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Ballantine Books

First Time For Everything by Henry Fry (Paperback)

First Time For Everything by Henry Fry (Paperback)

Regular price $17.00 USD
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Fiction - Romance - Contemporary - LGBTQ+ - Gay

Published: 6/13/2023

An unflinchingly honest, wickedly funny, and heartfelt debut about a down-on-his-luck gay man working out how he fits into the world, making up for lost time, and opening himself up to life's possibilities.

"This is a book for anyone who has ever felt like an outsider—for all of us who have gone through the joyful, excruciating, and necessary journey of discovering the people we were always meant to be." —Grant Ginder, author of Let’s Not Do That Again

Danny Scudd is absolutely fine. He always dreamed of escaping the small-town life of his parents' fish and chip shop, moving to London, and becoming a journalist. And, after five years in the city, his career isn’t exactly awful, and his relationship with pretentious Tobbs isn’t exactly unfulfilling. Certainly his limited edition Dolly Parton vinyls and many (maybe too many) house plants are hitting the spot. However, a visit to the local clinic reveals that Tobbs might not have been exactly faithful. In fact, Tobbs claims they were never operating under the "antiquated" terms of monogamy to begin with. Oh, and Danny's flatmates are unceremoniously evicting him because they want to start a family. It's all going quite well. 

Newly single and with nowhere to live, Danny is forced to move in with his best friend, Jacob, a flamboyant non-binary artist whom he's known since childhood, and their extravagant group of friends living in an East London "commune." What follows is a colorful voyage of discovery through modern queer life, dating, work, and lots of therapy—all places Danny has always been too afraid to fully explore. Upon realizing just how little he knows about himself and his sexuality, he careens from one questionable decision (and man) to another, relying on his inscrutable new therapist and housemates to face the demons he's spent his entire life trying to repress. Is he really fine, after all?


Henry Fry is an award-winning writer, designer, and climate and LGBT rights activist. First Time for Everything is his first novel.

“[There’s] a new wave of authors releasing uplifting queer literature that casts its characters as the heroes of their lives. . . . This summer, a host of LGBTQ+ romcom novels are coming out (excuse the pun), crammed with blossoming romances and glittery escapism.”—The Guardian

“[An] LOL-worthy debut.”—Cosmopolitan

“Big-hearted.”—The Daily Beast

“A journey of self-discovery that encompasses the perils of dating, the slog of working, and the alarming outcomes of therapy, lots and lots of therapy . . . It all makes for a delightfully funny story populated by characters that readers will really grow to care about.”—Manhattan Book Review

“Fry brings a refreshing voice to the queer coming-of-age novel with characters whose stories don’t revolve around trauma. Instead, everyday experiences are portrayed with drama and delight.”—The Washington Post (New & Noteworthy)

“Remarkable . . . This is a devastating and authentic story of gay shame. Meanwhile, in from the side swings a hilarious and heartwarming tale of self-acceptance and friendship. This is the modern gay novel, with the sass of a drag queen and the wisdom of a queer elder. I'm telling all my friends to read it!”—Adam Zmith, author of Deep Sniff: A History of Poppers and Queer Futures

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