From our upcoming publication day, this is Hanni Lane's new school-set fiction release, following the anxious life of Romola and the friendship complexities that she must now confront. 


The synopsis to Hanni's book reads:


Romola is practically invisible at school. Riddled with anxiety, she hides in the shadow of her alluring best friend Cally.


Alexander returns to his hometown as the popular new boy, but is full of complexities and a facade he's created to survive his parent's divorce.


He finds himself inexplicably drawn back to his roots - to Romola, finding solace in her familiarity.


Can they really be friends? After all, he's the school heartthrob with a split personality and she's an over-thinking, social outcast.


When disaster strikes, their friendship is put to the test. They must each confront their demons, before one of them gets hurt. But are they too late?


If that has peaked your interests, for you now, is the opening pages of the book:




I had given it a form, a personality that walked beside me as a companion. It was supposed to be easier that way, as though naming it aloud would silence the darkness. Everyone was calling on their weaknesses, naming them as strengths or shouting them aloud to claim help. Social media was filled with other teenagers expressing anguish and struggle; it was normal now. Perhaps if I had done that, I wouldn’t have needed to make it so real. But we didn’t do that, no one in my family would ask for help. There were times I even considered giving it a name, but I simply settled for calling it my demon. After all, it tore up my life like a demon would. It wreaked havoc on my body, as it possessed every section until I exploded, and the consequences would overturn my entire life. This was what it was like to live with social anxiety. No, my demon wasn’t socially anxious, that was where he played with me the most, toying with my confidence. My demon was much more fussy, picking only the strangest and most important moments to pull my life apart.


Life was a sequence, where every day was the same, only the pressures of exams and social affairs to keep it stirring. I often found myself staring at the calendar on my wall waiting for the days to move so that I could leave for college. It was one of those super cheesy calendars with motivational quotes for the pictures. My gran always found them somewhere; in those shops where only grandparents shop for super embarrassing gifts. It was usually easier to hide them in my room; my drawers were full of butterfly scarfs or lipstick cases. The calendar was actually quite useful, so I kept it there to torment me daily.


As I scanned my room it quickly became clear that there was very little that resembled me there. The room was a jumble of the past ten years. For my tenth birthday my parents had the genius idea of taking me to Ikea. That’s what life was like with them, always combining big occasions with useful trips. I didn’t mind then; I didn’t know any different. Centreing my higgledy room is the bunk bed I picked out during that trip. Simple and wooden, it’s not too horrendous, except for the fact that no other sixteen-year-old still sleeps in a bunk bed.


I tugged a Tangle Teezer through my golden hair. It was shoulder-length and the colour of a Baywatch surfer, except that mine locked in tight ringlets that bounced in a circle surrounding my face. Aside from the fact that it was often the source of teasing at school, I actually loved my hair. I wasn’t the type of person to be typically bullied, instead I was one of those in-between people who usually went through life un-scathed… or un-noticed. That wasn’t to say I didn’t get comments, but they were usually discreet. I had the type of figure that irritated people, the type of skinny that for some unknown reason entitled people to call me anorexic or bulimic, when in truth I had a high metabolism. The worst part was that I was always eating, because I was always hungry and with every bite I took in public I would watch others looking at me, wondering if they thought I was about to run to the toilets to throw up. Even if I were anorexic or bulimic, there would be no compassion.


I stared at my reflection in the mirror, imagining the beautiful, tall, skinny beach babe that my composition could’ve made, but instead I could just see me. I was the super skinny, slightly frizzy, big-eyed mess staring back at me, smiling with acceptance.



Living With Yourself is available in paperback.