CAN I STRAY follows the story of Brooke’s age-gap relationship with Matt and the lasting impact it has on her life. It explores themes of consent, mental health, co-dependency and toxic relationships.
CAN I STRAY
by Jenna Adams
Neem Tree Press, October 2022
(via Randle Editorial & Literary)
Fourteen-year-old Brooke Tyler has spent her whole life waiting for a boy to choose her. Matt is about to go to university, scared to leave behind everything he knows. When both are cast as romantic leads in Romeo and Juliet, they fulfil the roles of forbidden lovers both on and off the stage. Brooke is sure that her fairy tale is coming true – and best of all, Matt is older.
Brooke considers secrets and lies a small price to pay for her first boyfriend, but the relationship is set to cost her the moment they have sex. When Brooke learns that Matt’s actions that night were illegal, her world shatters.
Years later, Brooke and Matt reunite as adults. Matt wants to undo all the damage he caused, but Brooke makes a choice which forces them both to question their relationship.
Told in three acts, this debut reveals a young woman’s journey for independence as she strays away from everything she has ever known to navigate her traumatic past.
Jenna Adams lives in London and writes from her third-floor flat which is covered in plants. She always has a book in her handbag, and runs a Twitter and Instagram where she posts about her favourite novels.