Good people, I'm so grateful for all the helpful feedback you've given on my first two chapters. Here is my third chapter, already reworked to take account of all I'm learning from this exercise. This is probably the last chapter I'll share, at least for a while, because I now feel I need to step back and spend some time working on my overall story arc and because I feel like I've picked up so much already which I can apply gradually to all my other chapters. The reason I am still asking for feedback on this chapter though, is because it is the first chapter in a different narrative thread - written in first person, from the POV of Georgey, one of Joe's parents (sorry to any who were hoping for the next bit of Joe's adventures on the island!)
I'm particularly interested in whether you think the first person narrative is relatable and whether I've got the show vs tell about right.
You will also notice that I've avoided using gendered pronouns for any of the adult characters, for hopefully obvious reasons, and have therefore tried to avoid pronouns altogether, except where necessary. I didn't want to use unfamiliar gender neutral pronouns such as zem/ze/zer, preferring instead to use the familiar them/they/their which I understand are the also more popular amongst non-binary folk. Do you think this works OK?
I am also aware that I am perhaps using the wrong term by referring to 'gender' rather than 'sex'. That actually, strictly speaking, my neut characters are asexual, not necessarily ungendered and that the new, abnormal babies being born are actually developing male or female sex, not necessarily male or female genders. Any views on this?
Finally, if you've read my previous chapters and the thoughts and comments with them, you'll know that I'm undecided about whether Joe with an E is YA or not. The main reason for my doubt is that approx one third of my chapters are, like chapter 3, written from the POV of Georgey, Joe's parent. Could you imagine this chapter in a YA novel?