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Both Sides Now (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Competitive debate is supposed to be about defending a position well, no matter your personal opinion. And that's fine with Finch...until the Finals topic is chosen: trans rights. As a trans man, how can Finch be asked to debate his own right to exist? But he's relying on a finals win to smooth his way into college, especially since his increasingly dysfunctional family just doesn't have the money to send him where he wants. Add to that his growing questions about his sexuality (via a crush on his debate partner...), and Finch is finding senior year way harder than he expected. A smart, hilarious, romantic book about figuring out where your line in the sand is—and what you'll do when you reach it. — Lily (RBB Staff)

— From Both Sides Now


A witty and warm-hearted novel about a trans teen finding his place in the world perfect for fans of  Red, White and Royal Blue

There’s only one thing standing between Finch Kelly and a full-blown case of high school senioritis: the National Speech & Debate Tournament. Taking home the gold would not only be the pinnacle of Finch’s debating career, but the perfect way to launch himself into his next chapter: college in Washington, DC, and a history-making career as the first trans congressman. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, for starters, Finch could develop a teeny tiny crush on his very attractive, very taken, and very gay debate partner, Jonah. Never mind that Finch has never considered whether he’s interested in more than just girls. And that dream of college in DC? Finch hasn’t exactly been accepted anywhere yet, let alone received the full-ride scholarship he'll need to make this dream a reality.

Worst of all, though, is this year's topic for Nationals: transgender rights. If he wants to cinch the gold, and get into college, Finch might have to argue against his own humanity.

People say there are two sides to every argument. But, as Finch is about to discover, some things—like who you are and who you love—are not up for debate.

About the Author

Peyton Thomas is a freelance journalist with bylines in Pitchfork, Billboard, and Vanity Fair. He was a 2016 Lambda Literary Fellow, studying under Benjamin Alire Sáenz. He lives in Toronto, and Both Sides Now will be his debut novel.

Praise For…

* "Queer issues are given center stage, evoking the lived experiences of many in a sensitive and sympathetic way...These characters feel nuanced and genuine, with their identities and backgrounds as integral parts of the plot and characterization. Emotionally charged and politically relevant, this is a must read." —Kirkus

* “Thomas’ debut is achingly vulnerable… There’s no debate: Both Sides Now is a compelling, heartfelt must-read.” 

"Debut author Thomas’s conversational writing style is highly engaging and should draw readers in with a compelling story of self-realization and a bit of youthful romance."  —The Horn Book

“A sharp, witty narrative… full of cerebral teens with big plans and snark to spare.” —SLJ

"This coming-of-age romance poignantly depicts self-discovery and finding your place in the world." —BuzzFeed

"A delightful YA read.”  —The Advocate

“A heartfelt, witty debut novel.” —Buffalo News
Product Details
ISBN: 9780593322819
ISBN-10: 0593322819
Publisher: Dial Books
Publication Date: August 24th, 2021
Pages: 304
Language: English