Amanzimtoti: The Ridge by Carmen Shea-Hepburn


I was given an ARC by the author for an honest review.

Set in Amanzimtoti, South Africa, the story follows Wayne du Preez as he starts his matric. Completing his final year of high school won’t be his only problem, however, when a boy from his childhood makes a surprise reappearance in small town Toti, throwing Wayne’s picket-fence dreams with girlfriend Jess into a tailspin and forcing him to deal with a part of himself he’s been denying ever since he shared his first kiss with Kyle way back when.

I asked for this and read it immediately for the following reasons:

  1. It’s set in South Africa, one of my dream destinations.
  2. That cover ❤
  3. The blurb ❤ ❤
  4. Its an LGBTQ+ book. Need I say more?

And I was not one bit disappointed.


By the end of the book, I was aching all over, unable to function in the real world. I ached for Jess and Tray, and for Wayne and Kyle. The pain that all of them went through was just so unbearable.

In the midst of the pain and suffering, there were some amazing moments. There was a kiss at a party that gave me tingles all over (even now, when I think about it!) and all the times that they surfed at the beach were amazing showcases of Toti and its beauty. And there is plenty of slang used in the book which makes it so real.

Amanzimtoti: The Ridge, shows the situation of Homosexuals in other parts of the world, where society is hardly accepting of it and legalization of their marriage is totally out of the question. Add to that the situation of racism which has been there for ages and still people haven’t grown out of it. All these are just amazing insights to a world that is unknown to us.

After having a long chat with Carmen Shea, about the book, about our lives, I think I might have fallen in love with the book even more. And the best part? It’s going to have sequels!!

Rating: 4.5 stars

Recommendation: If you’re looking for an honest story with some amazing characters and scenery, this is definitely for you!

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