First Chapter Thoughts: Exit Plans for Teenage Freaks

*guilty expression* This is one of those books that I’ve been so excited to read, that I paradoxically ended up putting it off and off and off. I really want to read it, but man. MAN.

But! It is a pandemic and I have a giant TBR and frankly, I could do with some cuteness right now. So, first chapter time. What I know about this book is admittedly limited – m/m rep, Deaf and ASL rep, and possibly some ace rep though I might be misremembering. I also have read other work by ‘Nathan Burgoine, my favourite being Of Echoes Born, a collection of interconnected queer speculative short fiction.

The first chapter sets up the conflict quickly – Cole opens one door and walks through an entirely different one, apparently teleporting from school to the aviation museum. One thing I’m immediately impressed with is that Cole freaks out about the possibility of lost time – he’s clearly had blackouts before, and I’m very curious to know more about why. I also love the casual establishment of the queer friend group. It’s so nice to see queer kids in packs instead of the Sole Lonely Queer Boy, and the inclusion of a character with they/them pronouns makes me particularly happy. (It’s so smooth too!)

I’m not sure where Exit Plans is going from here, but it’s a great first chapter, with some bonuses about the intricacies of ASL. Onwards!

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