Generally, I think the characters made this book what it is; yes there were complex parts to the novel and a lot going on (I especially loved the search for Theresa which felt very reminiscent of Everything Leads to You if you’ve read that) but had Elsie, Ada, Joan, Ritika, Felix, and Elsie’s family not been so fleshed out, this novel wouldn’t have felt half as vibrant and full of life.
With fanfic, comics, and fandoms galore this is definitely one for the nerds! I loved how unashamedly passionate all of the characters are about the things they love. When you’re a teenager, there’s definitely ‘cool’ hobbies, but it was so refreshing to see people who were so engrossed in these fictional worlds – definitely people I would have been friends with had I known them at school!

8.5Cute, Loveable, Fun
Touching on so much about the characters’ identities, this book also had some great rep; from bisexuality, asexuality, as well as Elsie’s dual nationality, there were so many avenues to be explored, and I can only imagine how brilliant this book would feel in the hands of a reader who feels like they see themselves in the characters and on the pages of this book. I loved how we not only saw LGBT teenagers but also adults and elderly people too, again giving this book some fantastic depth and representation.
Probably one of the best coming-of-age novels I’ve read in a while, I loved this book for not only its loveable characters and interesting plot, but for the way it managed to capture adolescent feelings I’m sure a plethora of readers have experienced. I will definitely be checking out more of Cynthia So’s books!
Title: If You Still Recognise Me
Author: Cynthia So
Type: Fiction
Published: 2022
Pages: 409
TW: Homophobia, Racism, Abuse Relationship

If You Still Recognise Me centres on Elsie – having just finished her exams, her future is looming but she’s happy to (hopefully) have a summer of fun. She’s been crushing on Ada for a while now, they share so many interests, and are constantly talking about their favourite comic, Eden Recoiling, there’s just one problem: Ada lives thousands of miles away and they’ve never actually met. Deciding how to broach her feelings for Ada with her, someone from her past makes a reappearance; her old best friend Joan who moved to Hong Kong and then ghosted her is the last person Elsie expected to see in Oxford and they certainly have some catching up to do. Still a little hurt from the years of silence, Elsie is wary of Joan, but as they reconnect, more feelings begin to arise, and maybe Joan isn’t the stranger Elsie assumed she’d be?

“Maybe loving someone shouldn’t feel like missing them. like you’re constantly reaching for something that isn’t close enough.” 

Review overview



Similar Posts