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  • Grapefruit Moon cover
  • Grapefruit Moon

    By Shirley-Anne McMillan

    Quick Overview

    The pressure – social and academic – is high for the teenage students of an elite secondary school in Belfast; Can poetry, friendship and a trip to Spain give them the courage to be true to themselves?
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    "I hadn’t known he’d filmed us.
    He’d never said."

    The pressure – social and academic – is high for the teenage students of an elite school in Belfast; Can poetry, friendship and a trip to Spain give them the courage to be true to themselves?

    Wealthy, popular Charlotte and quiet, working class Drew couldn’t be more different, but both face a common enemy at Cooke’s Academy in the form of the Stewards – an elite group of students whose power to manipulate school culture is feared by pupils and teachers alike.

    Drew, a newcomer to Cooke’s, must navigate the strict codes of masculinity laid down by the Stewards in order to have a hope of moving on to university, while Charlotte dreams of speaking freely about the constraints and abuses of the culture which is propelling her towards a life she’s not sure she wants. Through drag art and poetry the unlikely pair follow a dangerous trajectory which will lead them closer to one another and further away from the paths laid out for them.

    "Emotional, gripping, and so, so real." – Louise Finch, author of The Eternal Return of Clara Hart

    "Shirley-Anne McMillan's writing is bold, brave and full of integrity. Grapefruit Moon is an up-to-the-minute, but also timeless coming-of-age story – heartfelt, gutsy and complex." – Sheena Wilkinson, author of Hope against Hope

    "Real. Gritty. Heart-wrenching. Thought-provoking." – Sue Divin, author of Guard Your Heart and Truth Be Told

    "Particularly sharp observations on class in Northern Ireland." –  Claire Hennessy, The Irish Times

    "This excellent Northern Irish YA coming of age novel follows the two main character’s lives as they struggle to work out who they are and what they stand for." Sarah Webb, Irish Independent

    "
    It is refreshing to read literature for young people coming out of contemporary Northern Ireland ... it is good to see that writers like McMillan are now continuing the canon."  – Books for Keeps

    "McMillan depicts with clarity the aggressions, small and large, of the classism and patriarchy that wear down their spirits." –  Kirkus Reviews

    "A delicate and candid depiction of two teens’ efforts to shape their uncertain futures while navigating weighty issues." –  Publishers Weekly

    "A thought-provoking and extremely heartfelt read, well worth checking out." – Paper Lanterns

    "An incredible and hard-hitting novel ... I binged this book in one sitting." – Karla's Bookish Life

    "I loved this brilliant YA from the very first page ... I loved the sprinkling of poetry throughout this gripping story too."  – Milo and Gigi's Bookshelf

    "A powerful exploration of the human experience, offering a timely commentary on the complexities of teenage life and the enduring power of resilience and truth. McMillan's masterful storytelling and insightful commentary make this novel a must-read for readers of all ages, especially teens who can better connect with the characters." – ***** NetGalley reader review

    "This is exciting, gripping and so real!" – ***** reader review

    "Relatable, exciting and heart-wrenching, this is a book that will stay with you long after you read it (which won't take long as its impossible to put down!)"  – ***** reader review

    "Just beautiful coming of age story." – ***** reader review

    "This is one young adults and adults won't want to miss."  – ***** reader review

    "Loved this book. So very real with characters to root for."   – ***** reader review

    "Shirley-Anne McMillan's writing is bold, brave and full of integrity. Grapefruit Moon is an up-to-the-minute, but also timeless coming-of-age story -- heartfelt, gutsy and complex."   – ***** reader review

    "The plot kept me turning the pages and whilst the book addresses some serious current social issues there is plenty of warmth and humour as well. I was moved, entertained and challenged. Highly recommended for young adults and oldies like me too!"    – ***** reader review

    "The characters and the settings were so real and by the end I found myself feeling really sad that the book had come to an end. Everything was so believable and you could picture it as tv series. I thoroughly enjoyed it, read it under a day."  – ***** reader review

    "Brilliant, well fleshed out characters and I can completely imagine it all happening in real life. Actually made me cry! It was so moving."   – ***** reader review

    "A fantastic read."   – ***** reader review

    Shirley-Anne McMillan is a writer from Northern Ireland. She has worked as a teacher, an Online Writer in Residence for the Irish Writers Centre, a youth worker with LGBTQ young people and a creative writing tutor. She lives in Co. Down with her family and in her free time she loves playing the guitar and knitting.

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    Description

    "I hadn’t known he’d filmed us.
    He’d never said."

    The pressure – social and academic – is high for the teenage students of an elite school in Belfast; Can poetry, friendship and a trip to Spain give them the courage to be true to themselves?

    Wealthy, popular Charlotte and quiet, working class Drew couldn’t be more different, but both face a common enemy at Cooke’s Academy in the form of the Stewards – an elite group of students whose power to manipulate school culture is feared by pupils and teachers alike.

    Drew, a newcomer to Cooke’s, must navigate the strict codes of masculinity laid down by the Stewards in order to have a hope of moving on to university, while Charlotte dreams of speaking freely about the constraints and abuses of the culture which is propelling her towards a life she’s not sure she wants. Through drag art and poetry the unlikely pair follow a dangerous trajectory which will lead them closer to one another and further away from the paths laid out for them.

    Praise

    "Emotional, gripping, and so, so real." – Louise Finch, author of The Eternal Return of Clara Hart

    "Shirley-Anne McMillan's writing is bold, brave and full of integrity. Grapefruit Moon is an up-to-the-minute, but also timeless coming-of-age story – heartfelt, gutsy and complex." – Sheena Wilkinson, author of Hope against Hope

    "Real. Gritty. Heart-wrenching. Thought-provoking." – Sue Divin, author of Guard Your Heart and Truth Be Told

    "Particularly sharp observations on class in Northern Ireland." –  Claire Hennessy, The Irish Times

    "This excellent Northern Irish YA coming of age novel follows the two main character’s lives as they struggle to work out who they are and what they stand for." Sarah Webb, Irish Independent

    "
    It is refreshing to read literature for young people coming out of contemporary Northern Ireland ... it is good to see that writers like McMillan are now continuing the canon."  – Books for Keeps

    "McMillan depicts with clarity the aggressions, small and large, of the classism and patriarchy that wear down their spirits." –  Kirkus Reviews

    "A delicate and candid depiction of two teens’ efforts to shape their uncertain futures while navigating weighty issues." –  Publishers Weekly

    "A thought-provoking and extremely heartfelt read, well worth checking out." – Paper Lanterns

    "An incredible and hard-hitting novel ... I binged this book in one sitting." – Karla's Bookish Life

    "I loved this brilliant YA from the very first page ... I loved the sprinkling of poetry throughout this gripping story too."  – Milo and Gigi's Bookshelf

    "A powerful exploration of the human experience, offering a timely commentary on the complexities of teenage life and the enduring power of resilience and truth. McMillan's masterful storytelling and insightful commentary make this novel a must-read for readers of all ages, especially teens who can better connect with the characters." – ***** NetGalley reader review

    "This is exciting, gripping and so real!" – ***** reader review

    "Relatable, exciting and heart-wrenching, this is a book that will stay with you long after you read it (which won't take long as its impossible to put down!)"  – ***** reader review

    "Just beautiful coming of age story." – ***** reader review

    "This is one young adults and adults won't want to miss."  – ***** reader review

    "Loved this book. So very real with characters to root for."   – ***** reader review

    "Shirley-Anne McMillan's writing is bold, brave and full of integrity. Grapefruit Moon is an up-to-the-minute, but also timeless coming-of-age story -- heartfelt, gutsy and complex."   – ***** reader review

    "The plot kept me turning the pages and whilst the book addresses some serious current social issues there is plenty of warmth and humour as well. I was moved, entertained and challenged. Highly recommended for young adults and oldies like me too!"    – ***** reader review

    "The characters and the settings were so real and by the end I found myself feeling really sad that the book had come to an end. Everything was so believable and you could picture it as tv series. I thoroughly enjoyed it, read it under a day."  – ***** reader review

    "Brilliant, well fleshed out characters and I can completely imagine it all happening in real life. Actually made me cry! It was so moving."   – ***** reader review

    "A fantastic read."   – ***** reader review

    About the Author

    Shirley-Anne McMillan

    Shirley-Anne McMillan is a writer from Northern Ireland. She has worked as a teacher, an Online Writer in Residence for the Irish Writers Centre, a youth worker with LGBTQ young people and a creative writing tutor. She lives in Co. Down with her family and in her free time she loves playing the guitar and knitting.

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