Publisher: Bonnier Books
Last summer, Ross was diagnosed with a rare form of eye cancer. He’s just started radiotherapy and, now school term has begun, he’s become the ‘cancer kid’. Aside from figuring out what having cancer means for him, he also has to deal with everyone looking at him, his friends freaking out and, perhaps worst of all, the embarrassing side effects of his treatment.
As Ross navigates school and growing up and all the drama that goes with it – from having a crush to the ups and downs of friendships – as well as being sick, he channels his frustrations and fears into both his self-drawn comic strip about superhero-of-sorts Batpig and the discovery of music. But when some brutal and upsetting memes about his illness start circulating school, he’s tested to the limits. Can he find out who is responsible?
This coming-of-age novel tackles bullying, illness and how we judge others. Ross has some tough days but it’s also funny in plenty of ways. He unflinchingly faces his illness head on, and the combination of the comic strip inserts and everyday trials makes Wink relatable, light-hearted and honest. The author, Rob Harrell, experienced the same form of cancer that Ross has, ensuring those parts of Ross’s story are as equally realistic as the everyday trials and tribulations of being a teenager.