Book Review: Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GENRE: 

Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ

PAGES: 

416 pages

PART OF A SERIES?:

Standalone

RELEASE DATE: 

September 12th, 2o17

YOU CAN FIND THE BOOK AT:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

iBooks

Author Website

GOODREADS SUMMARY:

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.

 

MY REVIEW:

I had seen this book in my reading circle and I had the honor of meeting the two of them a few years ago when they did an event with Becca Fitzpatrick but I haven’t had the chance to read any of their books yet.

I was looking for book recommendations yesterday and a friend shared an article about some LGBTQ books and this one stood out to me. Again, it had been noticed before but I had no idea what it was about. Honestly, the reason I immediately purchased it and started reading it is because the main character’s name is Tanner Scott, matching to one of my closer friends, Taner Scott. I thought that it was funny and I love reading stories with LGBTQ characters and I love reading stories about young writers. I honestly thought I would really like it.

I had no idea how much I would honestly fall in love with it. It just may one of my top ten of the year.

First off, a huge prop to these two lovely ladies for writing a bisexual character, and for writing that character so well. I adored Tanner from page one until the end, I loved that he knew who he was and he was comfortable with it. He knew what it meant to be bisexual, how its about the person and less about the parts. Reading that…it just felt so familiar to me, it feels like something I say every single day. And as much as I adore books where a person is exploring and discovering their sexuality, it felt so good to read about Tanner, who had been there, and was confident in his bisexuality. I loved every moment of that, and I loved seeing his struggle. Even in his confidence, he still faced the same things that all bisexual people face: judgement, stereotypes, etc. His story was so familiar to me and I just loved that.

I also appreciated Sebastian’s story as well and sometimes I wonder if my story could have gone a similar way, had I stayed heavily involved in the Catholic community. I’ve had friends in the Mormon community, who have since left, but I didn’t think I knew much more about it other than what I had heard from them and from watching the parody musical, Book of Mormon. Sebastian’s story was incredibly heartbreaking, to both want to be himself but also deny it to keep himself in the family and community he felt so connected to, that he loved. I have been lucky in my own life to be fairly confident in myself to be open about it and to read a struggle like this makes me aware again and again of how insanely lucky I am. To feel torn between your own sexuality, especially since he feels its so right, that God is not mad at him, to feel torn between that and what your religion and your family say is right…has to be one of the hardest things in the world.

But I also loved that it was a genuinely good love story. It is that beauty of first love, discovering the things you love about each other, the first touches, the first kisses and more. It’s figuring out what drives you insane about them and that desire to spend every moment with them just to feel that incredible feeling and Christina Lauren are just amazing at capturing that. It felt so raw and real and genuine and I think whether you’ve been in love or not, you’ll feel every emotion that both Tanner and Sebastian feel throughout the novel.

Lastly, I love that the story brought in the idea of storytelling. I am a writer myself and I obviously love storytelling and I think the fact that both boys were writers, one on the verge of going on a national book tour and one reluctantly making his way through a writing class. I love stories about writers, and this one reminded me of Fangirl, one of my favorite books. I loved how they supported each other, helped each other and I loved how Tanner wrote the story of himself and Sebastian, because it was the best story he knew. It was just beautiful.

I am so 100% glad that someone recommended this novel to me and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to read it (and blow through it) because it’s a wonderful love story, a heartbreaking tale about the journey to self identity and just a genuine novel. It definitely is one of my favorites of the year.

Rating:

5 out of 5 Stars

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