In a follow-up to 365 Days (2011), emotive British lesbian teen Clem Atkins writes a diary entry for each day of the year.
When the story opens, on January 2, Clem is happily but secretly seeing her emo girlfriend, Han. School starts, and with it comes a variety of social joys and woes. The new art teacher, Miss Smith, is unexpectedly attractive. There is awkwardness with Clem's former friend, Alice, whose romantic advances Clem rejected the previous year. Han becomes attached to Miss Smith, and Clem seeks comfort from Alice. True to the diary format, the narration is informal and episodic. Clem's voice is contemporary and full of hashtags (e.g. #TryingNotToCry) as well as British terminology and slang. American readers will have to work out what it means to get an A* on an exam or “look like a right tit in a tabard,” but the interpersonal and family dramas are easily recognizable. Clem writes frankly about having sex without going into graphic detail, and her feelings about coming out to friends and family are believably ambivalent. Readers may cringe at some of Clem's less-thoughtful decisions, and her desire to get married while still a teenager comes as a surprise, but she remains sympathetic throughout.
Funny, engaging and accessible. (Fiction. 12-18)