I'm trying to work out why I chose to read Loner. It was partly the hype; the first I heard of Georgina Young's Loner was that it was winner of the 2019 Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing. The description sounded enticing, with mention of roller DJs, Harry Potter fans and old school photography. I suspect I was also riding high on the Normal People wave and may have seen an article comparing Loner to Sally Rooney's exceptionally popular book.
Whatever lead me to Loner was not what I found in the book and that is little surprise.
Had I properly read the blurb, I would have realised that a book about a university dropout aimlessly navigating social isolation, unrequited love and a perpetual sense of failure was never going to be exciting reading. In fact, it was all rather bland.
Perhaps it was that my own memories of university were of an identical inertia, an inability to function that slowly marched its way to a bone-grinding depression? Whatever the case, Loner was not the quirky, uplifting book I was in the market for and perhaps the hint was in the title?
Despite my reservations and lukewarm reception, I strongly suspect that this will somehow become a television series. The critical hype is immense - hence the Text Prize - but for those of us seeking a bit of escape during the worst year ever? Not so much. Ultimately, Loner reminded me of why I don't read New Adult fiction.
I give Loner an okay three out of five stars. Recommended if you're looking for the post-millennial version of Douglas Coupland's Generation X.
I received an electronic copy of this book from Netgalley. In my search for superior young adult fiction, I will always provide an honest review, whether books are provided to me or purchased by me.