Author(s): William Sutcliffe
Laugh-out-loud funny and instantly recognisable - not since The Inbetweeners has a coming of age story been so irreverent and relatable.
Fifteen-year-old Sam is not a famous vlogger, he's never gone viral, and he doesn't want to be the Next Big Thing. In fact he's ordinary and proud of it.
None of which was a problem until Dad got rich and Mum made the whole family move to London. Now Sam's off to the North London Academy for the Gifted and Talented, where everyone's busy planning Hollywood domination or starting alt-metal psychedelica crossover bands. Sam knows he'll never belong, even if he wanted to. And that's before he ends up on stage wearing nothing but a fur onesie ...
A brilliantly funny look at fitting in, falling out and staying true to your own averageness.
Fifteen-year-old Sam does not consider himself "gifted" or "talented" (unlike his musical older brother, Ethan, and artistic younger sister Freya); he's just average, normal, ordinary, like all the other kids at his school in Stevenage. He likes football like other normal kids and has always found it easy to make friends. But then his dad sells his company (which none of his kids even knew he had), they end up stinking rich, move to London and a new school: North London Academy for the Gifted and Talented - otherwise known as North London Academy for Exactly the Kind of People Sam Instinctively Hates.
There is no football at this school - and absolutely no one like Sam. Suddenly he doesn't know what normal is anymore. He's an outsider and a "freak" and very much alone. Mum is not helping with her need to help him find his authentic creative self hidden beneath his negative emotions and rigid male brain - all while publishing it online on her modern mothering blog. But perhaps Ethan and Freya can help in amongst the bickering - and perhaps Sam can even help himself ...
It may not sound like it but this book is absolutely hilarious, a brilliant comic novel which we just don't see enough of for this age group - and so relatable for anyone who has ever felt awkward, lacking in coolness, socially inept and alone - which is pretty much everyone. It's an ode to ordinariness and I loved it.
Probably best for 14+ due to Sam's constant teenage fantasies but could definitely be read by younger readers ready for slightly more mature content.
Whip-smart, warm and hilariously well observed comedy from internationally bestselling author William Sutcliffe this is Adrian Mole for a new generation
'Dangerously funny ... To the parent, every line rings true this is a writer with real live teenagers and he is especially good on the ups and downs of sibling relations and young love. Sutcliffe is gifted and talented. I hope the prizes flood in. I'll be giving this to every teenager I know' - Alex O'Connell, The Times
'The Gifted, the Talented and Me made me cry with laughter. A comic novel like this is a gift to the nation' - Amanda Craig
William Sutcliffe was born in London in 1971. He is the author of the international bestseller Are You Experienced?, The Love Hexagon, New Boy, Bad Influence, Whatever Makes You Happy and We See Everything. His first YA novel, The Wall, was shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal in 2014, and his second, Concentr8, was shortlisted for the YA Book Prize 2016. His work has been translated into twenty-seven languages. He lives in Edinburgh.