King of Nothing

A hilarious and heartwarming teen comedy!

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Pub Date 11 Apr 2024 | Archive Date 30 Apr 2024
Bonnier Books UK | Hot Key Books

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A new teen comedy from the critically acclaimed author of STEADY FOR THIS, which is shortlisted for the YOTO Carnegie Medal for Writing, the UKLA Book Awards, the Jhalak Prize and Branford Boase Award, as well as a host of regional awards.

A new teen comedy from the critically acclaimed author of STEADY FOR THIS, which is shortlisted for the YOTO Carnegie Medal for Writing, the UKLA Book Awards, the Jhalak Prize and Branford Boase...

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EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781471413247
PRICE £7.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 11 members

Featured Reviews

I already wish I could buy a copy of Nathanael Lessore’s first book Steady For This for every teen boy in the country, and now they need King of Nothing too! The world would be a better place. There is no shortage of authors out there desperate to reach kids with messages of kindness and tolerance, but few others actually stand the chance of getting through. Nathanael’s books are unpatronising, relatable and genuinely hilarious! King of Nothing is lighter on both the goofiness and the jokes than Steady For This, but the story goes deeper, addressing the prevalence and seduction of online misogyny. Main character Anton is just the right amount of likeable, even as he acts like his worst self, and the journey he goes on is satisfying and heartening. Basically, there is something just genuinely sweet and lovely at the heart of these brilliant books that I want to share with everybody. They give me hope!

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I've been recommending Nathaneal Lessore's Steady for This to every librarian and teacher I meet, and I'm so glad it's on the shortlist for the Carnegie Medal this year. I was hoping that King of Nothing would deliver the same goofy humour, the bants, the insanely imagination imagery -- and it does. But it goes deeper, following the journey of Anton, who starts as a school bully, an academic failure, surrounded by toxic influences, but who, with the influence of the most delightful earnest, innocent, misfit, 'moist' Matthew - who INSISTS on befriending him - learns to respect himself and others.

In the time of Andrew Tate, this book is really needed, and hopefully the author's skill and humour will get the message across. I enjoyed Anton's character and his journey, but for me, the star of the show was Matthew - thank you for creating him, he's one in a million!

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An author’s second novel is always a tricky proposition, particularly when their debut has been widely celebrated and shortlisted for the Carnegie medal. But I am pleased to report that ‘King of Nothing’ is just as funny, heartwarming and authentic as ‘Steady for This’.

Anton is not a particularly likeable character at first. He is a self-proclaimed ‘King’ of Year 9 and, together with his group of friends, he intimidates the rest of the pupils and staff of their school. Anton’s scary reputation is boosted by the fact that his Dad is in prison and he’ll do anything to maintain that reputation, apart from going up against his mum – particularly as she controls the wifi code. So when Anton gets into trouble at school, his Mum drafts him into her community project and a local group called the ‘Happy Campers’ which includes Matthew who has been relentlessly bullied by Anton and his friends. But after Matthew saves his life, they make a deal. If Matthew never talks to him in public, Anton will help Matthew win over his crush, Fernanda.

But as Anton starts to spend more time with Matthew and less time with his other friends, he finds that he begins to like himself more and feel more hopeful about his future. But when his dad is released from prison, Anton’s loyalty is pulled in a different direction.

‘King of Nothing’ is a fantastic portrayal of the toxic masculinity culture so many teenage boys are exposed to these days through YouTubers like Andrew Tate, and it clearly explores Anton’s thought process as he becomes disillusioned with the ideas his dad and his friends are expressing – particularly with regards to women and relationships.

If it sounds a little worthy, the style is not like that at all. Anton’s interactions with Matthew are particularly hilarious, and the jokes make the book a lot more engaging than the gritty subject matter would suggest.

By the end of the book Anton had thoroughly won me over – I almost liked him as much as the delightfully whimsical Matthew. Another captivating read from Nathanael Lessore – perfect for the tricky ‘teen’ age category. Loved it!

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Having previously enjoyed ‘Steady for This’, I had high hopes for this book. I really like the style of writing, it brings the main character to life and makes it more approachable for the intended readership (slightly harder for me to read aloud though as a middle aged librarian- my fam and bruvs don’t cut it).

The story is about Anton, who initially is not particularly likeable. As the story unfolds we follow his journey of self realisation as he works out what he really wants from life and friends. A lot of it is told in a light-hearted way, the interactions between Anton and Matthew are delightful! There are serious notes though as Anton has to cope with the death of close family member. Toxic masculinity has a light shone on it too. Lots to think about in a funny, relatable package.

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Another brilliant book from Nathanael Lessore. This one explores toxic masculinity and an unexpected friendship. A teen comedy wrapped up with a moving journey of self-discovery and told in the most beautifully authentic voice.

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