Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren
Release Date -  September 12, 2017
Publisher Website - Simon and Schuster
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  416 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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.
Christina Lauren is one of my favourite romance authors. Their books are sexy, romantic, and usually come with a plot that is not just about the sexytimes (even though those scenes are pretty great). They had previously only done paranormal young adult novels, so I was thrilled for them to branch out into more contemporary stories in the young adult genre. Autoboyography was everything expected from this author which means I got a cute, heartfelt romance story that left me smiling.

This novel features a bisexual main character who develops a crush on a Morman guy he meets through a prestigious program at his school. Tanner is a laid back guy who tends to have things go his way. He was an interesting main character for me because I think Sebastian actually has the more obvious story arc. Tanner still has a lot of character growth, even if he may not seem like the obvious character to follow in this story. We see him struggle with what falling in love with Sebastian means for both of them, and how that impacts  his family and his outlook on things. It's a more subtle story but an enjoyable one in its own right.

Sebastian is, obviously, struggling with his sexuality, his religion and how that all fits together. He's part of a religion that isn't welcoming to who he is, so he resists and internalizes a lot of things until he simply can't do it any longer. In may ways he would be the obviously narrator of this story, but allowing Tanner to be the voice of the story made the religions elements feel more distant. It is still a large part of the story, but in a more abstract way. I am not overly familiar with the Morman religion but I felt like this story present a balanced look at the good elements of faith, along with the more intolerant elements found within it.

Family plays a large role within the story. It is just as vital to the story as the romance. We see Tanner's family who is supportive and loving. They repeatedly shower him with reassurance, and understanding. It doesn't mean they are perfect, but it does make you feel that everything they do comes from a place of love. Tanner's parents would not ostracize him from their lives. Sebastian has no such assurances of his own family. Their religion ensures that there would be disappointment, and possible irreparable fractures to their relationships. I feel Sebastian's family dynamic is shown to be more complex than I anticipated it would be, but still left me feeling anger at the whole situation the treatment of members of the LGBTQ+ community by this religion.

The ending of the novel is sort of a beginning of sorts. It offers the potential for future happiness with a long, bumpy road as the path to get there. It's the most realistic ending this story could of offered, and I think it was the perfect way to send the story. You're left smiling, but it doesn't discount the obvious struggles that will be ahead of Tanner and Sebastian regardless of whether they are together or apart when the story ends.

If you're looking for a cute romance story that has some depth within it, I highly recommend this one.  It's perfect for those wanting a story that is about finding out where you fit, discovering your own path, falling in love, and fighting to live life the way that makes you happy.

1 comment:

  1. I just ran across this book the other day. There's nothing I love more than two boys in love. From you review, this book sounds better than I could have guessed!

    Happy Reading.


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