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This groundbreaking LGBT young adult novel is refusing to shy away from gay teen sex

Get an exclusive first look at Penguin's 'Jack of Hearts (And Other Parts)'.

2018-06-21

From Noah Can't Even to Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (better known now as LoveSimon), the last couple of years have seen a longer-overdue explosion of young adult novels tailored to an LGBT+ audience.

But while school libraries and bedrooms of gay teens across the land are all the better for it, it's safe to say that much LGBT young adult fiction has played it pretty safe when it comes to portraying the reality of gay teen sex.

Now, however, a groundbreaking new release from Penguin Random House is set to offer a frank and fierce exploration of teen sexuality - and we've got an exclusive first look at the cover ahead of its release this October.

Jack of Heart(And Other Parts) by L.C Rosen charts the story of Jack Rothman, an "unapologetically queer teen" whose life is turned upside down when an anonymous stalker tries to blackmail him back into the closet.

A synopsis reads: "Jack Rothman has a lot of sex – and he's not ashamed of it. In all honesty, he’s completely fine with it, even when other people’s perceptions and prejudices come into play. He can handle the relentless gossip, the unfounded rumours and being ostracised for no other reason than being himself.

Jack of Hearts (And Other Parts) will be released on eBook by Penguin on 30 October and in Paperback on 7 February 2019

"That’s why he starts writing a teen sex advice column for his best friend’s website, because every teenager – regardless of sexuality or gender – has valid questions they’re too ashamed to ask and Jack might be the only person brave enough to answer them.

"But one thing Jack wasn’t expecting to face are the persistent and threatening love letters that attempt to force him to curb his sexuality and personality. Now it's up to Jack and his best friends to uncover his stalker – before their obsession with him becomes dangerous."

Billed as an "out-and-proud YA mystery novel with a fresh and fearless queer protagonist", Jack Of Hearts (And Other Parts) is set to be released as an e-book this October and before coming out in Paperback in February 2019.

Speaking exclusively to Attitude, author L.C. Rosen says: "Teens have sex, and that shouldn't be a big deal - just ask teens. And being queer is a continuous process of coming out - not just as queer, but as the kind of queer you are, and not the kind people expect you to be based on stereotypes and what society thinks is appropriate behaviour. 

Author L.C. Rosen has already published adult novels including 'All Men of Genius' and 'Depth'

"There's nothing wrong with being queer and slutty and wearing makeup, but for some reason, people think that's 'too much'.

"Why do they get to decide how other people express themselves?"

He adds: "This book is sex positive and queer positive. It's about staying out in a world that doesn't want you to be out. 

"It's about being the kind of queer person you want to be without fear of anyone telling you that it's them, and not you, who get decide what types of queer are acceptable."

Ben Horslen, Fiction Publisher, Penguin Random House Children’s, says: "Jack’s voice captivated me from the first page of this fabulous novel. Out, proud and unashamed, he felt immediately different from many of the gay characters we see in young adult fiction.

 

"At a moment when our industry is rightly striving to ensure that all young people can find themselves represented in the books we publish, this is a timely, important book that is frank and honest about life as a teenager in today’s world.

"And on top of that, it’s a genuinely chilling mystery that kept me guessing almost to the last page.’

Jack of Hearts (And Other Parts) will be released on eBook by Penguin on 30 October and in Paperback on 7 February 2019.

You can follow author L.C. Rosen on Twitter and pre-order your copy here.