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The Handsome Girl & Her Beautiful Boy

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Everyone assumes that Zee is a lesbian. Her classmates, her gym buddies, even her so-called best friend. So many people think that Zee likes girls, even Zee is starting to wonder. Could they be onto something?

Everyone assumes that Art is gay. They take one look at his nice clothes and his pretty face and think: well, obviously.

But there's more to Zee and Art than anyone realizes. When Art first meets Zee, he knows he's found someone special--someone magical. Zee may not be able to see that magic in herself, but Art is bound and determined to show it to her.

What develops is a powerful connection between two people who are beautiful in all the ways they've been told are strange. As they explore their own complexities in gender, sexuality, and identity, they fall for the complexities they find in each other. With his trademark frankness, B.T. Gottfred delves inside both characters' heads in this story about love and living authentically.

420 pages, Hardcover

First published May 8, 2018

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About the author

B.T. Gottfred

4 books173 followers
B. T. Gottfred is an author, playwright, and—ooh, look there, behind you . . . no, you're right, never mind—director.

His first-ish novel, “Forever for a Year”, was released July 2015 by Macmillan/Holt. His second-ish novel, “The Nerdy and The Dirty” arrived November 2016 from Mac/Holt. His third book, "The Handsome Girl and Her Beautiful Boy", debuts May, 2018.

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Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,083 reviews17.3k followers
Shelved as 'zzzzz-coverporn-etc'
August 3, 2019
This book is part of a rhetorical category I like to call "attempting to make people blur labels and boundaries, but failing to realize and unlearn my own biases."

So there’s this quote from a lesbian lead in this book that just fucking haunts me, in which she implies that she thinks about men to finish while having sex.
‘Okay, here I go.’ Iris takes a deep breath, ‘When Stacy and I. . . when she would be, doing . . . down there . . .’ She lowered her eyes towards her lap.
‘I got it.’
‘She was great at it, she broke my heart, but she was great at that . . . but I couldn’t finish, you know . . .’
‘I got it.’
‘. . . I couldn’t finish unless I imagined a boy was . . .’ Iris did this tiny thrust, with her tiny giggle, ‘ . . .you know . . .”
‘I know.’

May I just ask, why, as a 30-something man, you would decide it was appropriate to write about the teen lesbian character in your book only finding sexual pleasure through fantasizing about a man? May I also ask why it is so hard to accept that some girls possibly just... don't like men? (Iris, as may not be surprising to any sapphics in the audience, is the only lesbian character in the novel, so this can very easily be seen as a representation of all lesbians, and thus enforce an already-existing stereotype.) We could also talk about the gender binary of this. And probably at some point ask, why?

Because I think the point of this conversation is to say that no one is truly fully gay. Which, even if true, is besides the point when we’re talking about queer identity. Why is it so bothersome about certain people only dating people of the same gender? Even if you deeply believe all women are attracted to men on some level, how exactly is it hurting you for them to find happiness with women?

The other point of this book seems to be that labels are false gods. With the understanding that I do think sometimes within the community certain people can get too hung up on labeling our sexuality down to the smallest point and more importantly, we often fail to recognize that being a broad community with different experiences is actually what binds us, I don’t agree with how this book does it.

For me, labeling myself as a lesbian, or as sapphic, or as a dyke, is empowering. It’s saying that I don’t conform to norms in a certain way; it’s acknowledging that I look at the world differently because I am attracted to women, and it’s finding solidarity with other people who feel the same way. For others, labeling themselves as bisexual, or as nonbinary, or as trans, is exactly the same thing. It’s finding a way of putting into words something about ourselves that society as a whole at times alienates.

I think this is what people fail to understand. Labels are used by some people as restrictions on identity. They are used by most queer / lgbtq people as a way of finding community and identity in a world that desperately wants to take that away.

And it’s so sad to me that a book about two mga and (possibly) nonbinary characters falling in love was written with this in mind. Because love between queer people is so fundamentally about finding love with someone who sees you the way you are, and that is so wonderful, and I deeply resent that a book which tries to lean into that instead leans away.

“We were gender and sexually fluid before it was cool because we didn’t do it to be cool – we did it to be who we truly are.”

Here’s an edited version. “We were gender and sexually fluid before it was cool because we didn’t do it to be cool – we did it to be who we truly are it’s quite literally never been cool and I, as a man who apparently believes that queer kids are doing it to be cool, should not have written a book about two mga and/or nonbinary teens falling in love before realizing the dehumanizing nature with which I conceptualize other mga, nonbinary people, and the way in which I perceive the modern-day queer community as evil demons forcing everyone into boxes, which I am not aware will enforce the tendency of many, many straight people to perceive all queer people as such.”

TL;DR: If I never again read a man trying to be deep by criticizing the exclusivity of the lgbtq community for an hour straight, but actually just enforcing an “everybody’s-secretly-bi-but-the-bi-label-is-bad, lesbians are fake because every woman wants to fuck men, The Gays Are Such Evil Regressive Label Policers, labels are awful and restrict you so I’ll erase nonbinary labels and mga labels to fit my narrative of how there are no labels for the in-between” view of things, I will feel a lot better about the world.

Read a full review here with further quotes that indicate the same biases.
Profile Image for Biz.
222 reviews102 followers
June 11, 2019

TW: homophobia, transphobia, lesbophobia, islamophobia.

“I wish I was gay because no gay person would ever be expected to be good at [working out]. Except Bryan. He’s not really gay. Of course he is, but he’s more Bryan than he is gay, so he doesn’t count.”
You’re welcome, goodreads. I wanted to stop reading this many times over but I told myself I had to finish it so that I would have the full story and would be able to make complete judgements. I finished this so that other queer teens don’t have to.

Welcome to hell, aka this book.

The Handsome Girl and Her Beautiful Boy tells the story of Zee and Art, 2 teens who are presumed to be gay based on the way they present themselves; however, they both feel as though they’re straight and then they fall into a queer-platonic relationship with each other which eventually morphs into a romantic relationship. Then they experiment and realize that they’re not so straight after all.

If this were all the book was, maybe I would have liked it more. I can definitely see how this book was TRYING to break stereotypes, but you know what? it Failed. It Tried and it Failed. Epically.

Do you ever read a book and think that there is no way that this could be so problematic without trying?

I’m gonna go through and break down every issue I had with this book, receipts included.


I have a genuine question. Am I supposed to like Art? Because I really would, if he weren’t the most homophobic little sh*t I’ve ever met. That quote at the beginning? That’s from Mr. Arthur Adams here!

He’s literally such a homophobe and he treats his best friend SO awfully. He knows that Bryan has had a crush on him for YEARS, and he seriously leads him on so f*cking much it’s despicable.

There’s one scene where he says, “I’m finding you attractive for the first time ever,” and then, ”I submit. You can kiss me,” AS A JOKE. TO HIS BEST FRIEND WHO HAS LIKED HIM FOR YEARS.

And I know he apologizes for it when Bryan doesn’t find it funny, but it’s still so gross. Here’s another fun part where Art describes Bryan’s life:
“Bryan is an only child, so he gets whatever he wants. New car. New clothes… New video games and computers and a credit card he can use to buy whatever food he wants whenever he wants. He’s so lucky. His life would be perfect if I was his boyfriend and his parents stopped pretending he wasn’t gay. So maybe it all equals out.”
Yeah, no.

This book also,,,, really does dirty its other canon gay character, Jayden. Jayden is a creep and a stalker. He’s constantly texting Art, and he even. Freaking. Dresses up in the same outfit as Zee to try and get Art to like him. That’s so creepy and I reaaaaaaalllllllyyyyy hate that this gay character and the lesbian character (more on her later) are both written so awfully. I’m so sick of the predatory gay trope.

People have kids so they can delude themselves into believing they have cheated death and are now immortal. SO do you know what happens when two people have one child and that one child is gay? … The delusion of immortality dies. IT IS MURDERED BY GAY CHILDREN! And when the delusion of immortality dies, a part of them feels like they’re already dead. That’s why my parents and other parents are terrified their kids are gay. All the church, religious, moral stuff is just a bunch of bologna.”

I don’t even,,,, this is homophobia AND transphobia and I’m just,,,, how do writers come up with this sh*t?? I live in a very religious household and my parents are extremely homophobic and saying that they’re really homophobic because “gay kids can’t pass on their genes uwu” is just gross and wrong and invalidates SO many lgbt youth’s experiences with religiously homophobic relatives.

Also, saying that ”[The delusion of immortality] IS MURDERED BY GAY CHILDREN,” is literally so offensive. I kind of felt like it was trying to “joke” that it’s not the parents faults that they’re homophobic!! their gay kids are literally MURDERING their dreams!! Because it’s not like LGBT children whose parents reject them are way more likely to commit suicide than the ones who accept them!! And it’s not like there’s parents out there who have murdered or kicked out their children for being gay!! But the kids are the ones who are murdering their parents dreams. Lmao ok. That’s BS.
“’We were gender and sexually fluid before it was cool because we didn’t do it to be cool – we did it to be who we truly are’”
Honestly I am so sick of this trope where cishets think that queer people just say they’re queer because they think it’s cool??? I think my mom Penelope Alvarez says it best in One Day At a Time when she sys “yeah, she wants the sweet taste of oppression because being a teenager isn’t difficult enough.” We aren’t saying we’re gay to be “part of the trend” or whatever, we say it because it’s WHO WE ARE, Acting like it’s anything other than that obviously shows that this book has a huge misunderstanding on what it’s like to be a queer person, especially a queer teenager or kid, in modern day. Jesus Christ.


Y’all,,, why tf am I even surprised. The lesbophobia in this book is so gross but I guess that’s what I get for reading a book with wlw that’s not written by a wlw!!

I literally don’t even know how to start, so I’m just going to jump right in with a quote. This is Art talking about Zee:
“I’m sure everyone at school thinks she’s boring or ugly or a lesbian, but she transcends beauty… She’s androgynous but not in an unsexy way”
do you guys understand how done I am with men who call masculine girls ugly?? And saying that androgyny is, as a whole, “unsexy??” (in case you were wondering, the answer is so done). I don’t care if Art is an mlm, it’s misogyny and lesbophobia and tbh!! I’m sick of it!!

Also what’s with putting the word lesbian with boring and ugly?? I know it sounds like I’m being really nitpicky but after nineteen years of my life having to deal with people calling real-life lesbians like me boring and ugly, esp if we’re gnc, it just isn’t fun.

Moving on!
“I also might be… trying to decide if I’m really a lesbian or maybe I just really like Iris or maybe I just really hate Cam and he’s making me a lesbian.”
I really thought that we were past these jokes but cishets are still doing this sh*t!! in the year of our lord and savior 2018! I’m so sick of the trope where straight girls are like “I wish I was gay :\” or saying that,, hating a guy so much must make them gay?? I don’t know. I get that these homophobic/lesbophobic things that Zee and Art say in this book are supposed to be “jokes” and it’s supposed to make them quirky, but as someone who has had to live their entire life hearing these jokes, and sometimes they’re not jokes, it’s really annoying, jarring, and awful to read this stuff in a book that’s supposed to be breaking down walls in the LGBT community. These jokes aren’t funny for people who have had to live with this crap our entire lives lmao.

And now for the doozy of all doozies, Iris’s confession when she and Zee were having their sleepover. The only word that I can think of that describes my emotions when I read this, is yucky. It’s just yucky. It was so gross and made me feel so bad and angry and GOD I’m just gonna put the quote in. I’m putting it under a spoiler tag not because it’s a spoiler, but in case any reader just doesn’t even want to read it and wants to scroll past. It’s also very nsfw. You have been warned. Here goes:

Y’all I really can’t make this sh*t up!! like what the hell was that??? And just for frame of reference: Iris is the ONLY (O N L Y) lesbian character in the ENTIRE novel.

I don’t even have the time to say how wrong this is BUT it’s gonna bug me if I don’t. Also I don’t want people asking me what’s so wrong about this because I want to get it all out there and then never have to think of this book or this scene for the rest of my mother effin life

This scene was offensive to me as a woman, and offensive to me as a lesbian. It fulfills the belief held by a lot of gross cishet men that lesbians actually like men/lesbians can be turned. Iris had no character development past being a lesbian, and this was one of very few scenes where she had more than one or two speaking lines. Iris existed solely to show that “not even lesbians are 100% gay!!!!!!11!!!!!11!!1!” and that just sucks.

If Iris had not been the only lesbian character, maybe I would have felt differently. If this book was written by a queer woman, maybe I would have felt differently. But the fact of the matter is, this book is written by a man. Iris is the only lesbian character. This scene was gross, it was unneeded, and I have no idea if the author was trying to portray a lesbian’s struggle with compulsory heterosexuality, but if that’s what this was, then it was done horribly.

Because of the rest of the book, I’m going to assume that this scene wasn’t intended to show comp het. This was intended to show that some (but, in this case, ALL of the book’s lesbians) aren’t actually all the way gay, and that they can be turned. Iris is the only gay character (out of Jayden and Bryan too) who is shown to be “not 100% gay,” and because she is a lesbian and not a gay man, this has misogynistic and lesbophobic connotations.


Yanno, for a book that supposedly prides itself on having characters that are experimenting and fluid in their sexual orientations, there is a surprising amount of biphobia in here. Some of this falls into more of the realm of Carry On’s biphobia (and no I’m not going to go into that here use google if you don’t know what I’m talking about), and some of it was a lot more malicious. Let’s start with the bi erasure.

This book utterly refuses to say the words bisexual or bi. It just doesn’t. (And yes I know it says it once (once) but it’s never Zee or Art considering that label for themselves. )

And I’m not angry that Zee and Art didn’t settle with the bi labels, I’m angry that they never considered it as an option. This book spends a lot of time treating sexuality as black and white, gay and straight, and even when it starts to look at more of the gray areas, the words bi or pan are never used. Zee and Art are basically like, “hey I just discovered this new thing,,, what if,,, I liked girls,,, AND GUYS” and it’s like, yeah, guys, that’s called bisexuality.

They never once even consider the labels, and this novel treats bisexuality like a new thing, when it’s been around as long as people have.


Here’s a quote about Iris:
“’[Iris] isn’t a cheerleader and she doesn��t have a mean boyfriend. And if there are nerds pining after her, they are wasting their time because she likes girls. And if you like girls, you don’t like boys no matter how much of your homework they do.”
and this is supposed to be a book that treats sexuality as a gray area!! Not!!

Jayden is also,,,, HELLA biphobic. Here’s a quote:
“’I fall almost every single time for boys that also love girls and their stupid amazing girl parts I can never compete with. I only feign drama with you because – well, mostly because I’m great at feigning drama – but also because I want to trick you into liking only boys so that I can solve all my father issues through our relationship.”
ohhhh my goddd is this dude even real??? Is he even freaking real??? Wtf???

Let’s get this out of the way: bi men are just as capable of loving a man as fully as a gay man can. Bi women are just as capable of loving a woman as fully as a lesbian can. Saying stuff like this is biphobic and supports the incorrect idea that bi people are always going to be giving only half of their heart in a relationship with any one person.


Once again, for a book that really tries to include themes of gender fluidity and gender non-conformity, and for a book that includes a canon trans character, there is still a really huge emphasis on genitals = gender. I put this quote in the homophobia section but Imma remind you of it again while I talk about the transphobic aspects of it:
“People have kids so they can delude themselves into believing they have cheated death and are now immortal. SO do you know what happens when two people have one child and that one child is gay? … The delusion of immortality dies. IT IS MURDERED BY GAY CHILDREN! And when the delusion of immortality dies, a part of them feels like they’re already dead. That’s why my parents and other parents are terrified their kids are gay. All the church, religious, moral stuff is just a bunch of bologna.”

Y’all realize that trans lgb people exist right?? Like, gay couples could potentially biologically have children if one of the people in the relationship were trans?? not all trans people are straight so stop acting like they are.

Next quote!
“Genitals and gender are too sex-focused.”

Here’s another quote that just made me mad – because my interpretation of this quote is that the author/book is inferring that there is something inherently sexual about gender. Notice how people only say that about trans kids and never about cis kids?? Stop saying that focusing on gender is “sex-focused” because it isn’t. It’s about identity and finding out who you really are, whether you be cis or trans. Acting like it’s an inherently sexual characteristic is a double standard and only encourages the people who say that trans people, including trans children, shouldn’t be around cis kids.

This book also really finds a crap-ton of ways to not say the word nonbinary. For a book that is supposed to be about gender fluidity, either it wasn’t well enough researched or there’s some real enbyphobia happening here. This isn’t a book about two teens realizing they’re nonbinary or even about two teens experimenting with the term nonbinary, because it never mentions the word. Maybe the ending was supposed to be like, “It’s up to the reader’s interpretation on whether Zee and Art are nb or not!!” and if that’s the case, then that’s sh*t. Your representation for nonbinary people doesn’t count for anything if you’re not going to say the word or confirm that they are nb. As a nonbinary person myself, I feel misled by the reviews and blurb of this book that implied that Zee and Art would be experimenting with their gender identities, because they weren’t.

And in case you’re wondering just how far this book stretched to not say nonbinary, here’s a picture of the last page where the book reaches out to the reader.

WHAT THE HELL DOES SUPER-GENDERED MEAN. LITERALLY WHAT THE F*CK. Not only is that the wrong part of speech (just like you would say transgender, and not transgendered, as using trans/”supergender” as a verb makes it sound like it’s something that happens to us, rather than our own identity), but it’s NOT EVEN A REAL WORD. This sounds like something that a cis person would say to make fun of the trans community and I. Hate. It.

Racism and Islamophobia.

In this book, Zee reconnects with her dad who she had never met before. Zee’s dad is Muslim. And Zee is immediately like “WHOOP HE’S A TERRORIST wait is that racist?? OH WELL IDEC’
Here’s a quote!
“I tell Art how I think my dad is probably a terrorist and that I’m definitely a racist a-hole for thinking he’s a terrorist.
‘ He’s not a terrorist, Zee.’
‘Wait till you see him.’”

Yeah,,,,, no! I talked about how awful Art is, and this is the other main character who we’re supposed to love and support! This book is a f*cking joke!!

And if that weren’t enough, when Zee finally comes around and realizes that her dad is not a terrorist (which this book totally glosses over by the way – Zee never apologizes in the narrative for stereotyping him) she and Art start calling the money that Zee’s dad gives them to live off of “drug money.” No joke.

This book fuels racist and islamophobic stereotypes in much of the way that it does with the homophobic/transphobic stereotypes: by treating it as though it’s a “joke”, with the main characters saying whatever they want and never actually feeling bad for it. That makes this book harmful to Muslims, people of color, and the lgbt community, and it’s not. f*cking. funny.

So that’s the five main problems I had with this book, but just wait, there’s more! Let’s talk about some of the smaller things that I had issues with.

- Zee goes through Art’s phone, without his permission, when he’s in the bathroom. She never apologizes for this.
- Girl hate. Abby is painted as “psychotic bitch,” and Zee says sh*t like, ”I’m soooooo much smarter and more interesting and more beautiful [than her].”
- Why tf is everyone wearing Zee’s clothes??? Zee says Iris is wearing the same shirt that Art bought her, Art says that Jayden is wearing the same pants as Zee. Am I missing some sort of symbolism here??
- I mentioned this briefly before, but this book makes a lot of jokes about gay people being gay just because it’s cool or whatever, and I’m still not over it. Being gay is cool now and it’s so much easier than being straight!!! Duh it’s the straighties that are oppressed now!! (this is sarcasm.)

So there you have it! This book sucks!! I feel like a lot of the crap in this book was meant to be read as a “joke”, but if your jokes are enforcing incorrect stereotypes about oppressed people, you’re not subverting any tropes here. You’re reinforcing them.

*drops mic*
Profile Image for Alice.
229 reviews43 followers
July 6, 2018
This story is weird. Really weird. I kind of liked it, but I'm also weirded out. I do not recommend this to those people who complain about contemporaries not being realistic enough.

The dialogue and internal monologue is pretty unrealistic. Overall the story is written in a strange style. Duo perspective from the 2 main characters Art and Zee. The story switches back and forth between them in a first person perspective in very short chapters throughout the story. In between a single scene their perspectives would switch giving both their thoughts on the situation which is why the style of this story is very unique.

If you've read the description of this book "everyone" thinks Art likes guys and Zee likes girls. So for the first half of this book I was like what the fuck because they were both STRAIGHT AS FUCK. So the main guy character Art looks feminine and is creative so apparently people assume he's gay. The main girl character Zee doesn't like dressing girly, works out, and has short hair so that makes her a lesbian??? I was like what is this shit that doesn't actually happen in real life. I read this because I thought the premise of this sounded really strange and crazy.

So there's this weird turn in the 2nd half of the book where they both suddenly become more fluid in their sexualities and it's really strange because for the whole first half of the book they are extremely straight and now they are not.

For the first part of the book Art was seriously EXTRA straight. Besides the whole "he's feminine thing" the story was trying to push he was a super straight dude in every way. If there was a straight to gay meter I would be straight and he would shoot beyond that point into the XTRA straight category and then every one would be pissed because he broke the damn meter.

Zee was really straight too she was just in denial about liking Art. The transition into the whole 2nd half of the book was pretty messy because it just went from 1 to 100 real quick. I just don't understand how they both went from straight to fluid and it was not great. Their romance starts as instalove from Art so I guess I shouldn't be surprised. It does take a long time for Zee to actually like him so there's still a lot of build up.

Art has this weird personality where he is extremely cocky and confident. I would actually like him if he wasn't so strange. He's super extra. He's weird. Really weird. So Zee used Art for the first half of the book to make herself feel better about the negative things in her life while not actually liking him (leading him on) and that pissed me off because I think she's stupid for thinking she might be a lesbian just because other people think so. (How does that even work? That's so stupid.) Also she keeps thinking he's gay for a while even thought he is absolutely obsessed with her and it really doesn't make any sense.

The middle portion of this story is of them fucking in a motel.

Yeah this is one of those "weird concept" stories like the one I read about the porn addict and this sure is weird so if that's what you want to read here you go.
Profile Image for Avery (Book Deviant).
355 reviews91 followers
July 15, 2018
See more of my reviews on my blog the Book Deviant.

My review for this book ended up being 2k+ words long. I don't want to post the whole thing here, so the beginning is just below. When the full review is posted on my blog, I will update this review with a link. Until then, official review below:

I originally found this book on NetGalley, but it was up for Wish for It. I still wanted to read it, so I emailed the publisher and never got a response. In a really desperate attempt, I put a note on my review in Goodreads, asking if it was possible for a trans reviewer to get an ARC. Lo and behold, I later got a message via Goodreads from author BT Gottfred, in which he asked me to fill out his contact form on his website, and he'd forward my info to his publisher.

Throughout our emailing, he was very nice and friendly, and by the end of our conversation, I can very well say that Gottfred wrote this book with good intentions, but I couldn't yet say if he wrote accurately. About a month later, I got a physical ARC copy in the mail with a note from the publisher noting that the author had requested I was sent one. (Meaning that Gottfred had come through, that he wanted to know an #OwnVoices opinion.)

Unfortunately, that's where the majority of the "Pros" end. I can say, wholeheartedly, that I would not recommend The Handsome Girl & Her Beautiful Boy to teen readers, and even less so to queer readers. 

It's made very obvious from the outside and summary of this book that Gottfred was attempting to challenge stereotypes by reiterating that being a feminine boy =/= being gay, and being a masculine girl =/= being a lesbian. To do this, however, Gottfred utilized other, more harmful stereotypes, specifically ones that made me question adult's sanity. Do they really think we act like this?

Here's a link to my full review.

Here's a link to my friend Rachel's review, which I highly recommend reading. She discusses scenes that I didn't get to.
Profile Image for Sylvie .
616 reviews811 followers
June 12, 2018
The Handsome Girl & Her Beautiful Girl
by B.T. Gottfred

3.35/5 Stars!

This whole review contains spoilers.

This book is definitely not you typical YA contemporary book, it deals with heavy issues: death, health issues, sexuality, putting labels on people and it’s kind of a "coming of age" form of a book, too.
This was one of the messiest books I've read, but not in a bad way. The weird thing is that this was a very strange story yet I liked it.

So, a little about the story:
Everyone thinks Zee is a lesbian because she dresses like a tomboy and likes stuff boys like for example going to the gym or lifting weights etc. And everyone also thinks that Art is gay because of his feminine style always wearing pristine clothes, using lotion every day and etc.

Zee is in love with her bestfriend of six years Cam, and Art's bestfriend Bryan is in love with him. The relationships in this book were so confusing I'll get to that part soon.

So, Art is really sweet guy but annoying always making everything about him such an attention seeker like the word Drama Queen was made especially for him. He was the definition of being extra.

Bryan always using the word 'bitch', in every one of his sentence like dude take a chill pill, I'm not joking that word was used 31 times in this book yes, most of them were used in Bryan's sentences and yes, I counted how many times that word was used.

Writing style: It was as if a 14 year old wrote it, I mean I get why the author did that because the main characters were teenagers. It was very quirky and I liked it, as if you’re in the teenagers’ minds. However Art was constantly thinking that he was hilarious I mean sometimes he was but other times I was like: 'OK dude we get it, you’re funny stop repeating it over and over again'.

Literally every guy in this book cried. Was there anyone in this book who hasn’t cried? The answer is no. Seriously the boys cried more than the girls. Whenever one of them started crying I was like:

But I loved the whole idea and the concept of the story in general, putting labels on people is wrong, just let them be or live how they like, we shouldn’t judge people based on their appearance or how they dress.

Relationships: I wasn't fully convinced on Art and Zee's relationship, Art fell in love with Zee the second he saw her, but I wasn't buying it, he was just obsessed with the idea of being in love with her and another thing that bothered me was that Zee is older than Art (that is always a minus for me, I don't like when the girl is older than the guy, especially if they're in a relationship. That's just my personal opinion, though).

But the whole relationships were so messy, the main characters were with different people every time. Art loves Zee, Zee loves Cam, Cam loves Abby (Art's sister) who later on starts dating her ex-boyfriend, Bryan loves Art and then forgets about his ''undying love'' for Art the minute he starts dating Taylor, and Jayden? his was the weirdest, he knows Art is in love with Zee so he starts dressing up like Zee to make Art love him and Art likes it? Oh, and Zee starts liking a girl named Iris or that's how she thinks that, then she crushes on another boy, and Cam dumps Abby for Zee because he saw Zee wearing girly clothes. You see my point and why I was extremly confused with all these?
Like, who likes who? Who's dating who? It was strange.

One of the things I really enjoyed in this book was the acknowledgment and the author’s note that was one of the best parts of the book.
Profile Image for Amanda.
510 reviews1,090 followers
April 5, 2018
There are a lot of stories in the YA LGBTQ+ genre. Almost all of them feature characters that have queer identities that fall clearly under some category in the LGBTQ+ spectrum. The Handsome Girl and Her Beautiful Boy is for all the kids who don’t fit in any category. This is about the non-binary kids who defy labels in order to be their most authentic selves.

The thing I love most about any book by B.T. Gottfred is the characters. This time we are following the story of Art and Zee. Art is a “feminine” boy and Zee is a “masculine” girl. Both of them are kind of misfits and when they’re together it just works. He’s the yin to her yang essentially. The story follows their rather unique love story. Even if I don’t necessarily always have anything in common with the characters there is always something about all these kids that’s still universal and endears me to them. Anyone who has ever been a teenager can relate to the inherent awkwardness that comes with teenage (or for the most part adult ones as well) relationships.

The Handsome Girl and Her Beautiful Boy is adorable and fluffy at times and in others it’s deep and thought provoking. Sometimes it’s funny and sometimes it’s sad. Just as the story isn’t necessarily only one kind of story, Art and Zee aren’t only one thing. We are watching two kids figure out who they are without having to put a label on it. I think the whole idea here is that when you remove all the expectations that society put on your personality, you really can find out who you truly are and who you get to share it with.

P.S. Art is the manic pixie dream boy of my soul and I love him intensely! …!!!!!!
Profile Image for Errin.
390 reviews88 followers
Shelved as 'did-not-finish'
August 20, 2018
"I’m sure everyone at school thinks she’s boring or ugly or a lesbian, but she transcends beauty… She’s androgynous but not in an unsexy way"

Profile Image for Kirsten Aucoin.
122 reviews2 followers
January 1, 2019
There was one thing that aggravated me to no end while reading this book. That was the almost complete and utter lack of acknowledgement that bisexuality was a thing that existed.
(WARNING: minor spoilers)
Aside from just the obvious issues with that, it also didn't make sense with how the rest of the story was written. A trans character is acknowledged. The term "sexually fluid" is used. There's even a part where a character talks about knowing people who like both guys and girls. But - for some unknown reason - they all don't know what bisexual is? What?
Most of this seems to be for the plot. The whole "am I gay or straight" debate is a focus throughout the book. So, despite it feeling awkward and unrealistic, I let it go with the assumption that it would eventually be brought up towards the end with a big discovery/coming out moment.
Then the word is finally brought up - by one of the characters who has been having the whole "am I gay or straight" debate. It's not a discovery moment. It's used flippantly as if he always knew the term. (Sentence being: "No other straight or even bisexual teenage boy in the world would be just as happy holding a girl all night as he would be getting naked".)
This is the same character who earlier stated "...everything's so confusing when you're gay and in love with a girl". Yet who also apparently knows what bisexuality is, at least vaguely.
It makes zero sense to me.
It bothered me throughout the majority of the book, which was annoying because it would have been an okay read otherwise.
There's also things said like "who's the boy with two boys?", slut shaming, homophobic terms, a LOT of biphobia, a lot of talk of gender norms in connection to sexuality, sex scenes occur, and some violence. Again, disappointing especially since the author himself claimed the book as "...exploring issues of gender and sexuality...".
Aside from all of that - the story was interesting. It took a lot of unexpected turns, the characters were thought out, it brought up a lot of confusing thoughts that some teens face (despite not fully addressing them), and it was funny. The ending felt...not quite there for me. I didn't like the usage of caps to represent screaming. I did enjoy the addition of charts and text messages to go along with some parts of the story.
Overall... This book was an interesting idea and had a real oppurtunity to be something great addressing the topic of gender/sexuality. I just feel that it missed it's mark.
Profile Image for TheEuphoricZat.
1,156 reviews34 followers
February 7, 2019
I love this book so much
There are a lot of things i dont like about this book but there is a lot more that i like about it
The way it addresses sexuality and toxic masculinity just makes my heart go soft.
Art and rebecca just make me so in love with them
The way art is soft but yet strong and confident in himSelf just makes me smile (there is this part where he says everyone is gay, even the homophobic people) (he is more byran than he is gay) that makes me think of how someone is just themselves and not more gay than themselves.
I love the way death and loss was dealt with in this book and its just amazing...
I was confused but enlightened at the same time.
Love has no definition and this book is a great example of that.
Profile Image for Tara.
340 reviews92 followers
July 10, 2018
First of all, this book (beneath the jacket) is the most beautiful color blue I've ever seen in my life. I'm so tempted to paint my walls to match it, you have no idea.

Second of all, this is a really hard review to write? Because even though I stayed up until 5am finishing it (reading 200+ pages to do so), I'm not totally in love with it?

Art is.. a lot. Zee is.. (sorta) relatable. Everyone else is just.. there.

The drama there toward the end, though. Oh man that was entertaining. Also the diversity is great!

But yeah. Nothing really wowed me, and when a contemporary (because that's how I'd categorize it?) is 400 pages, it really needs to wow me to get a high rating.

3.5 stars!

(the half star is for the blue cover ngl)
Profile Image for Adna.
110 reviews
May 13, 2018
The only way I think I can describe this book is a train wreck. I think the only part I liked about it was the unique sexualities and fluidity shown. That part was awesome – just not the characters’ personalities. Also, I just want to read ONE book where there is a Muslim character that doesn’t get accused of being a terrorist.
The beginning of this book was super hard to follow because there are super short chapters with really wild, quirky writing. The book is told from two different perspectives, and these two characters are probably the weirdest ones I’ve read in a while. It was almost too much for me, and I almost stopped reading because the characters were just trying so hard to be eccentric. I almost couldn’t get a feel for who the characters really were because of them being so out-there and crazy. The number of exclamation points used was highly unnecessary and really annoying. It just made everyone seem younger and way too excited about things that weren’t exciting.
Art annoyed me consistently throughout the novel. This kid reminded me of the young boy from Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, except on speed. He was honestly so full of himself and seriously thought he was the funniest kid that ever lived. At least five times, just in the first half of the novel, he says something, and then after the dialogue, he would say “I’m hilarious” or “because I’m so hilarious” and in the middle of his dialogue, he would say “ha”. It was so off-putting. It just made me think of annoying little brothers. Also, his obsession with Zee was very creepy and severely unsettling. He looked at her up close for the first time and then thought he “met his future girlfriend and probably the other half of his soul”. I wouldn’t have thought twice about it if it stayed at this. Yeah, it’s kind of cringy to say something like this, but he IS 15. But he keeps saying stuff like this, and he keeps obsessing over Zee. I get that this book is supposed to be about the weird kids, the kids that don’t fit under any labels or molds, but wow. These characters are really out there. Honestly, who says stuff like “every time I look at Zee, I’d see her lips and want to kiss her and then my heart would break yet again, and I’d die because you can’t live with a shattered heart but then I would come back to life because I’m magical” (178). I feel like if I ever met someone like this then I would have a lot of headaches.
Zee is not much better. She is slightly less strange than Art, but still, she felt really cold to me. Almost every character in this book was problematic for me. None of them seemed realistic in any way. Whatever they did in the first scene they were in, they continued to do the same thing. A big event happens at the beginning of the book, and Zee deals with it for about 10 pages, and then it’s almost never mentioned or dealt with again. And what she does afterward is just so completely bizarre. I didn’t like how she felt about Cam either. She wanted the attention of a boy who was super shallow and was not a very good friend towards her. After the big event, he pretty much disappears and only comes back when he sees her in something she doesn’t usually wear. What an ass. I hope that teenagers who read this don’t accept that this kind of behavior and dynamics are okay.
I think this book is a big step in the right direction towards acceptance of diversity. I surely have never read a love story like this one, but I hope to read more like it someday.
Profile Image for clem.
519 reviews371 followers
July 19, 2018
Rating: 3.5 stars

The first half of this books is fantastic and it lead me to believe that this was going to be one of my favorite of the year. I loved that the two MC defy gender roles and their dynamic as a couple was really interesting.

The writing style is different and really entertaining. It really captures the mind of a 16 years old kid. The characters were relatively well crafted and unique too.

But then the last half hit and kind of ruined the entire book for me due to /!\ spoiler alert/!\ the fact that our MCs are in fact gay and liked each other because they “looked” like the archetype of their own gender.

While this is completely fine as a coming out book with two confusing teen who are convincing theirselves that they’re straight, the fact that in the end they fitted the gay stereotype didn’t sit well with me. In the end, I have mixed feelings about this book.
Profile Image for B.T. Gottfred.
Author 4 books173 followers
March 27, 2018
Publishers Weekly Starred Review:

"All their classmates think that Zee is a lesbian and Art is gay. However, Zee likes boys, and Art likes girls (at least, they are pretty sure). Soon after meeting, they fall for each other. In his third novel, Gottfred (Forever for a Year) creates characters and hilarious dialogue reminiscent of E. Lockhart’s Ruby Oliver books; as in his other titles, his sex scenes are detailed, wonderfully honest, and not a bit gratuitous. With outspoken sincerity, Zee describes her grief over her mother and her heartfelt questions about life—her newfound father, her sexuality, her best friend (and crush) Cam, and of course, Art. Equally captivating are Art’s exhilarating, wildly emotional chapters, which include playful Venn diagrams (“Art Charts”). In this big-hearted novel, Gottfred explores the fluidity of gender and sexuality, including questions about what makes a person straight, gay, or bisexual; the confusion that liking both girls and boys can provoke in a teen; and the many nuances of attraction."

Profile Image for Ms. Nguyen.
294 reviews22 followers
March 8, 2018
Told from the viewpoint of Zee, a "handsome girl" and Art, a "beautiful boy," Gottfred takes the reader on an interesting journey, as the two high schoolers attempt to figure out their sexualities amidst a backdrop of disappearing and dying parents.

Sounds bleak, right? Actually, no. Somehow, this book is a paradox in itself. It's lighthearted and difficult. It's funny and heartbreaking. It's silly and serious. I loved Art's voice; he is the kind of character that you just want to be around. I really liked how their respective journeys of self discovery weren't some "aha" moment. It felt like they would be rediscovering, exploring, contemplating for much longer than the span of the book.

I am apprehensive to shelf this as "young adult" and "young love" because it's definitely deep and advanced. The writing is a little more advanced, but there's lot of sex. MATURE STUDENTS ONLY!

The only criticism I have is the living situation at the end. Felt like a cop out. However, this book is 100% worth the read :)
Profile Image for ivy francis.
544 reviews27 followers
June 7, 2019
Full review: https://bookpeopleteens.wordpress.com...

Overall, this is a Good book with a Good message and a Good romance. I went in thinking, oh no, this book is going to be homophobic/transphobic/generally bad, and I was happily surprised to see that it was not. The Handsome Girl & Her Beautiful Boy is a great read for fans of I'll Give You the Sun, and a Good read for anyone. Rating: Four/Five

Favorite quotes:
- “Can we hug? Not because we’re sad or in love but because we’re human.”
- “You can do whatever the heck you want to do. You can love whoever you want to love. You can be whoever you want to be, Anyone who says you can’t, no matter what religion or bullshit they are hiding behind, are only telling you that you can’t be you because they’re terrified of the freedom to be who they want to be.”
- “The universe wants you to find partnership (purpose/happiness/pleasure/love/peace) with whoever (boy/girl/both/many/yourself) you want in whatever way (emotionally/sexually/intellectually/spiritually) you want.”
234 reviews6 followers
February 27, 2018
Here's what happens every time I get a B.T. Gottfred book from NetGalley:

It starts out with a great hook, I get mildly conflicted, but I'm already in love so I stay awake for half the night and read the thing in two sittings. Then I finish and the conflicted feeling returns and eventually I forget all the details but remember the characters.

Every time, my freewheeling, non-censuring self stops for a second and asks, "But is this book YA?" I think my sticking point is that the people buying YA are either 10-13 year olds, or people past the demographic portrayed in the story.

I love that Art and Zee are characters exploring complicated gender identities and non-traditional sexuality. Representation matters. And I love that they can live through their experiences and stay open to various interpretations of the term "a couple"; just knowing that options other than marriage or binary relationships exist is important, especially for teens trying to figure themselves out.

I wish stories like this had existed when I was growing up. I just have found these stories to be a hard sell to the people that could use them, too involved for those younger, and too uncomfortable for those older. I am glad they exist, though.
13 reviews
November 25, 2018
I'm a 36 year old straight white guy, and this book fascinated me.

I was immediately and completely invested in the characters, which I absolutely did not expect: not only because my own life experience has been so different from theirs, but because when taking on such strong personality traits (androgyny, varying positions on a masculine/feminine spectrum, whatever you want to call it), and making that the clear message the novel is going for, you expect those traits to completely overpower the main characters' personalities. They didn't, at all: everything about them felt not only authentic but relatable. Regardless of gender traits or identity, we've all been confused adolescents trying to figure out who we are, and how to feel okay with who we are. To empathise with that completely and yet see it experienced from an entirely new perspective was so refreshing.

The afterward attempting to delve into the complexities of the gender spectrum felt like an overreach, and an indulgence by the author who wasn't quite ready to let the characters go after completing the main story (not that I can blame him), but hey - he still gets points for trying. I sure couldn't have described it better, and I'm not sure who could.
Profile Image for Teresa.
801 reviews12 followers
December 5, 2017
This book...I don't even know where to start?!
Zee is in love with her best friend, but everyone is convinced that Zee is a lesbian. Her mother is dying, her father is absent and Zee is struggling about whether to tell her best friend, Cam, that she loves him.
Art is gay...isn't he? He dresses the part, acts the part so he must be...
When Art meets Zee it is love at first sight for him, he notices that Zee doesn't see herself the way he does and he vows to make sure that she will see herself as this beautiful, strong person he sees...no matter the cost.
This book wasn't black and white...this book lived in gray areas but I think that is why I found myself loving it even more. Zee and Art are trying to discover who they are...in just about every way and I loved how Gottfred explored all those gray areas without sugar coating any of it. I have a feeling this book will stay with me for a long time, which in my eyes is the sign of a great book.
Thanks to Macmillan for the ARC!
Profile Image for Lauren.
1,318 reviews
May 5, 2018
Like L. Philip’s PERFECT TEN, this novel won’t be for everyone. Both Zee and Art are extremely quirky, honest, weird characters (thus their appeal) and the author introduces and explores them in a very philosophical, well developed manner.

Above all, this book is about the varying degrees of attraction, gender, and sexuality. That we can’t always fully understand why we love and are attracted to certain people, just that we are. I loved Zee and Art for their bluntness and honesty with each other about their sexualities, and their obvious passion for each other as human beings.

Through both their struggles, they come together and apart multiple times, but end in a more comfortable and open place than where they began. Which is what we all want, really.

Thoroughly loved this book, even if it was an emotional rollercoaster.
Profile Image for Krystal.
1,352 reviews351 followers
Shelved as 'never-gonna-happen'
September 5, 2018
I'm so grateful for Goodreads reviews because the blurb makes this sound like an out-of-the-box, quirky kinda story that would be cute and sweet and I may have been compelled to read it. Then you'd have a rant on your hands.

Thank you again to the friends who read and reviewed this so I don't have to.
Profile Image for Rebeca.
32 reviews25 followers
June 21, 2018
(First of all, thank you to B.T. Gottfred and Henry Holt and Company, an imprint of Macmillan Children's Publishing Group for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!)

I gave this book a rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars.

* Trigger warning for some slightly graphic medical and sexual scenes in this book!

So let's start with the positives:
When I first found this book on Goodreads and read the synopsis I was mind blown because it was so similar to storylines and kinds of characters I'd been wanting to see in something (movies, TV shows, books) for so long but it seemed to be the only kind of plot lines and characters that would just never show up. But then I came across this beautiful book and saw that someone possibly brought so many things I had been wanting in a story for so long together in one single book, and I knew I had to read it!
So I contacted the author and requested an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in exchange for an honest review and representation of the book on my bookstagram account, and I was lucky enough that the author kindly sent my address along to his publisher and I was soon sent the ARC in the mail. And I actually ended up really liking it. It was one of the most unique books and definitely the most unique love story I've ever read.
I really liked seeing two strong main characters who were confident in who they were but also willing to explore more of who they were and could be, and who were more than the stereotypes they might be perceived as.
I could actually see tiny bits of myself in these characters, which I think made me feel more attached to them and miss them a bit once the story was over.
And there is a very wide differing and diverse cast of characters in this book, which I thought was great! I can't speak personally to my knowledge on what may or may not be accurate about a lot of the representation in it, but I appreciate that there were so many different kinds of people represented.
I also really liked how a lot of the situations the characters were going through in this book I think could be very similar and relatable to things a lot of people go through in real life as well. And I liked how they differed from things you see a lot of characters go through.
And I liked the amount of time that this story took place in. It seemed right and realistic for the storyline and character development that took place.
I also enjoyed the format of this book in the way it was written. Changing so much back-and-forth between Zee and Art's perspectives and there being larger sections of this book rather than just usual chapters and all of the little extra things put into the story like the Art charts and text messages made this a very engaging and quick read. I am a very slow reader and only usually like to read in small increments at a time which usually makes it take months for me to read an entire book. But I flew through this one and this is the fastest I've read a book since I was a teenager, and it was a really cool experience!

Now on to the negatives:
Other than just my personal opinions of really disliking some of the characters in this book and how they dealt with some things, a lot of the things they did and points in the plot just seemed pretty unrealistic to me a lot of the time, especially in the second half of the book. Even some things that I wanted to happen and some that I didn't just all around seemed unrealistic in the way they occurred or sometimes that they even did at all.
Personally, when I'm reading a contemporary book I only have a small extent of dispensation of disbelief that I can have before things start seeming over the top or just ridiculous to me. Like when certain things happen at a very unrealistic pace or when characters do things that you know if this same situation was in real life they just never would.
And although sometimes doing things that way may make a story more entertaining in ways that helps make up for it a little bit, It's just things like that that really bug me sometimes about stories, especially contemporaries. And unfortunately it happened quite a few times in this book.
And even though I was really glad to see all of the diversity in this book, sometimes it just felt like it was just there for the sake of being another diverse character even in the tiniest way and not really giving much more of a point or development or anything to the character or the story. And at some parts things got a little too focussed on the physicality of it all in different ways for what I would've liked. And honestly there were just some things that I myself just personally would've liked to have seen done differently. But I digress!

And so all together (even though this review is probably all over the place and about ninety miles long, and I'm sorry about that) those are some of my basic non spoilery thoughts on this book that I wanted to explain and why I rated it the way I did. Overall I thought this was as the book says on the back, "A love story as unique as you." and a very fun and quick YA contemporary read that I would recommend to anyone who's looking for a book like that or a different diverse book than they probably have read before.
And I'm very grateful I got the chance to read it! :)
Profile Image for Elizabeth Dochnal.
71 reviews3 followers
June 6, 2018
I go back and forth about how much I like this book. I like Art being so strange and dramatic, but other times I felt he was too much and too pushy with his affection. Almost uncomfortably so. I greatly enjoy the exploration of gender and sexuality. There were a few things in the book that I felt could have been more, things that were breezed over and forgiven far too easily in my opinion[1]. But there is an issue that just sticks out to me [2].(Spoilers below!)
Edit: Since it has been a few days since I finished the book and sat more on it I realized I didn't like the book as much as I wanted to. It's still okay, nothing terrible. But Art every now and then isn't interesting-dramatic, he is ~manic pixie dream boy~. The handling of sexuality and to be honest...the ending...are what have me taking this from a 3 star to 2 (good reads rating, it's okay)

[1] I had figured out why Michael was hiding the letter and being a dick to Zee. But when he did admit that the money was gone for Zee to just 'forgive' him made little to no sense. I understand she was just done with him but...that is a really big thing. It wasn't just him being a dick to her biological dad. It was money that her mother had saved up for her to have independence and this guy that she had trusted and been with at the end just betrayed those trusts and wishes.
[2] After Art and Zee start getting intimate Art apparently goes online and starts trying to search for something about what they are doing. Trying to find a term for them. Especially once Jayden and Iris also come into play. Even though Art can ID a trans woman the two of these magnificent teens can't figure out what the B in LGBT stands for. Even with his 'research' he can't find the term bisexual or pansexual or gender fluid/neutral. I would NOT go as far as to cry erasure but it did make me a bit irritated that these two great characters just kept screaming back and forth between "Am I gay or straight?!"
Profile Image for Talia.
165 reviews33 followers
June 16, 2019
I’ve recommended this book to like five people already. I love how fluid masculinity and femininity are in this book. Zee and Art are complex characters who defy traditional gender norms and roles and presentations, and it does a great job of exploring their fluid sexualities, too.

It used to be cutting-edge to have gay characters in YA, and I’m glad to see that we’re trending even further towards inclusivity of different identities on the spectrums of gender and sexuality. Yay! Read this book!
Profile Image for Vivian.
10 reviews1 follower
December 31, 2017
Once again Mr. Gottfred has knocked it out of the park. A sweet story about two teens who are not what they appear. It breaks down walls within the LGTBQ+ community and puts a new spin on a simple love story. Zee and Art are such strong characters within their own right. They carry the story along swimmingly into a sweet finish that left me teary eyed. This book does has adult content so I wouldn't be handing it off to a 13 year old but I did enjoy this book thoroughly. Nice work B>T>
Profile Image for Aliyah Hyman.
8 reviews1 follower
October 24, 2018
Unexpectedly "inappropriate". I loved this book, don't get me wrong, and now looking back, I should have known that a book about gender roles would have its fair share of sex scenes... a LOT of sex scenes. Overall, it's a great book, and it taught me much more about morality. Gottfred did an amazing job of keeping me on my toes, and the switches in perspective gave the book life (as did Art's personality!) This was not just a good read, it was an amazing read. 10/10 WOULD recommend!!!!!
1 review1 follower
October 18, 2018

Profile Image for Diana Laura (The Bookish Sisters).
177 reviews15 followers
May 13, 2018

4.5 / 5 stars
I love this book and its characters so much, I don’t know what to do with myself now that I finished reading it. My brain and heart are still living inside this book and I honestly thing a little piece of me will stay inside of it until the end of times. WHY did it have to end? WHY did it have to end the way it did? HOW could you (I’m talking to you, B.T. Gottfred) do this to me?! WHY am I so frustrated and confused and sad and… happy at the same time?! I don’t know. And I don’t think I’ll ever find the perfect words to express how much this book confused me, pulled me out of my comfort zone, made me happy, frustrated me, made me swoon, made me cry and made me laugh so I guess here comes a very crappy, short and incoherent review.

I didn’t expect for this story to go down the road it went. Pardon my dumbness but I honestly didn’t expect it to be an LGBTQ+ book. I read the synopsis and thought, “oh, this is just a teenage romance where the girl is a tomboy and the guy is a little feminine”, and for about half the book I actually wasn’t technically wrong but then… I was wrong, AGAIN (I bet you are not surprised). Because the characters turned into sexually confused messes is the blink of an eye and I became even more confused than them. I had a lot of questions, “is she a lesbian? Is he gay? AM I GAY? Is my dog gay? WHAT IS HAPPENING?” (The answer is we are all a little bit gay so there’s that). I was mad for about two seconds because I just wanted a cute unproblematic romance story (is that too much to ask for?!) but because I loved the characters so much, I got over it pretty fast. I supported their relationship every step of the very-awkward-and-uncomfortable way while they tried to figure everything out and just prayed they wouldn’t break each other’s heart and my heart in the process.

Now that I made it pretty clear this is a very magical and dramatic and mystical romance story, let’s talk a bit more about how much more amazing this story is.
I’ve read some amazing LGBTQ+ Young Adult books in my life. They are all different yet they always end up being the same, you know what I mean? Of course, you do. Well, this book is on another lever of amazing. It is not about the characters being a hundred percent lesbian or gay or whatever but more about not putting your sexuality in a perfectly square box which was pretty freaking amazing. B.T. Gottfred did a wonderful job at writing an incredibly real and raw story that is also charming, hilarious, fluffy, and adorable at the same time.

The Handsome Girl and Her Beautiful Girl is different and original and extraordinary. It is eccentric. It is full of (good) weirdness and quirks to the point where I wasn’t sure I would end up enjoying it but I did, I REALLY did. I’ve never felt more uncomfortable AND comfortable at the same time while reading a book. I recommend this wonderful story to everyone who doesn’t like labels. People who love going on emotional roller coasters and reading about people who are unapologetically themselves.

PS. Guess this wasn’t a very short review after all!
Profile Image for Mina.
239 reviews140 followers
April 24, 2021
If you're writing about immature young adults I wonder if it's a prerequisite for the author to channel them as well because this read like something that was written like someone who was forced to write a term paper for class and did it the night before and couldn't be fucked about what they are handing in just as long as it's submitted.
This book not only was this book anti LGBTQ despite it's big Hoorah about being all about gender fluidity and what not, it also had connotations of Islamophobia and bigotry. On top of it, it was just wildly unrealistic imo.
I would not want any young adult reading especially one struggling or question their identity sexual or otherwise.
This author should just be ashamed to be honest!
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