A Coming-of-Age story about growing up, being true to oneself and overcoming the adversaries of both the past and present.
Momoi Tomoki is a gloomy but hardworking teenage boy. When anyone sees him in his school uniform, they won’t find a single fault with him. He’s the perfect first year male student of B High. The customers he serves with a graceful smile without a complaint, have none to give. He’s actually quite popular and easy to talk to. At home, he does the chores he’s asked to do and seems like a son any mother would be proud of.
But that’s not the truth. In reality, he’s anxious, always trying to hide his true self. He knows he can’t let anyone see who he truly is. He’d be a son, brother, student, friend and neighbour to be ashamed of.
Why? Because he’s not like a boy should be. He likes pastels, his favourite animals are cute bunnies and fluffy doggies, his favourite TV shows are about magical girls, and his room is decorated as if he was a girl and not a boy.
In fact, he’s not a boy! And that’s the problem.
Tomoki is nonbinary, and he hates himself for it. He just wants to fit in and be like everybody else. Just how far does he need to go to be normal? When will the malicious words stop?
Or… is there a way for him to not suppress his true self?
With an LGBTQ-theme, the series is about the many of the adversaries in life such as self-rejection, bullying, and the anxiety and fear of not fitting in. It also shows the importance of self-acceptance, love, friendship, and the supportive network we all need to stand on our own as we grow up.
Book 1: When You Hit Rock Bottom…
It’s April. Just a few weeks earlier the new school year started, and Momoi Tomoki became a first-year in B High. It should be exciting, but it’s not. Instead, he feels crushed by the expectations and pressure on him. He needs to do well in school, not fumble at work, and hide who he is to be the son his parents and step-father deserves.
Moreover, his teacher keeps calling him out for his long hair. He can’t stand it anymore. He needs it to stop!
Little did he know that cutting his hair would be a turning point in his life.
When You Hit Rock Bottom is the first book in the series Beyond the Horizon. It’s the beginning of Tomoki’s internal struggle to accept himself, and how the barrier he had built falls apart and feelings he had locked up escape.
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Summer break’s over and the second term begins. While Momoi Tomoki had started to feel a little more comfortable at school, six weeks away from it makes him wonder if it will be fine. There will be two new teachers, and, after the harassment by the teacher last term, the school updated its outdated uniform guidelines.
It does seem everything will be alright, and it might just be his nerves. He’s used to his new haircut, his part-time job is going well, his relationship with his step-father is better.
He only forgot to account for what the new guidelines would mean.
The second book in Beyond the Horizon continues Tomoki’s journey while he strengthens bonds with others, and realises new things about himself.
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