Review: If You Still Recognise Me by Cynthia So

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Elsie has a crush on Ada, the only person in the world who truly understands her. Unfortunately, they’ve never met in real life and Ada lives an ocean away. But Elsie has decided it’s now or never to tell Ada how she feels. That is, until her long-lost best friend Joan walks back into her life.
In a summer of repairing broken connections and building surprising new ones, Elsie realises that she isn’t nearly as alone as she thought. But now she has a choice to make…

I had very high hopes for this book, and it didn’t let me down. I don’t read too much YA anymore, but this one definitely fell to the older end of YA, which I appreciated. At first, Elsie felt quite young and some of the comments she was making did make her seem a little immature. But I definitely saw her change and grow as the book went on, and she did seem to mature throughout.

There was definitely a lot of nostalgia for Tumblr-era fanfiction, and I really enjoyed reading about Elsie’s love for comic books and the fact she ends up working in a comic-book shop was relatable to me as a bookseller too!

Maybe loving someone shouldn’t feel like missing them.

Elsie doesn’t always make the best choices, but these are justified and discussed with the people around her for the most part, and in the few instances where it felt like these decisions affected those around her, they were usually faced in some way. I did really like the side-characters and there was a lot of mystery surrounding Elsie’s family history which I really enjoyed reading about and kept me reading on.

I read this book with Courtney on holiday, and we read it in less than 24 hours. There was so much depth to the characters and I loved the exploration of identity and sexuality that was discussed throughout. Elsie is Chinese-British and there was a lot of introspective discussion of this.

Like you’re constantly reaching for something that isn’t close enough.

This book had a lot of heavy discussions and I loved the way it made me think. It felt quite emotional and the idea of loss was prevalent throughout – loss of friends, time, love, family, contact. There was so much to love and I’m so glad I picked this up alongside Courtney.

★★★★★
4.5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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One thought on “Review: If You Still Recognise Me by Cynthia So

  1. Pingback: August Wrap-Up – The Books are Everywhere

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