cover image Blood Moon

Blood Moon

Lucy Cuthew. Walker US, $18.99 (416p) ISBN 978-1-5362-1503-8

Though Frankie and Harriet have been best friends forever, Frankie feels like they’re growing apart. Frankie loves astronomy, but all Harriet seems to care about is boys (“Does she actually like him/ or does she just like flirting?”), while Harriet thinks Frankie “can be/ such a nun.” By the time Frankie gets together with fellow science lover Benjamin Jones, she and Harriet aren’t speaking. When someone creates a meme about Frankie getting her period during a moment of intimacy with Benjamin, it’s easy for Frankie to blame Harriet—and Benjamin, of course, since he is the only one who knew that it happened. Feeling betrayed and utterly alone, Frankie must find a way to persevere as the internet piles on to shame her. In her debut novel, Cuthew flips a horror story about toxic masculinity and internet-enabled misogyny into a tale of empowerment as Frankie begins to see she’s not in the wrong, and she and her friends reclaim each other and the narrative. The plot holds few surprises, especially around the meme maker’s identity, but Cuthew’s verse is sensitively written, enlivened by hashtags and typographical flourishes that successfully convey Frankie’s feelings. Ages 14–up. Agent: Rachel Mann, Jo Unwin Literary. (Sept.)