August 10, 2020

'Nathan Burgoine: "Exit Plans for Teenage Freaks"

Title: Exit Plans for Teenage Freaks [on Amazon | on Goodreads]
Series: None (or, none planned, though on Goodreads the author mentioned having "rough scratch notes" for one)
Author: 'Nathan Burgoine [Site | Goodreads]
Genres: Paranormal, Contemporary
Year: 2018
Age: 14+
Stars: 3.5/5
Pros: Inclusive/intersectional, funny, with refreshingly wholesome family/friend dynamics.
Cons: The paranormal aspect is a bit underdeveloped. Not all the lead's friends get the same screen time.
Will appeal to: Those who are in for a queer romance/paranormal/action combo.

Blurb: Being the kid abducted by old Ms. Easton when he was four permanently set Cole’s status to freak. At seventeen, his exit plan is simple: make it through the last few weeks of high school with his grades up and his head down. When he pushes through the front door of the school and finds himself eighty kilometers away holding the door of a museum he was just thinking about, Cole faces facts: he’s either more deluded than old Ms. Easton, or he just teleported. Now every door is an accident waiting to happen -especially when Cole thinks about Malik, who, it turns out, has a glass door on his shower. When he starts seeing the same creepy people over his shoulder, no matter how far he’s gone, crushes become the least of his worries. They want him to stop, and they'll go to any length to make it happen. (Amazon excerpt)

Review: Karen @ For What It's Worth warned me this was more of a contemporary than a sci-fi (or, I'd rather say, paranormal) book, but I was intrigued, so I gave it a chance. It turns out I feel like she feels about this novel, but I don't regret reading it in the slightest - so please take my rating with a grain of salt, because there are so many things EPFTF does right, even if they aren't the ones I was looking for.


EPFTF is a funny and fresh adventure in teleporting, but to me, its strength lies in the sexual diversity and in the familial/friendly relationships. Cole (our lead) is gay, his love interest is bi (as one of his female friends is), and the whole Rainbow Club he's part of is brimming with representation, from ace members (or ex-members, but still friends with friends actually...) to both pan and non-binary ones. Also, Cole's love interest is not only bi, but also Black, and Cole's father is deaf. Exit Plans isn't a diversity textbook though: all the kids manage to feel like real teenagers, not necessarily perfect, coming in different degrees of woke, thinking of...well...the things teens are wont to think about 😂 - but having much more than those on their minds, and always sticking up for each other. Also, the parent rep in this book is AWESOME. Though Cole keeps his newfound teleporting ability from his mum and dad (which is a point), he's got a healthy relationship with them, and he's even thinking of following in his father's footsteps as an ASL interpreter. Plus, his parents are in love with each other, and always there for their son - an almost unheard-of thing in YA. [...]


So, as a contemporary book, Exit Plans is definitely successful - slightly less so as a paranormal one. Cole's gift makes for a series of often funny, sometimes dangerous adventures (especially since he's got some sinister guys out to get him), and for an overall enjoyable story, but it's never accounted for - though we do see him experiment with it in various ways, but where does it come from, and why? Also, though the sinister guys' motives are explained, I would have liked to see more of them/their organisation, and to get some backstory about the teleporting league as a whole. Another thing that bugged me a little was that not all Cole's friends were equally developed - Lindsay and Rhonda got less screen time than the rest of the group, and though I understand that he would probably feel better at ease/chat more with his male friends, I wish we would have seen (or heard) more of those two. Then again, this isn't a very long book, and of course there's a lot of room for a second installment here, what with Cole's family and friends not being aware of his ability yet, and his romance with Malik just starting to heat up. Too bad that we probably won't get the chance to read a sequel anytime soon.

For more Supernatural/Paranormal books click here.


  1. Teleporting would be fun f you could master it and not end up somewhere bad like inside a volcano.

    1. Hehe - the main character actually ends up in his own locker at school!

  2. I like when magical bits are woven into an otherwise contemporary type story. That probably wouldn't be a problem for me. But, it sounds like there are a lot of loose threads, and I am not a fan of that.

    1. I didn't have a problem with contemporary-meets-paranormal at's just that there wasn't any backstory/explanation.

  3. As you've already pointed out - I agree with your assessment. IT was a great contemporary - just not the sci-fi I was expecting. I'm glad you enjoyed it overall though. There was a lot to love.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

    1. I hope I've managed to steer the right audience towards it! As you did back in the times.

  4. I love both the diversity that doesn't feel shoehorned in and the fact that there's good parent rep as well. That can be tough to pull off. And teleporting- how fun! Glad this was so good!!

    1. I managed to be both woke and fun - despite me wanting more on the supernatural department. I wholeheartily recommend it to a younger, queer audience!

  5. I think I've told you - about a hundred times, lol - that sci-fi is not a genre I actively seek out, but I'm tentatively adding this to my wishlist. It sounds pretty good - I really appreciate the diversity and the good parents in particular, and the romance sounds good. Great review, Roberta!

    1. Oh, but it's NOT sci-fi at all - as I said, teleporting is a totally paranormal ability here. And there aren't any explanations for it (which was one of my pet peeves), so you don't need to wrap your head around abstruse concepts.


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