A British teen tries to rebuild her life after her mother’s death and come to terms with her sexuality in this sophomore novel.
Helvetica, Vetty for short, has a lot on her plate. After her mother’s death from lymphoma four years ago, Vetty has taken on more than her share of responsibilities in order to help her father and younger sister. Returning to London from the countryside, where the family moved after her Mum’s death, Vetty is worried about her relationship with her best friend, Pez, her childhood neighbor. Then there’s her sexuality: Vetty is pretty sure she’s bisexual, but having only kissed boys and with experiencing so much societal biphobia, she doesn’t feel ready to come out. On top of this, she’s unsure who, if anyone, she’s starting to develop feelings for—Pez, Pez’s friend Rob, or Pez’s girlfriend, March, with whom Vetty is becoming fast friends. Collins handles these questions with care and respect, carrying over that thoughtfulness as she frankly explores other underdiscussed facets of teenage sexuality, including masturbation, body hair removal, and pornography and porn addiction. A biphobic incident involving Vetty’s lesbian aunt is treated with exceptional insight. Vetty and her family are white while light brown–skinned Pez is implied to be biracial (black/white), and March is cued as black.
Quiet and compassionate. (Realistic