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Robbie Couch Interview!

So honoured to have our very first podcast guest be author Robbie Couch! I am a huge fan of Robbie, who writes some very special YA novels that I HIGHLY recommend you check out.

I would describe his novel "The Sky Blues" as a comfort book. I have read it twice now, and both times I have happy cried at all the queer joy throughout the story. Sixteen-year-old Theo would have absolutely devoured this and held it close (much like I do currently) - to have stories like this is imperative. It showcases healthy and strong friendships (and how they navigate tricky waters), the effects amazing and caring teachers can have on students and their well-being and development, and finding role models and community in unlikely places.

This story does contain depictions of homophobia and racism - but what is the queer community if not resilient? The joy in this book comes from strong, well-written and grounded characters that stand up for what they believe in, and aren’t afraid of being unapologetically themselves. One of my favourite aspects of the novel is Sky, who is openly gay, still has moments where he has to “edit” how he behaves as to not appear “too gay”. Coming out is never a one-step process - sometimes, we have to convince ourselves that it is okay to live our truth in whatever way we want.

When it comes to "Blaine for the Win" - Gay Legally Blonde?? SIGN ME UP!! If you’re a fan of Legally Blonde, you’ll love the references that Robbie Couch slides into the story (I know I did). The best part of the book is that it stands on its own, regardless of the fact that it is a loose adaptation of an iconic movie. One of the biggest obstacles for Blaine throughout the story is not feeling like he is being taken “seriously” (and for fans of the Legally Blonde musical, I KNOW you just started singing “Serious”.) As someone in the arts, I always ask myself this. Is this line of work “serious”? Do people see me as a joke? Blaine feels this way about his murals, and goes so far as to give up painting them in order to run for senior class president in an effort to be seen as a real potential candidate. The problem here is the idea that someone has to meet certain standards to be this “perfect, mature” candidate. Why can’t Blaine’s amazing art skills prove that he is capable of a role in student council? Doesn’t painting murals show drive, talent, determination and focus? I think it’s time we redefine what we consider “professional”. Artists, even when not “serious”, are always capable.

I'd love to hear your thoughts in the forum:

Get your own copy of THE SKY BLUES here:

Get your own copy of BLAINE FOR THE WIN here:

Check out the YouTube video:

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