Future Leaders of Nowhere by Emily O’Beirne
(To be) published by Ylva Publishing on March 15th 2017
Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT
It’s no good having ideals if you’re not tough enough to fight for them.
“Finn’s solid. Not in body, but in being. She’s gravity and kindness and all those good things that anchor.”
“Willa’s confusing. Sometimes she’s this sweet, sensitive soul. Other times she’s like a flaming arrow you hope isn’t coming for you.”
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.
(I received an ARC through YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for my honest opinion. This doesn’t affect my review in any way).
I happened to stumble across a blog tour company offering copies of this book a while back, and the premise sounded really good, so I signed up! I ended up finishing this in almost no time, because the writing was so easy to fly through, so soft, so sweet and comforting, that reading the book was a very enjoyable experience. I didn’t expect to love Future Leaders of Nowhere as much as I did.
We have two points of view (3rd person specific, present tense) and they’re both LGBT female characters! It’s the first book I have ever read that stars two queer girls (and from what I’ve gathered the author tends to write about queer girls a lot, which is awesome)! Finn and Willa were both immensely complex characters I felt identified with, and the rest of the cast of characters were equally interesting and very three-dimensional, which I always love seeing.
The book is set in a camp for overachievers with outstanding leadership skills and I really loved seeing Finn and Willa’s groups of geniuses overcome the tests the teachers gave them. We didn’t get to see much of the actual game they were playing (think extreme Model UN), but I think this was for the best! The book had the perfect length this way.
It’s hard to decide, but out of the two MCs, I would have to choose Willa as my favorite. Determined and strong, but somewhat awkward at relationships, Willa was very fun to read about, and her character development was one of the things I liked the most about the book. She appears to be a difficult person to deal with, but it’s basically because she’s got a difficult life. I loved her story, loved her interactions with other people and especially with Finn.
By the way, the romance was really cute and made me smile all the time. The way Finn and Willa’s relationship blossomed and rose and fell and rose again throughout the book was really beautiful and sweet. I swear, you’ll love it. It all felt so real, and the way they acted around each other was so interesting and kept me glued to my e-book.
There’s not much hype surrounding this book, but if you give it a chance you’ll love it! A diverse read with an interesting, unique plot and a complex set of characters.
In her author’s note, Emily O’Beirne gives a shoutout to all the girls who deserve better representation, and better in general. So I recommend this to every girl out there.