Book Review: Autoboyography

by Christina Lauren
YA LGBT Romance
416 pages
Published 2017

This book was EXCELLENT. I read this last minute, because the author tweeted that it was free to read on an online platform through the end of the month. It is absolutely adorable.

Autoboyography is the the story of Sebastian and Tanner falling in love, told mostly from Tanner’s point of view. He meets Sebastian in a class at school about writing a book, and the book we’re reading is supposedly the result. Tanner is a half-Jewish, bisexual kid moved from California to Utah, because his mother got a job offer she couldn’t refuse. He is surrounded by Mormons, whose religion doesn’t allow homosexuality. And Sebastian is Mormon.

The book unpacks so much, from stereotypes of bisexuality (and I LOVED the recognition that there are bisexuals who won’t be satisfied with one gender, and bisexuals who will, it’s an individual thing just like sexuality) to religious upbringing and the constraints that brings when someone is different, to unrequited love from a best friend, to how you can inadvertently let your other relationships suffer when falling in love.

The adorably sweet romance was a wonderful escape from current events, even with the hostility aimed at LGBT people by some of the characters. It was wonderfully done; enough to affect the characters and the plot, but not enough to spoil the uplifting, otherwise sweet nature of the novel.

I was slightly disturbed by an incident between Tanner and his best friend, Autumn. While they both seemed to take it in stride and move past it, it was a pretty shitty move on Autumn’s part, and could easily have gone very, VERY badly.

I really, really loved this book, and it’s going on my Favorites of 2018 list. I might need to buy my own copy. This is my last post for Pride Month, though definitely not my last book featuring LGBT characters! You can find all my Pride Month reads here.

From the cover of Autoboyography:

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.

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