Knights Of – Published 4th March 2021
The Spark has become a flame, burning brightly in my heart.
Show Us Who You Are is a much anticipated, sensational second novel that packs a powerful emotional punch. I laughed, I cried and I nearly hurled the book across the room in outrage at various points – it’s hard to find the right words to do this wonderful book justice. It’s an absolutely phenomenal read! The meeting of two neurodivergent minds that fuse to form the most beautiful friendship.
12-year-old Cora is dragged to a party by her brother Gregor, who is keen for her to meet his boss – the intimidating CEO of the Pomegranate Institute, Magnus Hawkins.
Once there, she unexpectedly strikes up a friendship with his son, Adrien. They soon discover that their difference is what draws them together – Cora is autistic and Adrien has ADHD.
Cora is intrigued by Pomegranate, who are using AI to create life-like holograms of people to provide comfort to grieving families. Magnus and the charming head scientist Dr Gold are keen to get Cora more involved, but her Dad is suspicious of their motives. It becomes clear that Pomegranate have a much darker aim. . .
Can Cora be the one to stop them?
Elle has skillfully created the most gripping of science fiction thrillers and combined it with powerful messages about neurodiversity, identity, individuality and liking who you are.
We live in a world which is advancing at an alarming rate and whilst hologram technology is currently out of reach, Elle writes about it so convincingly that I began to believe that one day it could be a real possibility – an extremely unsettling thought. The murky and sinister world of The Pomegranate Institute raises so many questions and debate about ethical science – just because we can doesn’t mean we should.
But the blurring of the lines between virtual and actual reality is only one element of this stunning plot. Show Us Who You Are explores what it means to be neurodivergent and challenges stereotypes head-on. Both Elle’s novels framed around autistic female protagonists yet both are so different, so individual, so unique. Whether neurotypical or neurodivergent we are all people and no two people are the same. Nobody should be defined by their autism or ADHD. No-one should ever have assumptions made about them – about how they think or feel.
Elle is such a refreshing and assured new voice in Children’s and Young Adult fiction that speaks straight to the heart. She has ensured that Neurodivergent children are represented in the stories they read in the most spectacular and compelling of plots. I absolutely want to read more books about neurodivergent characters and I can’t wait to see what Elle has in store for us next.
Show Us Who You Are by Elle McNicoll is out now, published by Knights Of.
A huge thanks to Knights Of and ed. Public Relations for my review copy of this wonderful book.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Elle McNicoll is a children’s author from Scotland, now living in East London. One of the most exciting new voices in children’s
publishing, Elle is a Neurodivergent writer and is passionate about disability rights and #OwnVoices representation.
Her debut novel A Kind of Spark was published to critical acclaim in June 2020 and has subsequently won the 2021 Blue Peter Book Awards – announced on World Book Day, 4th March 2021. It has also been longlisted for the 2021 Branford Boase Award, and was shortlisted for the 2020 Books Are My Bag Readers Awards.