejudice. There are also positive portrayals of difference in relation to sexual orientation particularly through Simone's relationship with her adoptive fathers. The very matter of fact approach to a range of sexual practices is brave and necessary. This does mean that this is very much a book for older teens but one that needs to be available to them.