A poignant and moving LGBTQ+ story that explores sexuality and masculinity with a touch of humour, by twice Carnegie Medal-winner and bestselling author Patrick Ness.
Ant Stevenson has many questions, like when did he stop being a virgin? Are there degrees of virginity? And is it different for boys? Especially for boys who like boys? Ant tries to figure out the answers to his questions as he balances his relationships with three very different boys: Charlie, who is both virulently homophobic and yet close friends with Ant; Jack, whose camp behaviour makes him the target of Charlie's rage; and finally Freddie, who just wants Ant to try out for the rugby team. From the bestselling author of the Chaos Walking trilogy comes a timely and important story about inclusivity, prejudice and friendship.
PRAISE FOR DIFFERENT FOR BOYS
"Different For Boys by Patrick Ness explores teen sexuality, friendship, and romance in this frank and humorous LGBTQ+ story about Ant who is finding all his relationships increasing complicated." Books of 2023, BBC Entertainment & Arts
"Hormones crackle in this coming-out story… Broken rules and pushed boundaries abound in this punchy postmodern satire… Not content with merely writing a moving coming-out story, he has also constructed a postmodern satire of the limitations of the young adult novel…The hormones are crackling and the dynamics within the group twist and turn as they explore their sexuality. The denouement, while not unexpected, is written with freshness and feeling. Ness is perceptive, plots beautifully and writes like a dream." Times
"Featuring black 'redactions' of bad language and Bendix’s elegant, minimalist illustrations, this slim, powerful 14+ story of friendship, attraction and internalised homophobia follows Ant Stevenson and his complex relationships with three boys at school. A quietly unforgettable book from an award winning author." Guardian
Patrick Ness is the award-winning and bestselling author of the Chaos Walking trilogy, which inspired a major motion picture. He is also the author of critically acclaimed novels A Monster Calls, More Than This, Release, The Rest of Us Just Live Here, And the Ocean Was Our Sky and Burn. He has won every major prize in children’s fiction, including the Carnegie Medal twice. He has also written the screenplay for the film version of A Monster Calls and Class, the BBC Doctor Who drama.
Tea Bendix is a Danish illustrator, author, graphic designer and live drawing performer, based in Copenhagen. She graduated from the Danish School of Design and works across different media, including picture books, non-fiction, apps, children’s radio and drawings for TV.
Different For Boys is tender, funny, and hard to put down. Bendix’s illustrations add a great sense of atmosphere at times playful and at times a gloomy mess – not unlike adolescence in general. I also liked the clear narrative voice in this graphic novel. It is assured but humble, wry but sincere.
Jimmy, Better Read than Dead Bookshop, Newtown
… the book’s brevity allows for an unflinching focus and sincerity that elevates what might otherwise be a simple story: this is a book which begs to be read, pondered, and read again. While Different for Boys will naturally resonate most with queer young men, I would wholeheartedly recommend it for any teenager navigating the bewildering and complex world of love and sex.
Joe Murray, Readings
The brevity of this story adds to its power, distilling the plot to its most necessary, brutal, loving elements. [Blanking] masterful.
Kirkus (starred review)
Within this beautifully crafted package lies a poignant story of a boy reaching out in loneliness and grasping unvarnished truth.
Ness delivers an authentic-feeling story that interrogates the idea that teens are “too young to read about the stuff we actually do. Black-and-white pencil illustrations by Bendix provide an expressive complement to concise, sensitive, and thought-provoking text in this un-put-downable, easily devoured read.
Publishers Weekly (starred review)