Reviews /

If you Still Recognise Me

Authored by Cynthia So
Published by Little Tiger Press Group

Tagged , , , ,

Despite some clunky description this debut novel from Cynthia So is a story definitely worth sharing.

Elsie’s story of coming out in the summer between high-school and university at Cambridge is one that many young women would enjoy and relate to. So juggles a number of story threads, perhaps one too many, but it reflects real life more and reads like the memoir it appears to be.

Elsie gets her first job and a range of new friends. Usually quite isolated, Elsie reconnects with an old friend from primary school, starts working in a graphic novel store, gets ready for university and starts to unravel a couple of family mysteries. It sounds like a pretty hectic summer. But it’s also the summer that her grandmother from Hong Kong comes to stay and, as often happens when family comes to stay, old grudges unfurl and family secrets start to bubble to the surface.

At the same time, Angsty Elsie is really trying to work out some stuff about herself. Why did her old friend Joan ignore her letters? Why did she fall for the ratty Leo? Does her online friend Ada feel the same about Elsie as Elsie does for her? Elsie has a lot of worries but as finishing high school and starting university tends to, Elsie is looking at her life and trying to figure out who she is – and all of these questions help her discover a little bit more about herself.

I enjoyed this light-hearted romp of a summer romance. Importantly, it also represents a range of characters for young readers to see themselves in. Fun and frothy but also dealing with important stories about identity, family secrets and friendship, If you Still Recognise Me deserves its accolades and its readership.