I’m Not Really Here

Gary Lonesborough

Jonah is the new kid in a country town. When he joins the school’s rugby team to be closer to his crush, Harley, it feels like a fresh start – but he still has to navigate new friendships, old family secrets, and the same body image issues he’s always had. A wonderful coming-of-age queer romance from the bestselling, award-winning author of The Boy from the Mish.

Footsteps approach behind me. I turn and see an Aboriginal boy arriving at the doorway. He’s tall, taller than me. He’s got curly hair. His body is fit. His chest is chiselled and bare and he’s wearing only football shorts.

When 17-year-old Jonah arrives in a new town – Patience – with his dad and twin brothers, Zeke and Luke, it feels like a foreign place. A new town means he needs to make new friends. Which isn’t always easy. Especially when he’s wrestling with his body image. And his memories of his mother.

When he joins the school rugby team so he can spend more time with his new-crush, Harley, he feels like he’s moving closer to something good. But even though he knows what he wants, it doesn’t mean he’s ready.

Emotionally compelling, honest and featuring warm and authentically vulnerable characters, I’m Not Really Here is a fabulous novel about navigating family and friendships and love.

Young Adult

Gary Lonesborough

Gary Lonesborough is a Yuin man, who grew up on the Far South Coast of NSW as part of a large and proud Aboriginal family. Gary was always writing as a child, and continued his creative journey when he moved to Sydney to study at film school. Gary has experience working in Aboriginal health, the disability sector, and the film industry. He was Bega Valley Shire Council Young Citizen of the Year, won the Patrick White Young Indigenous Writers’ Award, and has received a Copyright Agency First Nations Fellowship. The Boy from the Mish was Gary’s debut YA novel and was published in the US in 2022 under the title Ready When You Are.

Allen & Unwin

Allen & Unwin is Australia’s leading independent publisher and is the 2023 Publisher of the Year, a title we’ve now held fifteen times. Our lists are unrivalled in scope and quality, our focus on original ideas and voices, and our acclaimed authors and titles amongst Australia’s best.