I was kindly provided Future Leaders of Nowhere by Netgalley. All of the opinions expressed are my own.
Finn and Willa have been picked as team leaders in the future leader camp game. The usually confident Finn doesn’t know what’s throwing her more, the fact she’s leading a team of highly unenthusiastic overachievers or coming up against fierce, competitive Willa. And Willa doesn’t know which is harder, leaving her responsibilities behind to pursue her goals or opening up to someone.
Soon they both realise that the hardest thing of all is balancing their clashing ideals with their unexpected connection. And finding a way to win, of course.
Future Leaders of Nowhere is a sweet YA novel written by Australian author Emily O’Beirne. Featuring a F/F inter-racial romance, this is an adorable summer romance that made me squee, hard. Finn and Willa are both great characters – their personalities are clearly drawn, and they both have their own individual backstories that added a certain realism to their interactions.
Unfortunately, the writing wasn’t great. Emily O’Beirne is clearly still a debut writer, and although the characters were sweet, the plot and pace was just a bit…rocky. The chapters were very short, and they kept jumping over key points which I would’ve liked to have seen. The novel is also split in exactly half between Willa and Finn’s point-of-view. If O’Berine was going to do this, I wish that she could have gone back and forth between their two characters, as she does right at the end.
There is also a mention of bisexuality on page, which still makes me very excited! However, I wasn’t totally happy with how O’Beirne defined bisexuality:
Look, I’m perfectly happy to help you out with difficult concepts. Like that time I explained anaerobic respiration to you, but I do not have the time or energy to explain really basic stuff. Especially when the meaning is in the actual world. Bisexuality. Hear that? Bi.
This really makes bisexuality sound transphobic, especially because Finn is explicitly talking about men and women. I understand the want to get away from making this an issue novel, but a little bit of an explanation would have been great, in my opinion.
Finally, there is a sequel coming out – All the Ways to Here – which I might read if it is available on NetGalley. I think that the story could be more interesting when we are seeing Finn and Willa’s real life problems, rather than talking about them in the abstract. Also, I think being back in the real world will make their relationship and characterisation more interesting.