I received a copy of Exit Plans for Teenage Freaks from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Exit Plans for Teenage Freaks by ‘Nathan Burgoine is the story of 17-year-old Cole’s last few weeks of high school. Cole is desperate to get out of his hometown, where he’s been treated like a freak by some classmates – and been smothered by his parents – after he was kidnapped for a day as a four-year-old.
But just when the escape of college and all it represents – namely, classmates who don’t know his history and independence from his parents – is on the horizon, he starts randomly teleporting when he walks through doors.
Needless to say, Cole is desperate to a) get the teleporting under control and b) keep anyone from finding out about it. He wants to take his exams, enjoy the Rainbow Club’s end-of-year party, and get to work on his sign-language interpreting qualifications. And, well, you know what they say about the best laid plans…
Cole is not good at winging it – he carries around a bullet journal 24/7 and plans conversations in advance – but he’s going to have to. He’s a wonderfully funny, relatable, nerdy, awkward, and utterly realistic teenager who may be developing a small phobia about doorways.
The plot was a great deal of fun, and the characters were wonderful. Cole is gay and most (all?) of his friends are in the school’s Rainbow Club – but that’s not the plot. No one’s queerness is a plot point (weeeellll OK there is a coming-out arc for one of the secondary characters, but it’s far from the focus of the story). Everyone’s identity is simply beautifully, casually, just how they are. For instance, Nat uses they/them pronouns. This is never pointed out or explained or justified. It just happens. And Nat is never misgendered. Because this book is about teleporting and teenagers graduating high school and awkwardness. It’s not about queer tragedy.
I enjoyed this immensely.
Exit Plans for Teenage Freaks by ‘Nathan Burgoine
Expected publication: December 11, 2018