Autoboyography by Christina Lauren
Publishing Date: September 12, 2017
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
The Premise from the Publisher: "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" (SS).
My overall thoughts and review: Christina Lauren is seriously one of my favorite authors out there, so when I heard they were coming out with a new YA contemporary romance, I knew I had to have it immediately. I haven't read their other YA books, but I love their romance books so much. There's something about their writing and their ability to create such vivid characters that I really admire. I loved those Beautiful books & Wild Seasons books, but let me tell you, this one BLEW ME AWAY. It had me laughing, crying, and smiling so much. It follows Tanner, who is a bisexual teen who has moved back to Provo, a town with a large Mormon population. That complicates things for him because in a town that previously excommunicated his aunt and his mother because his aunt is a lesbian, being bisexual is not safe from judgement unfortunately. He has his wonderful best friend Autumn, who is a a tad bit in love with him, and for this new year, embark on a new writing class together. The goal is to write one book in one semester and the course has already proven to be successful because a previous student, Sebastian, is having his book published. The second Tanner meets Sebastian, they immediately have a connection, and Tanner finds himself filling his book with the story of how they met. Seeing their friendship blossom into a relationship definitely made my heart swell. Their attempts at flirting and just the way they felt so comfortable with one another made me so happy. Their story is simply beautiful. It also tackled really important issues because Tanner was not out to anyone but his family in Provo, and in Sebastian's case, he had to remain firmly in the closet and he was also working through what being gay meant. Christina Lauren introduced a lot of information about the Mormon church and I wasn't familiar with all of that beforehand. I really found like I learned a lot more while reading this and I feel like anyone dealing with certain restrictions, whether it be religion or even parental aspects, would find something relatable in this text. There are some really tough moments in the text that hit you right in the feels. When the characters hurt, you can't help but feel all their emotions, and I really love that in Christina Lauren's writing. Their ability to bring you right into the text and have you feel what the characters are feeling first hand. No spoilers on what ends up happening with Tanner and Sebastian's story, but I just LOVED both of them so much and I'm so incredibly invested in their relationship that I need to know more. I kind of sat there and cried at the end of the book because I was so devastated that it ended. This is Christina Lauren's best book yet and easily one of my favorite books of the year. It has everything you could want in a contemporary book: romance, accurate representation of LGBTQ+ (especially those who identify as bisexual), family, and friendship. I can't sing enough praises about this book, I simply loved it. So please go out and buy a copy. You won't regret it!
My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮✮ (5/5 stars)
Available for purchase at:
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Disclaimer: An advanced reader's copy of the book was provided by Simon & Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.