By Author / Illustrator
Freja Nicole Woolf
Walker Books Ltd
Paperback / softback
A laugh-out-loud LGBTQ+ romantic comedy from a stellar debut talent. Life is fraught for 14-year-old, zodiac-obsessed Cat. First there's a minor bus-meets-girl accident, then there's a boy-next-door suitor who can't take a hint, but the most desperate disaster of all is Cat's crush on the stunning and poetic Alison Bridgewater. According to their star charts, Cat and Alison are the perfect match. To which Alison (woe alas!) remains oblivious.
But when the dangerously cool Morgan Delaney wades into the river to save Cat's sketchbook of kissing Disney princesses, she sends Cat's stars spinning. Can Cat get over her Alison obsession and follow her heart towards Morgan? Or should she exercise caution? After all, Morgan is a Gemini, and if there's one thing Cat's Bible to the Stars has taught her it's that you can never - ever - trust a Gemini...
Never Trust a Gemini is a lively summer read, perfect for anyone looking for a light romance with some fun characters, zodiac obsessions and fabulous friendships.
Disaster-prone Cat thinks she is in love with the perfect Alison Bridgewater, until enigmatic Morgan Delaney arrives on the scene. Unfortunately for Cat, Morgan is a Gemini and, as the title of the story tells us, you can never, ever trust a Gemini. But can Cat see beyond the stars and find out where her best future lies?
I enjoyed this LGBTQ+ romance with themes of friendship and being the best person we can be. Never Trust a Gemini approaches romance in a light way complete with occasional slapstick humour and a main character who can't see what is staring her in the face, while the reader can; we can't wait to see when, or if, Cat will finally realise where her path to happiness truly lies.
The friendships in the book are supportive as well as realistic, and the occasional bullying among the friendship group is called out, while Cat's often mortifying mis-steps reflect the awkwardness of first love and learning about the kind of person we want to become.
320 pages / Ages 12+ / Reviewed by Elen Green
Suggested Reading Age 14+
Cat wants to fall in love and according to the stars, the timing is right. Things don't always go to plan for Cat though, and before she knows it she is somehow in a relationship with Jamie whilst believing she loves Alison. Perhaps the stars will show her the way to the person of her dreams?
Never trust a Gemini is an extremely lively and fast-paced read. The tone throughout is light hearted and comedy-driven, whilst dealing with the everyday problems that young people deal with at school and home, such as friendships, casual bullying, and family relationships. Cat's sexual orientation and LGBTQ relationships are discussed openly and casually throughout removing any stigmas attached to identity, and her mishaps and ditzy character reflect her at times blunt delivery and actions.
The book is written throughout with superlative frivolous and fanciful language, and relies heavily on star sign references. I may be out of touch, but I did find the writing draining at times, and felt it would have benefitted from heavier editing. Although the book could certainly be an opener for discussion regarding LGBTQ+, I do feel it is handled rather lightheartedly with all parties accepting without question and reflecting on their previous stances. I am not sure how representative this would be of real teenage life experience, but is encouraging in the way it portrays such life experiences as the norm.
An easy read and full of funny moments, especially in the latter half of the book, I feel it would appeal to reluctant readers looking for a teenage romance.
320 pages / Reviewed by Lorraine Ansell, school librarian
Suggested Reading Age 11+
Never Trust a Gemini is a humorous story following Cat, who is obsessed with star signs and has a crush on her friend Alison Bridgewater. It is advertised as 'A sweet funny romantic comedy about a girl who likes girls'. I enjoyed the format of the book as it was broken up with text messages and group chats or notes at the end of each chapter. The chapters are divided into zodiac headings and there’s a lot of horoscope discussion within which will appeal to younger teenagers.
This book contains all of the usual dilemmas that students may face; the bullying, unkind comments, mean girls, gossip, friendships and love interests. I loved the part where Cat got called out for not standing up and speaking out against the bullying. "I'm not going to pretend, Cat. I thought it was lousy of you. You just watched it happen. Do you think that makes you any better than Siobhan?? Just bc you didn't throw the phone yourself doesn't mean you weren't responsible. She did it but you enabled her."
Although the main character is 14 years old and a member of the popular, pretty crowd, I felt that she seemed a bit immature for her age and was unusually incident-prone. Cat manages to have a minor accident with a bus and set fire to her house! The writing style felt a bit rambling at times and was peppered with language that I've never heard a teenager use; "uber-licious?", "Gooseberries?" and repetitive references to Aphrodite.
I am not the target age for this book so I'd be interested to see how it is received by the age group that it is aimed at. Never Trust a Gemini celebrates LGBTQ+ romance and has some laugh out loud moments.
320 pages / Reviewed by Clair Bossons, school librarian
Suggested Reading Age 11+