I wasn’t really keen on the pride month this year though I just happened to pick books that were based on the LGBT community throughout the year which I guess is the goal.
I picked this book on a whim. I was instantly attracted to the cover which is illustrated by Sarah Maxwell. The fact that this is an #ownvoices LGBT story intrigued me more.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they’re thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents’ rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school.But Ben’s attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan’s friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life.
I am so glad I picked this one up. It not only has an engaging story line but also raises awareness on the non binary people in the LGBT community.
“Bodies are fucking weird, especially when it feels like you don’t belong in your own.”
We have a coming out moment in this book, which broke my heart to read. The family dynamics in this book is dysfunctional. I loved how realistic coming out to his family was. The reactions of his parents and what the Ben had to go through. Excellent Non-Binary and Mental Health representation.
Due to the circumstances, Ben has panic attacks and suffers from anxiety and is under medication for it. I loved how the author normalized the whole taking help for your mental health issue so gracefully which in today’s date is quite an important outlook to have.
The love is slow burning and doesn’t seem rushed at all. However, I just did not enjoy this book as much as I expected to.
Personally, I did not like Nathan’s character. He seemed too perfect and understanding for a teen. Too good to be true types!
I wasn’t much interested in Miriam either. She is like a speaker on YouTube for the non binary community and Ben strikes a friendship with her and confesses his situation and she is all encouraging but I wasn’t really keen on reading about this particular character in general and thought this story could do without.
I didn’t say you shouldn’t feel sad. I’m just saying you need to prove them wrong…Be sad, hell, sit in bed all weekend and just watch Netflix. I’ve had those times too. But don’t stop living your life for them.
Although, I loved how the ending has a very uncertain vibe to it even with the whole first love sentiments attached – the mixed signals, sharing art and talking about the future. Felt a lot like how relationships in real are.
Overall, this book manages to touch base on a lot of sensitive topics – Being a Non-Binary Person, having abusive parents, dealing with anxiety and depression.
It definitely is an important read and a much needed one to be honest!
Published: May 14th 2019
Genre: LGBT| YA