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The Overthinkers

Published by Big Sky Publishing
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

Four people, figuring out sex, love, and how to ‘adult.’ Sydney - one of those places that just consumes you. A private school boy, a tortured drug dealer, a starving writer and a gay outcast, try to do their best as they navigate through the unspoken rules which govern the fast paced, status obsessed harbour city.

Benji: desperate to stand on his own, and be perceived as separate to his status-driven family.
Francesca: plotting her remarkable and glamorous future.
Leo: the confident gay-sian, but despite the pretense, lacks a sense of identity and self-worth.
Hamish: fell into drugs to distinguish himself.

Four stories interlaced together. Anxiety masked as confidence. Ambitions as arrogance. Insecurities which fester … until the cracks appear in the perfect façade


"I laughed. I cried. Sometimes at the same time!' Tim Ferguson.

"Portolan and Cheong’s voices stitch seamlessly together to lay out a funny, honest and extremely relatable story, so clearly born of the 2020s. I couldn’t get enough of it!" Marlee Silva

Lisa Portolan is a journalist and author from Sydney. She has previously published two books, including bestseller, Happy As (Echo, Melbourne). She has written for publications like the Australian Financial Review, The Guardian, 9 Honey and 10 Daily, and appeared on the Today Show and The Drum.  

Ben is a PR consultant and accidental first-time author of The Overthinkers. An openly-gay, cis man, and son of first-generation Chinese Malay immigrants, Ben grew up in suburbia as an outlier in both the ‘Aussie’ and Chinese communities. Instead, Ben attempted
to make connections in a very closeted, young LGBT+ community. As a young adult, Ben felt embarrassed when talking about mental health issues, and heard similar stories from his close friends, which drove him to write his debut novel with Lisa Portolan.

  • Publisher: Big Sky Publishing (July 28, 2021)
  • Length: 294 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781922488176

More books from this author: Lisa Portolan