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If You Still Recognise Me

Written by Cynthia So

Key Stage 4 Family / Home Stories Gritty Reads Romance / Relationship Stories

LoveReading View on If You Still Recognise Me

This smart, sunny story of summer crushes, queer romance, friendship, fandom and family reconciliations is a dazzling delight

June 2022 Book of the Month

Multi-stranded and suffused in sapphic love, Cynthia So’s If You Still Recognise Me debut is a compassionate, cute ode to fandom, finding love, and finding your people. The novel also deftly explores the intersection of sexism and racism, homophobia, and abusively manipulative relationships while remaining a super-sweet coming of age story that’s populated by characters who will make many a heart melt.

Elsie is British-Chinese, bisexual, and has a serious crush on Ada, who she met on a comic fandom forum. Though separated by the Atlantic, Elsie is about to disclose her feelings when Joan, her best friend from childhood, returns to study at Oxford Uni after moving to Hong Kong. Cue all sorts of unexpected complications. 

Elsie is also still struggling with the lingering effects of an abusively controlling ex, whom she now suspects is one of those “men who see Asian women as submissive and obedient playthings they can dump all their problems on and then discard.” In addition, Elsie’s family is reeling from the death of Gung Gung, her grandad. Why hadn’t they visited him for eight years, and why is her Uncle Kevin so absent? At least Elsie has her new gay, and possibly asexual, comic store co-worker to turn to.

A quest to do something wonderful for Ada and her family facilitates a superb representation of older lesbian, gay, bi and non-binary characters – individuals leading gorgeously fulfilling lives who inspire Elsie as she finds herself falling deeply in love, resulting in a sparkling, satisfyingly sincere summer read.

Joanne Owen

If You Still Recognise Me Synopsis

Elsie has a crush on Ada, the only person in the world who truly understands her. Unfortunately, they've never met in real life and Ada lives an ocean away. But Elsie has decided it's now or never to tell Ada how she feels. That is, until her long-lost best friend Joan walks back into her life.

In a summer of repairing broken connections and building surprising new ones, Elsie realises that she isn't nearly as alone as she thought. But now she has a choice to make.

A lyrical contemporary story about falling in love and finding yourself in the process, for fans of The Black Flamingo, The Falling in Love Montage and Alice Oseman.

If You Still Recognise Me Press Reviews

'An epic fandom, a scavenger hunt for a lost love and an ode to cultural inheritance - this is a wonderfully heartfelt and joyously queer romance.' - Lauren James, author of The Loneliest Girl in the Universe

'If You Still Recognise Me is a poignant, perfectly formed debut about queer love, fandom and family.'- Lex Croucher, author of Reputation

'A beautiful and intricately layered tale of friendship, fandom and finding yourself - I absolutely adored it.' - Sophie Cameron, author of Out of the Blue

'Exploring the bonds of friendship, family, fandom, culture and queer community, this is a story about finding who you really are at the heart of all the things you love.' - Sera Milano, author of This Can Never Not Be Real

'A celebration of fannish glee, queer joy and family in all senses of the word. If You Still Recognise Me asks what it means to find yourself, when we are all more than a single story. I adored it.' - Kat Dunn, author of Dangerous Remedy

'Beautifully written with moments of sheer lyricism. A must-read for humans of all ages and walks of life. I loved it so much!' - Wibke Brueggemann, author of Love is for Losers

'If You Still Recognise Me by Cynthia So is just so SO perfect. Refreshing, relatable and raw in its honesty, this is the book I wish I'd had as a queer teen discovering my identity.' - Sarah Underwood, author of Lies We Sing to the Sea

'If You Still Recognise Me is a moving and heart-warming story about queer love, family, culture and fandom and So's has a uniquely poetic style that sees beauty in the everyday and makes the familiar feel fresh and new.' - Ciara Smyth, author of Not My Problem

'This wonderful book is both a tender coming-of-age romance and a tapestry of queer identity that spans oceans, generations, and stages of life ... Suffused with queer wistfulness and the ache to be known, So's debut is as intimate and revelatory as the first touch of a first crush's hand.' - Riley Redgate, author of Seven Ways We Lie

'A lyrical, complex tale of friendship, family, and all the stories we tell ourselves - true and not - about what it means to love' - Kelly Loy Gilbert, author of When We Were Infinite

'Cynthia So deftly weaves a story that explores queerness, love, and relationships across distance, both geographical and time. An accomplished debut with shades of Nina LaCour, If You Still Recognise Me is the perfect summer-time read.' - Lizzie Huxley-Jones, author and editor

Book Information

ISBN: 9781788953443
Publication date: 9th June 2022
Author: Cynthia So
Publisher: Stripes Publishing an imprint of Little Tiger Press Group
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 384 pages
Year Groups: Key Stage 4
Topics: Family / Home Stories, Gritty Reads, Romance / Relationship Stories, Sexuality / Relationships

About Cynthia So

Cynthia So was born in Hong Kong and lives in London. They graduated from the University of Oxford with a BA in Classics in 2016. Their work has appeared in Uncanny, Strange Horizons and Cast of Wonders, among other places. They are also one of the new voices in PROUD, an anthology of LGBTQ+ YA stories, poems and art by LGBTQ+ creators, published by Stripes in March 2019.

More About Cynthia So

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