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This powerful, timely novel in verse exposes provocative truths about periods, sex, shame, and going viral for all the wrong reasons.
After school one day, Frankie, a lover of physics and astronomy, has her first sexual experience with quiet and gorgeous Benjamin—and gets her period. It’s only blood, they agree. But soon a gruesome meme goes viral, turning an intimate, affectionate afternoon into something sordid, mortifying, and damaging. In the time it takes to swipe a screen, Frankie’s universe implodes. Who can she trust? Not Harriet, her suddenly cruel best friend, and certainly not Benjamin, the only one who knows about the incident. As the online shaming takes on a horrifying life of its own, Frankie begins to wonder: is her real life over?
Author Lucy Cuthew vividly portrays what it is to be a teen today with this fearless and ultimately uplifting novel in verse. Brimming with emotion, the story captures the intensity of friendships, first love, and female desire, while unflinchingly exploring the culture of online and menstrual shaming. Sure to be a conversation starter, Blood Moon is the unforgettable portrait of one girl’s fight to reclaim her reputation and to stand up against a culture that says periods are dirty.
About the Author
Lucy Cuthew has published more than thirty children’s books, including picture books, educational titles, and nonfiction, and she regularly speaks on the subject of children’s books for the BBC. She was a children’s editor for more than ten years and recently graduated with a master’s in writing for young people from Bath Spa University. Lucy Cuthew lives in Cardiff, Wales, with her husband and young twins.
This beautifully written novel in verse is equal parts tender and tough, covering a broad swath of adolescent concerns, from orgasms to the dark side of the internet. Cuthew’s depiction of online bullying and harassment is graphic and spot-on; funny dialogue helps to lighten the intensity...A powerful, fiercely feminist novel that normalizes menstruation and confronts destructive cyberculture.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Written in verse with bits of concrete poetry, this book captures the joy of a crush, the despair of a lost friend, and the humiliation of being “that girl” on the internet. The need to normalize young women’s body functions and desires is woven throughout. An excellent examination of young women’s friendships and desires set against the misogyny of their society. A great first purchase.
—School Library Journal (starred review)
Many important issues are addressed in this novel-in-verse, and each is tackled with honesty and without sensationalism: the complexities of friendships, maturity, and solid parental support; the painful toxicity of cyberbullying and slut shaming; the thrill of one’s first boyfriend and first sexual experience. This is, at its core, a must-read novel of empowerment that attempts to normalize periods and offer strength to the innocent who find themselves the center of viral humiliation.
—Booklist (starred review)
Frankie’s story is piercing, raw, and true—not to mention relentlessly gripping. It’s also suffused with the sweetness and joy of being young and soaking up the marvels of our wondrous universe. This is female adolescence, crystallized. And it’s astounding.
—Lauren Myracle, New York Times best-selling author
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...Cuthew’s verse is sensitively written, enlivened by hashtags and typographical flourishes that successfully convey Frankie’s feelings.
—Publishers Weekly Online