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The Handsome Girl & Her Beautiful Boy

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  808 ratings  ·  197 reviews
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 re
Hardcover, 420 pages
Published May 8th 2018 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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Clarke Daniels As far as I can tell it doesn't say anything about detailed sex scenes--it says "a book that boldly, beautifully, sensually, and joyfully explores sex…moreAs far as I can tell it doesn't say anything about detailed sex scenes--it says "a book that boldly, beautifully, sensually, and joyfully explores sexual and gender fluidity" but that does not mean detailed sex scenes (although maybe I am missing the part you're talking about?).

But as far as why YA books would have sex scenes--teens have sex too. Sex is not a new thing to teenagers.(less)

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Elle (ellexamines)
Jul 11, 2018 marked it as zzzzz-coverporn-etc
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.’

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.
May 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-star
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 t
Avery (Book Deviant)
Dec 18, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
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 m
Joshee Kun (조수아)
My written interview with the author can be found here.

Jun 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbtq
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 le
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 “f
Aug 19, 2018 marked it as did-not-finish
"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"

Jun 24, 2018 rated it did not like it
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 so
Apr 28, 2019 rated it did not like it
To read a full review of this book check it out here.

Yet another book I can't understand why anyone likes. A hot bed of issues that just made it cringe worthy.
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 themselv
Jul 10, 2018 rated it liked it
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 divers
Aug 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
Three and a half stars.
May 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 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 perspecti
Jul 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbtqia
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/
Ms. Nguyen
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
francis moore
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: came-soon-18-20
Full review:

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 d
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
B.T. Gottfred
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
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 describ
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 t
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Okay, so, this book only has a handful of ratings (compared to the usual Goodreads books) and seems to not get enough attention as it should be. So (even though instead of reading this review, you should be buying the book already), I will give you a list of 3 reasons, just to make this short.

REASON 1: GOOD TOPICS This book covered so many topics that need to be taught more. Some topics included drug addicts, alcoholism, being a lesbian, peer pressure, step-parents, abus
May 12, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
(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
Terry W
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
May 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
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
Sep 04, 2018 marked it as never-gonna-happen
Shelves: triggered
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.
Diana Laura (The Bookish Sisters)

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
Apr 24, 2021 rated it did not like it
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 Islamophobi
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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!
Jun 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbt
This is a very interesting novel to read. If someone decides to pick it up, understand that the way this is written, it's almost as if you're reading the author's mind as they are writing this. It's a wonderful book, and I recommend it highly. ...more
Aliyah Hyman
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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!!!!! ...more
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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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