A funny-serious story about what happens when you stop trying to be the person other people expect you to be and give yourself a go.
Erin is looking forward to Schoolies, at least she thinks she is. But things are not going to plan. Life is getting messy, and for Erin, who is autistic, that’s a big problem. She’s lost her job at Surf Zone after an incident that clearly was not her fault. Her driving test went badly even though she followed the instructions perfectly. Her boyfriend is not turning out to be the romantic type. And she’s missing her brother, Rudy, who left almost a year ago.
But now that she’s writing letters to him, some things are beginning to make just a tiny bit of sense.
INTERVIEWS and REVIEWS
2SER: Tuesday Book Club
ABC News: Publishing more fiction by Australian authors with disability is crucial for disabled people's representation – and their wellbeing
ABC Radio Melbourne
ABC Radio Sydney: Afternoons (0:21:33)
Autism Awareness Australia
Books + Publishing
Books + Publishing
Booktopia blog: Kay Kerr answers our Ten Terrifying Questions!
Booktopia Good Reading magazine
The First Time podcast
Kill Your Darlings: Shelf Reflection
Melbourne Writers Festival blog
Readings: Kay Kerr reflects on autism & writing
Sydney Writers Festival podcast
‘This own-voices Australian debut about a young woman who is shaped—but not defined—by her autism, balances its funny and serious sides perfectly, and is a heartwarming read about self-acceptance and authenticity.’
‘This book is beautifully intimate, and so authentic. You’re going to love getting to know its central character, Erin. I’m so thrilled this book exists.’
‘A moving and insightful story about finding your place in the world.’
‘Kay Kerr is a skilful writer who deftly balances the serious and the light in this coming-of-age narrative…This is another exciting release in Australian young adult fiction that I can’t wait to recommend to a host of sharp and curious minds.’
‘Funny and serious.’
‘It’s intimate, raw and authentic … Watching Erin grow, accept herself, and find new friendships made my heart burst, in a way that is so much more intense than normal.’
‘Please Don’t Hug Me is a great read for other neurodiverse readers looking to read a voice like theirs, or for neurotypical readers looking to explore life from a different perspective.’
‘It’s a fantastic young adult novel about grief, finding your way, autism, being different, families and emotions. It’s all the feels…Please Don’t Hug Me is a wonderful addition to Aussie YA literature and will resonate with so many adolescents searching for their identity, trying to fit in, and attempting to work out how they want to be, and to be seen, in the world. And it is a gentle and tender meditation on grief.’