this is now one of my favorite lgbt novels. I don't know if I've ever fallen so in love with a character like Rafe before, but I instantly felt a kindthis is now one of my favorite lgbt novels. I don't know if I've ever fallen so in love with a character like Rafe before, but I instantly felt a kindredship with him and his struggle to be seen for who he is, not just "that gay guy".
I don't particularly agree with the entirety of the book or the last few chapters, but everything felt so honest and real that it's hard to complain even if I think it could or should have gone a different route. in fact, I think the direction surprised me so much that the shock kind of kept me buzzing long after. that's probably a big reason why it's at odds with everything else I loved about this story.
but anyway, it's an amazing read. really gets to the heart of what it means to be lgbt as a teen and trying to be yourself and all the extra baggage that comes with trying to come out.
I wanted to like this book a lot more than I did, but it just didn't do much for me. I liked some of the characters and the overall arc of Nick and hiI wanted to like this book a lot more than I did, but it just didn't do much for me. I liked some of the characters and the overall arc of Nick and his anxiety, but this just felt so all over the place and unfocused. maybe that was the author's intent? I suffer from anxiety and I felt there were some very real moments in the book that explored that but 1) the "freak out" didn't even happen until halfway through the book and 2) there were more moments that felt forced and awkward than felt right and honest. I also don't necessarily understand how or why no one thought Sydney was good for Nick? I get that Nick was his own wear critic (anxiety will do that to you), but the whole hands molding bread and all that seemed like a real stretch when Sydney was just kind of not a good match but also not a terrible person? idk maybe it's just me....more
This book still has me thinking about it. Gorgeously crafted characters that are believable and beautifully flawed. I cried. ;.; I'd read this a dozenThis book still has me thinking about it. Gorgeously crafted characters that are believable and beautifully flawed. I cried. ;.; I'd read this a dozen more times and still feel so kindred with Eleanor. It's rare to find a book that's for YA readers but also completely and sometimes brutally honest about how life really is....more
I really wanted to like this book more than I did. Unfortunately, it just didn't feel "real" to me in most aspects. I liked the characters, but they fI really wanted to like this book more than I did. Unfortunately, it just didn't feel "real" to me in most aspects. I liked the characters, but they felt very flat compared to other gay YA fiction that's just better....more
really gorgeous take on this genre. loved the characters and the realness of falling in some kind of love but not necessarily the kind you think you wreally gorgeous take on this genre. loved the characters and the realness of falling in some kind of love but not necessarily the kind you think you want or need. it was just the perfect amount of heartbreaking too in parts. one thing I wish though is that the author didn't rush the ending. there are so many threads I think he could have elaborated on and didn't. but overall, really lovely....more
I really wanted to like this book, but the characters were very unbelievable for me, the "plot" dull and stale, and the relationships so flat that I hI really wanted to like this book, but the characters were very unbelievable for me, the "plot" dull and stale, and the relationships so flat that I had to force myself to finish. :( I understand that the difference between this novel and the "usual" YA getting together novels lies in the title of this novel itself: it's about gay young adults and how alike they are to everyone's universal high school first love dating woes. And I did enjoy the lovely theme of the struggle to be courageous in the face of adversity. But I just didn't like anybody, didn't like the overt simplicity and I don't feel I gained much having read it. Maybe it's meant specifically for young adults only, but I prefer YA that has a deeper meaning and message. I gave it 3 stars for being cute and short and hopeful, but that's about it....more
A really, really, REALLY surprisingly good read. I was a little worried that this book would read more like fanfiction than literature, but I was pleaA really, really, REALLY surprisingly good read. I was a little worried that this book would read more like fanfiction than literature, but I was pleasantly surprised. Both main characters are lovely and interesting in their own ways, and the supporting characters are varied as well.
One jarring thing you should note is that the POV switches mid-book. At first, I hated it, because I was really enjoying being inside Belimai's head, but I did grow to enjoy the alternating point of view after I got over my initial jolt. My only other complaint would be that the lovey-dovey stuff, while not overdone, is not exactly on par with the characters either. I did enjoy the romance quite a bit, but when any characters profess love, I don't necessarily think it's so scripted as it ended up being in this book.
Overall, though, a really fabulous read and worth a look. The plot, characters, setting, and mystery elements were all very well done, and the humor is sort of odd but just how I like it....more
An amazing read. One of THE best books I have picked up in a long while, and it was on complete impulse that I decided to read this. I love John GreenAn amazing read. One of THE best books I have picked up in a long while, and it was on complete impulse that I decided to read this. I love John Green as an author from Will Grayson Will Grayson, but I hadn't known which title to seek out next. In a Barnes & Noble last week, I was looking for a fun, distracting read, and boy was this it.
Beautiful writing, exquisite main and supporting characters, and wit that is beyond charming and bordering on jealousy-inducing. I was incredibly glad to learn after reading this book that John Green had a lot of help with the math and anagram stuff, because otherwise I may have hated him for being even smarter than I already thought. ;) I mean, you can't get much more amazing to me than being good at math AND clever linguistic tricks.
Colin, as a main character, is just so...just so EVERY teenager and so ME that this book does mean a great deal to my thoughts and feelings on life as well. I feel like John Green was writing a little of me and of all of us into Colin's thoughts about "mattering".
Hassan, as a secondary character, was equally charming and so funny that there were times I caught myself laughing so loud I scared my partner and cats. He reminded me a lot of Will Grayson's friend "Tiny" in WGWG, and in the best of ways, really. I loved that these were BOYS and definitely not men - very self-centered and immature but also so THERE for each other in ways I like seeing in a bro's road trip book. (It's NOT a bro's road trip book, but you could probably argue that too)
Lindsey, as a non-Katherine, was endearing from the first words out of her mouth. I loved her wit and gender neutrality - she was trying to be popular, but you got the impression throughout that that wasn't what she was really about, and I'm so glad she became such a well-rounded, lovely character. Men are usually so bad at writing women as one-dimensional, but John Green really never falls into that trap, and I love him for it.
I also love that he managed to include a mention that Colin's relationship theorem worked for ANY couple (including gay and lesbian couples). He really didn't have to write that in, but he did, and that makes reading a heterosexual book deeper and more welcoming from a gay standpoint....more