Review From User :
READ #2: August 2018
I forgot how much this book freaking means to me. I'm crYING okay. I think this book will forever take up space in my heart and I'm so so glad it exists. My love for it is so personal and relatable and rereading made me genuinely tear up (shout out @ me who is generally a stoic vulcan tbh) and have my heartbreak and heal at once.
I can't even.
This is definitely in my top 10 books of all time.
(Also I did the audiobook this time and it was EXCEPTIONAL! The narrator was so so good. Plus at the end there was this epic interview with both the authors and it gave so much insight to just how #ownvoices this is and how much love and research they put in...and how passionate they are about this getting to teens who need it most. LOVE LOVE LOVE.)
READ #1, October 2017
I HAVE SO MANY EMOTIONS RIGHT NOW AND I FREAKING TEARED UP. Who am I. I am not a tearer. Look I honestly found this book really...hard to read at times. It's beautiful and it's honest and it's about love is love, no matter who you are or who you love. But it's set really heavily against a backdrop of religion and that's HARD. So it was hard to read, I felt, and I honestly absolutely ache right now. BUT AT THE SAME TIME THIS BOOK ---> AN ABSOLUTE TREASURE AND I LOVE IT. I'm...I'm a mess omg. pls. Just go.
Just kidding don't go. I HAVE WORDS TO TALK.
+ Ok holy HECK can I just say these two boys are precious.
Tanner's narration was AMAZING and I'm like 89% sure the first 90% of this book is what he's writing as his book for his school class But anyway. I can't get over how emotional, complex, and dimensional these characters are. The writing is A+ the entire time. I adored Tanner! He's emotional and impulsive and absolutely full of heart! And Sebastian is the sweetest most perfect pure cinnamon. He is, literally, PERFECT. And this makes him very flawed...ya. Go figure that out. But it's true. I ship them so much I climbed a wall and ate it. I am just saying.
+ So one of the coolest things is: they're both writers!
The premise of the book is basically: Tanner is writing a book for his school class and Sebastian is a highschool graduate come back to help mentor the students. IT'S ABOUT WRITERS. AND I AM A WRITER. SO THIS PLEASED ME AMAZINGLY. Although I laugh and laugh and laugh at them freaking out writing a book in 4 months. You sweet summer children. I can write a book in 3 days. #ShutUpCaitNobodyWantsToHearThat Anyway I DO think it's dumb to write about yourself in books.... I mean, since when is that NOT a bad idea, Tanner. YOU IDIOT YOU HAVE TO TURN THIS INTO YOUR TEACHER. But it's still super sweet.
Apparently this book can have characters making 8784 bad decisions and I'll just be here like: "THEY'RE CUTE RAINBOW WRITER NERDS AND THEY CAN DO WHATEVER THEY WANT I'M TRASH HERE THANKS."
+ Also Sebastian is so far into the closet, that he's literally living in Narnia.
He's having tea with a fawn. It b r o k e my heart when he told he "wasn't gay" because he "wouldn't choose that". IAJUGAHIUG But this book is a journey about love and religion and accepting yourself -- and I personally think it was written beautifully. (I also believe it's #ownvoices for the bi rep.)
+ OK LET'S TALK ABOUT RELIGION AND HOW I AM SO FREAKING WORKED UP RIGHT NOW.
So this reminded me a lot of Release (which you should read immediately like 100000% best book). Tanner's family are very open and loving and support him 100% in being bisexual. Although they encourage him to remain closeted while they're living an super conservative town because they want to protect him. So I get that. But I DO think that messed with him a lot and honestly I don't think they should've moved to a place they couldn't protect him with. That's probably a controversial opinion...like they moved for work yada ya. But your kids are important. Their mental health is important. Tanner wasn't "suffering", per se, but ya know...it's not healthy to hide yourself.
(But then if he HADN'T have moved he wouldn't have met Sebastian: AKA PUREST LOVE OF LIGHT.)
OK but Sebastian's family They are super Mormon. So the book pretty heavily talks about Mormons and I learned a LOT I didn't know. I'm not opposed to religion in books, but I have 0% time in my world for ANY religion which is against being queer. And Sebastian's family talks about being gay the same way they'd talk about someone dying. It's so hard to read. But I also think it was SO well and respectfully written. I didn't find the book "hating" on the church or Mormons. I found it firmly talking about how there is no heckin' way God doesn't support queers (HE MADE THEM) and this was beautiful. However, it's hard and brutal to read at times and it was so so so sad. (Side note: I grew up in a very conservative church environment, not Mormon though, but it really damaged my view of the world/myself at times. And I'm sad about it, but also pleased I'm far away from it now. I related to a lot of things in the book anyway so ughuighauiq hence the rant.)
In summary: I honestly don't love how religious it was but I LOVE the conclusions it came to. And yes. It was hard to read a lot of the time. And I think a lot of queer kids would relate.
+ It also features the BEST friendship between Tanner and his BFF, Autumn!
They're...complicated. But I love boy/girl friendships and loved their development!
+ Also Tanner's family is epic.
Like I don't agree with EVERYTHING they did. But his mum slipped happy gay bumper stickers into his room all the time and they fill the house with rainbows and just ahhh. Tanner has a beautiful family.
+ ALSO IT WAS SUPER FUNNY!
I laughed so hard I ACTUALLY HAD TO PUT THE BOOK DOWN. HOly hECK it was so good.
+ Speaking of "putting the book down" I didn't want to
EVER It's 400+ pages and i've been dying trying to read 300 page books lately. BUT THIS I COULDN'T STOP READING. I DIDN'T WANT TO. MY HEART ACHED WHENEVER I HAD TO PUT IT DOWN. It was relatable and emotional and captivating.
+ I honestly think this book is full of heart.
My dead heart actually beat. Twice. I can't even. There is writing and school and kissing and biscuit crumbs. There is stargazing and boys crying. There is beautifulness and heartbreak and bittersweet moments and an ending that EXPLODED mY HEART. I still prefer not to read religious books but I still loved it. I am a tangled Gregorian knot. Excuse me. I must fly away now.
Fangirl meets Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda in this funny and poignant coming-of-age novel from New York Times bestselling author Christina Lauren about two boys who fall in love in a writing class – one from a progressive family and the other from a conservative religious community.
Three years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go, and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah.
But when his best friend Autumn dares him to take Provo High’s prestigious Seminar – where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester – Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgment and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity.
It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him.