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Autoboyography

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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.

410 pages, Paperback

First published September 12, 2017

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About the author

Christina Lauren

98 books62.3k followers
Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of long-time writing partners/best friends Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. The coauthor duo writes both Young Adult and Adult Fiction, and together has produced eighteen New York Times bestselling novels. Their books have been translated into 30+ languages. (Some of these books have kissing. Some of these books have A LOT of kissing.)


We don't respond to private messages here, so please contact us via twitter (@seeCwrite for Christina and @LolaShoes for Lauren) or our site. Thank you!!

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 8,046 reviews
Profile Image for Emma Giordano.
317 reviews116k followers
March 1, 2019
4 Stars! A really remarkable read that lives up to the hype.

CW: homophobia

I have to say, I was NOT feeling this book to start. The plot felt very generic to start and I found Tanner incredibly irritating. Once the story passed into a period of cute romance, I was more into it. Finally, when shit hit the fan and everything was ruined, I was hooked. (Wonder what that say about me?) I thoroughly enjoyed the different points of conflict in the story, from the romance problems, the friend problems, the religious complications, Sebastian's role as a mentor and Mormon missionary, even Tanner's flawed nature grew on me as it made for a good story (albeit, still infuriating). Autoboyography isn't an absolute favorite of mine, but I went through a real emotional transformation with it, making it a fairly memorable read.

I adored the exploration of sexuality in this novel. From Tanner's perspective, we have a bisexual teen who is totally secure of his identity and is able to share in that pride with his family. The way Tanner's parents support and encourage him was lovely to read and a really positive example for teens to encounter. With Sebastian, we follow the polar opposite - someone who denies their true self and is forced to hide it from everyone in their live due to harsh religious beliefs. Autoboyography really hit all the marks when it comes to discussing teen sexuality, coming out, accepting yourself, and leading your most authentic life. Though there's much conflict in the story related to Tanner and Sebastian's sexual orientation, it's far from *gay tragedy porn* and offers and insightful view into the real lives of LGBTQ+ teens today. It was super satisfying in that regard.

I also greatly enjoyed the friendship between Tanner and Autumn. It felt super realistic and captured so many different experiences of teen friends such as unrequited feelings, the effects of choosing significant others over longtime friends, and making decisions about college and the future. Truth be told, I think Autumn deserved better than Tanner and was probably my favorite character out of the whole novel because I related so strongly to her, but their relationship was raw and uncensored.

Though I have my own struggles with this novel (mostly Tanner and Sebastian being dumb 24/7), I greatly enjoyed it and completely see why it's become a favorite of the community. Those looking for satisfying stories with LGBTQ+ characters will find it with Autoboyography
Profile Image for Hailey (Hailey in Bookland).
600 reviews86.9k followers
February 15, 2018
This was such a touching love story. There were so many obstacles along the way due to the very religious town Tanner and Sebastian were living in and I worried for them the entire time but it was a great read. I loved how it featured a bisexual main character and examined what bisexuality means, tackling some common misconceptions, and showed how difficult it can be for a gay boy who has grown up in the Mormon church. Overall, such a great book!
Profile Image for emma.
1,785 reviews43k followers
November 23, 2017
Okay. I want to start out by saying that I know this book has been veryyyy important for a lot of people, and that's rad. But I had a lot of problems with it and it wasn't for me. If this resonated with ya or anything, maybe just don't read this review? It's not going to make you happy my friend I promise ya that.

So now that we have that out of the way. (I say as if there's any way on god's great green earth I'm not going to still get someone coming at me for this.)

I want to say that I strongly dislike this book in a harmless sort of way. It didn't offend me or anything. I don't feel the desire to roast it like I'm a kiln and it's a sh*tty mug some first grader made but the clay is too lumpy and thick so it explodes and takes out like 8 other garbage pieces of ceramic with it.

I just didn't like it. At all. And das okay. So if you're still considering yelling at me maybe don't?

Anyway. I'll give you actual reasons now instead of just stating my feelings over and over.

The main character of this book is bisexual, which is Extremely Great. This book follows the (allegedly budding but actually more like was-born-fully-formed. Benjamin Button style, except instead of aging in reverse this relationship just crescendoes in sheer gross emotional drama) relationship between a bisexual guy and a closeted gay guy. That fact alone is très cool.

But here is Something that I might get shit for saying: I don't think the bisexual rep in this book is all that great. Wait wait wait, before you yell at me (I am especially frightened today of the constantly-present hypothetical of me getting yelled at), a clarification. Bisexual rep in general, as a concept = super super great. The specific bisexual rep in this book = kind of garbage.

Further explanation, through bullet points.

- Sebastian, Tanner's boyf, is repeatedly unable to believe that Tanner is bi and pretty much assumes he's only into guys in spite of Tanner's stating otherwise. This is, shocker, never really resolved.

- I am going to say this next one caaaaaarefully, because I don't want to seem like I'm one of those people who's all, "You're not really bi because you're with a guy." But this book doesn't do a lot of showing, rather than telling, that Tanner is bi and not gay. It's said a lot, but I'm not convinced it's really an accurate portrayal of the feelings or experience. (To clarify, it's a damaging stereotype that bi people have to "prove" their sexuality in any way, or the concept that if a bi person is in a relationship with someone of the same sex they are then "actually gay," or vice versa. But it's also damaging to think that when a bi person is in a relationship with someone of the same sex, for example, they are only at that moment attracted to people of their same sex. They're still bi. But the latter situation is something I see in this book.)

- This book tries to confront a lot of the stereotypes bi people face (cool!) but in doing this has the people around Tanner be the bearers of these stereotypes (potentially cool), and they're never really corrected (definitively not cool).

But I am not extremely mad about this, or anything. People have different experiences and it's possible that some of this stuff could be accurate to someone's. It just didn't feel like good rep for me, which is distracting and really takes away from the book tbhhhh.

I hate that I just said tbhhhh. (You could just delete it then, Emma, and none of us would be the wiser, I assume you are saying. This is true, and yet I can say with 97% certainty that that sentence and this series of explanatory sentences will be included in the final version of this review. I live life on the edge, guys. You should know this by now.)

Let's talk about a small annoying thing before we talk about more large annoying things. All of the names in this book are WEIRD and BAD and I hate them. Tanner. Sebastian. Autumn (nickname Auddy?????? F*ck off?????????). Clive. Levi. Deacon. Asher. BRECKIN.

Even the """"normal""" names sound like aliens posing as high school students, and/or a Disney Channel TV show from the 90s that got canceled after one season. Manny. Eric. Hailey. McKenna. Dustin.

But these stupid names are just the façade on an even stupider thing: this book has maximum five characters. There are genuinely one million names in it, but do not be fooled because none of them have even a single line of dialogue. Because not only is there instalove in this book, there is some claustrophobic-ass instalove my dear boy. THIS ENTIRE BOOK FOLLOWS EXCLUSIVELY TANNER AS HE THINKS EXCLUSIVELY ABOUT SEBASTIAN AND OCCASIONALLY WE ARE FREED FROM OUR EMOTIONALLY TUMULTUOUS PRISON ONLY TO BE TOSSED INTO THE FRESH HELL THAT IS THE EMOTIONAL TURMOIL BETWEEN AUTUMN AND TANNER.

It is...a lot.

This book also features a really annoying thing wherein it just states that characters are friends without actually showing it. "Don't lose your friendships with Manny and Eric," says Sebastian's dad. Um. Manny is a warm acquaintance at best and I am pretty sure we hear exactly zero (0) lines of present-day actual speaking from Eric.

But yeah sure cool whatever. Because it's not like the actual """developed""" (read: the characters make eye contact at any point in the story) relationships are any better. In fact they are worse, because we have to spend time reading them. If Sebastian and Tanner's relationship was like any of Tanner's non-Autumn friendships (based on just the single sentence "Sebastian is my boyfriend" one time) my life would be significantly improved.

Let's go through one by one and talk about why these relationships are trash shanties on goddamn garbage island.

1. Tanner and his parents

We are supposed to like Tanner's parents, because Tanner does. They are Cool, he says. They are Supportive. They are Loving. Tanner's mom buys LGBT+ supporting bumper stickers!!! And aprons!!!!!! What a proponent of social justice!

Maybe it's just goddamn me, sentenced to live out my remaining days on a desert island-opinion of my own creation, but "Hey Tanner our bisexual son who just came out and is happy with his life here in California, we are going to move to Mormon City USA and force you back in the closet because we're sooooo worriedddd and why are we going? Yeah for my career thanks sm also I was a Mormon and I hated it and I'm not going to let you be close to any Mormons even though we live in a town where there are more Mormons than oxygen molecules and also I will not tell you anything ever about Mormonism for my whole life long except: it's garbage central stay away. And make sure you're comfortable with the pain and turmoil of hiding your identity from everyone you know once again pal!"

Mr. and Mrs. Scott are not exactly getting my vote for parents of the goddamn year but what the hell do I know!!!!!


2. Tanner and Hailey

This isn't like. Problematic or anything. I just don't think the we're-siblings-and-we-hate-each-other approach is as cute and endearing as it seems like it's supposed to be here. But again. What the ever-living f*ck do I know, y'know?


3. Tanner and Sebastian

Um. Sebastian says some pretty messed up sh*t to Tanner under the pretense of "hey this is really hard." Which, yes. It's really hard to be Mormon and be gay. Obviously. I am not trying to diminish that. But also, hey, isn't it prettyyyyy difficult to have a boyfriend who won't say he loves you and won't publicly show affection and you're actually not quite sure is even your boyfriend and, in fact, may not only abandon you but abandon the entire perception of your relationship as true and real at all?

Anyway. In what is a recurring theme for this book, that sh*t does not get resolved at all. Sebastian shows up in a different state. Sebastian and Tanner make out. Fin.

Compelling, no?

4. Tanner and Autumn

Even though this relationship is not the focus of the book, it is totally the detritus on the sh*t sandwich that is the narrative as a whole.

Tanner and Autumn are best friends. Autumn is in love with Tanner. Tanner knows that Autumn is in love with him. Tanner and Autumn made out once upon a blue moon, but despite the tacit acknowledgment that that moment was hardcore a Big F*ckin' Deal for old Auddy, Tanner never talks about it with her. Autumn does not know Tanner is bi until probably halfway into the book. She doesn't know he's dating Sebastian until well after that. Tanner is incredibly physically affectionate and banter-y and flirty with Autumn despite a) it meaning nothing to him, at least romantically and b) it meaning a whole hell of a lot to her and causing her feelings for him to, like, fester or whatever.

But This Is Not The Worst Part My Friends.

The worst part is a spoiler but I'm not marking it because it sucks.

When Sebastian breaks up with Tanner (one time, out of several) in yet another act of pointless stupid drama I don't care about, Tanner heads on over to old Autumn's house despite, like, completely ignoring her so he could bone (except not really, because Mormonism) Sebastian. He cries or whatever.

And then

he

kisses her.

AND AS IF THAT WERE NOT ENOUGH.

He takes her f*cking virginity.

There aren't enough U's in the world to complete the "Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude..." I need to type right now.

FURTHERMORE.

Sebastian kind of sort of begins apologizing, only for Autumn to interrupt him, say it was her fault, and say that she took advantage of him.

What. The. Everliving f*ck.

TANNER DIDN'T EVEN REMEMBER SHE WAS A VIRGIN. HE WASN'T EVEN ESPECIALLY CAREFUL OR ROMANTIC OR SAFE. WHAT THE HELLLLLLLLLLLLLL.

And when Sebastian hears about this, he's all, "ya ok i don't have the right to be upset you are always right Tanner we are some sh*tty ass constellations in the universe that is your stunning personality and charm."

God, you guys. This freaking book!!!!


PLOT (or lack thereof)

The """plot""" of this is actually just instalove. Oh, also another plot where it's just Sebastian writing a book that is literally just the actual events that are taking place. Again I will sarcastically use the word "compelling."

This book is just...really hard to get through. It's severely plotless, as mentioned, and sooooo emotional and dramatic and hand-wringing all the time. No comic relief. No likable characters to lighten the mood. Just four hundred pages of nonstop angst.

And as if the drama didn't feel pointless enough just because of how gratuitous it is, That Is Not All. Drama is either neatly sewn up in one exchange of dialogue or literally just abandoned. Examples:

-two girls from the class Sebastian and Tanner met in (even tho Sebby boi is 19 and Tanny delite is 17, Seb's a voluntary TA for a goddamn high school) overhear maybe Tanner talking about his relationship. Tanner tortures us by talking about this nonstop for 20 pages, and then it just...disappears. Boom. Bye. No resolution on that sh*t I guess.

- the Autumn's-virginity thing??? She ignored Tanner's texts and calls for a weekend, stayed home from school, blasted angry music...generally gave all the signs of Intense Fury, and then Tanner comes in and she's all, "no actually it was my fault, let's move on, this book's already way too long and my drama is taking up way too much potential Mormon drama space."

- after being super in love with Tanner for years, with us having to suffer through reminders every other page, Autumn Just Stops Being In Love With Him. Immediately after f*cking him. Which, whaaaaat? It's just suddenly, "Autumn has a boyfriend now btw. Happily ever after? Oh whatever don't pretend you actually gave a sh*t about her as a character anyway." (Which, fair, I didn't. But that's no different from my feelings on literally every other character.)

- AUTUMN WAS SEEING SOMEONE AND IT'S JUST NEVER MENTIONED AFTER A CERTAIN POINT. Was she seeing him when she boned Tanner??? When did they break up????? What the hell happened????????

- prom is, like, a huge topic of discussion because this is a sh*tty contemporary set in a high school, so of course. There is even this huge dramatic moment when Tanner thinks Autumn is catching onto the Sebby-dear thing, and he goes, "I'MGONNAASKSASHATOPROM." Then literally two pages later he's like "actually nvm" and that's IT. But also prom is never mentioned after a certain point. Because this book suuuuuuuucks! For real.

And then, like everything else, the ending just happens with no leadup. No explanation. No real sense of narrative structure or appropriate use of tension or whatever. Because life is suffering and death will come for us all anyway.



OTHER STUFF

This whole book is from Tanner's perspective and then it changes to Sebastian's literally once at the end. Okay. Cool. I do not care anymore. WHO CARES ABOUT CONSISTENCY NOT ME I DON'T HAVE THE CAPACITY TO GIVE A SINGULAR SH*T AT THIS TIME.

There's a weird scene where Autumn is trying on ~revealing~ prom dresses to try to seduce Tanner or whatever and he's, like, criticizing her for showing skin. BUT WHATEVER FOREVER AM I RIGHT. TOTALLY TRY TO SAY WHAT GIRLS CAN AND CAN'T WEAR, YOU WILL NOT GET ANY RESISTANCE FROM ME BECAUSE FROM HERE ON OUT I AM FLOATING THROUGH LIFE BABY.

I do not want to talk about this anymore.

Bottom line: extra half star for complex discussion of Mormonism. Everything else is bad and I am again unsure of whether I read the same book as everyone else???
Profile Image for Melanie.
1,154 reviews97.7k followers
August 19, 2018
“A God worthy of your eternal love wouldn’t judge you for who you love while you’re here.”

Friends, I only picked this book up because it was on sale this month on Audible, even though I can never focus on audiobooks. I only started listening, because I decided to spend last night playing video games with my best friend. I only clicked play because he was telling me about his latest audiobook. I honestly believe with whole heart that the stars aligned to make me read this book, and I will be forever thankful because this is one of the best books I’ve ever read in my entire life.

This is a story about a boy named Tanner, who is bisexual, but not fully out because his parents moved to Utah and are living in a place where almost everyone is Mormon. And Tanner’s best friend, Autumn, convinces (or begs) him to join this writing class, where they have to write, edit, and turn in a book, before the end of the semester. A boy from the previous year, named Sebastian, actually got the book that he turned in published! So, he is back, working as a TA, helping other kids write their books.

“It opens with a boy and a girl, a dare, and crumbs on a bed. But where it really begins is with a double take and the words “His smile ruins me.”

Trigger and content warnings for homophobic slur(s), talk of conversion therapy, and shitty parents that aren’t accepting of their children.

Also, full disclosure and all that, I connected very easily to Tanner. I knew, early in high school, that I wasn’t straight. And my parents aren’t as amazing as Tanners, but they were always supportive and accepting and let me know that they will love me regardless of who I chose to love. Yet, I can connect a tiny bit with Sebastian because God, and the Catholic church, have always been a big part of my life. I have never known a life like Sebastian’s, but I remember how scared I was to come out to certain members of my childhood church. More like, “hey, this is my girlfriend” while letting them deal with the information whatever way pleased them. But I’ve never had anyone from church tell me that my feelings, or wants, or the integral parts of who I am, were wrong. And to this day I still consider myself Catholic, and I still believe that God loves me regardless of who I love. Also, here is your friendly reminder in case you need it: Whatever higher power you believe in loves you regardless of who you choose to love. And you are valid and worthy of love, no matter who you choose to give your heart to.

So, reading Sebastian’s life just broke my heart over and over and over. I’ll also be honest, I don’t have any Mormon/LDS friends. I know all the terrible stereotypes, but this book is the only book I’ve even read that stars a Mormon character. So, even though I didn’t have a lot of knowledge about the Mormon church going into this book, I actually feel like this book actually taught me a bit about their beliefs and values. And I actually really appreciated and liked seeing the glimpses, even if it was hard at times. And I also think the authors wrote this book in a very respectful way towards the religion.

“You have so much space in your heart for your church, but does it have space for you?”

Tanner’s parents are my favorite parents of all literature. Goals, completely goals, in every sense of the word. And just seeing the juxtaposition between Tanner and Sebastian’s parents, it’s heartbreaking. To see how a child can thrive when they are accepted to embrace who they are. Then to see a child feel worthless, and wrong, and to actually pray to be different. You all, I don’t have words. And as much as I want to give a copy of this to every kid that is questioning their feelings, I wish I could put this in the hands of every single person who is even thinking of becoming a parent. But I will say that the only negative thing I can think about in this book is that Tanner’s parents are so amazing and supportive, but they still moved him to a place where he had to go back into the closet. Even if it was just for a few years, it still doesn’t feel too great when you think about that without the other amazing aspects of this story coming in to play.

When people have recommended this book to me they would always use words like “cute” and “sweet”, but I honestly cried while listening to at least half of this book. This book tore me a part, ripped me open, completely broke me, and then somehow put me back together, stitched me up, and completely healed me. Reading this book was a cathartic experience, without question.

But the romance is so good. And you will become so easily invested with these two boys who want nothing more than to love each other unapologetically. And even though I cried through most of this book, some of these tears were from pure happiness. These authors are romances writers, and it really shines throughout the novel and makes you ship these two so damn hard.

I also really loved that Tanner is bisexual (even though I think he could be pansexual, if he wanted that label), and it is constantly talked about how he has had relationships with different genders and emphasized that just because this book is a romance between two boys, Tanner is not gay. I really appreciated it. I also loved how thoughtful Tanner was with not outing Sebastian, and the important spotlight that these authors shined on how you shouldn’t out or discuss anyone’s sexuality, regardless of the relationship you have with them.

“Kissing boys feels good. Kissing girls feels good. But something tells me kissing Sebastian would be like a sparkler falling in the middle of a field of dry grass.”

This book also puts friendship, and how important it is to be open, communicative, and accepting in those friendships, in the spotlight. I loved Autumn so much, and her relationship with Tanner was a joy to read about. Friendships can be so confusing, and even messy at times, but unconditional love will forever and always be the most powerful force on the planet.

Overall, I read this in one day. I couldn’t stop. I couldn’t put it down. I still can’t stop thinking about it. This book is honestly perfection in my eyes. And I wish I could put it in the hands of every single kid who is questioning who they are and who they love. I will cherish this book forever. And I’m sorry if this review is a little all over the place, but this book truly means more to me than I have words for. This is seriously a masterpiece.

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Profile Image for Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥.
516 reviews34.4k followers
December 15, 2018
”This is how we reveal ourselves: these tiny flashes of discomfort, the reactions we can’t hide.”

“Autoboyography” was one of those books I wanted to read ever since I read the blurb. I mean there was the mention of a bisexual character that’s forced to stay in the closet because he moved to Utha and truth be told that alone was already enough to pique my interest! *lol*

Still, when I picked up the book I didn’t expect to go through so many feels and to say it touched my heart is certainly putting it mildly! I was so worried for those two boys and their feelings and thoughts left me so raw and broken.

There were scenes that made me laugh and another few pages in I’d suddenly feel angry and frustrated, just to burst into tears as soon as I turned the next page! ARGH!! It’s almost impossible to describe what I felt while I read this book.
Once I began to really read it, I couldn’t put it down anymore though. I felt a need to know how it would continue and if something bad would happen and that aforementioned need almost killed me and made me nervous as hell! XD

I swear there were moments when I bit my nails, snorted in disbelief or nervously began to chew my bottom lip. Yes, “Autoboyography” really put me on edge!!! (And it once again was a book that earned me one of my husbands disapproving looks. *lol*)

I can’t even put into words how much I actually dreaded the end!!! For me the foreboding and anticipation was almost unbearable, it was really intense… and when I finally reached the ending….

Oh well I guess you’ll just have to read the book! ;-P *lol*
(I know I’m mean, you can thank me later. XD)

The plot:

”As he faces the class from the front now, his eyes flash when they meet mine – for a tiny flicker of a second, and then again, like a prism catching light, because he does a double take.”

Tanner Scott is a bisexual boy who had been out in California but was kind of forced back into the closet when his mother got a job offer in Utha. Three years ago their entire family moved into Mormon territory and all this time Tann never outed himself, mostly because there actually was no need to. His plan was to make it into an out-of-state college and to never look back, but as plans go this one turned out to be more difficult than he had initially anticipated. To finish school and to get a good grade in Mr. Fujita’s class might be impossible, especially because everything Tanner can think about is Sebastian Brother, the bishop’s son who’s supposed to help him write a story but somehow ended up stealing his heart instead.

The characters:

Spoiler warning!!! If you don’t want to be spoiled you better stop now! XD Proceed at your own risk! ;-)

”Kissing boys feels good. Kissing girls feels good. But something tells me kissing Sebastian would be like a sparkler falling in the middle of a field of dry grass.”

Tanner:

”I was in the neighborhood.” I take a bite, chewing, swallowing through my smile. “Came over to campus to dance and sing some songs.”
His eyes twinkle. He doesn’t seem to mind that I’m not LDS, let alone mocking it a little. “Cool.”


I just loved and adored Tanner!!! This boy was so honest and straightforward and his humour was just amazing! *lol* I swear everyone needs a Tanner in their life!!! XD I really liked how he tried to understand Sebastian’s beliefs and didn’t judge him for it! And I also appreciated that he stayed true to himself! He never let others influence his decisions and I think it needs a lot of inner strength to follow your own path and to accept that you need to make your own mistakes, especially if you have so nice and caring parents like Tanner had. *lol* Still, when he told Sebastian that he loves him and didn’t even get a proper reaction from him, my heart just hurt!!! It was so painful to watch them break up and I swear, no matter what I did, I really couldn’t stop to worry about him! XD

He wants to go on a mission? He wants to leave here and commit two of his best, hottest, wildest, most adventurous years to the church? He wants to give his life to this – really give his life?
I stare at my hands and wonder what the hell I’m actually doing here. Glitter-heart Paige has nothing on me. I am the King of Naïve.”


”You know Mom would murder you for that, for your semi-unintentional blessing that I deflower the bishop’s son.”

”I don’t actually care if you break my heart, Sebastian. I went into this knowing it could happen and I gave it to you anyway. But I don’t want you to break your own. You have so much space in your heart for your church, but does it have space for you?”

Sebastian:

”I went to a movie by myself and ate an entire box of Red Vines.” He leans in, eyes full of that teasing shine. “I had a Coke.”
My brain is tangled: Cannot compute. Which emotion to drop into the bloodstream? Fondness or bewilderment? For the love of God, this is Sebastian at his naughtiest.


Sebastian Brother broke my freaking heart!!! OH GOD, I CAN’T EVEN!!! This boy… this wonderful, precious, amazing, righteous, brilliant and lovable boy!!! ARGH!!! He was almost too good to be true and all I wanted to do was to give him a big hug, wrap him in a blanket and tell him that everything would be alright!! I hated to see his struggle, to read how he thought that something was wrong with him just because he’s gay! It made me sooo damn sad to know that his parents would never accept him the way he is and it almost physically hurt to see his pain!!! T_T He tried so hard to please his parents, to be the way they wanted him to be, but this made him so unhappy it was hard to watch… And that moment when he signed the book for Tanner? It was so damn heart-breaking!!! *sobs*

”I’m not even attracted to girls. I envy you that. I keep praying I will be at some point.” He puffs out a breath. “I’ve never said that out loud.” When he blinks, the tears slide down his cheeks. Sebastian tilts his face up, looking at the clouds and letting out a sad laugh. “I can’t tell if this feels good or terrible.”

”I mean,” he says, flustered, trying again. “I’m attracted to guys, and I’m with you right now, but I’m not gay. That’s a different choice, and I’m not choosing that path.”

”We’re supposed to pray, and listen – so I do. But then, when I turn to others, it’s like…” He shakes his head. “It feels like I’m pushing through the dark and I know what’s ahead is safe, but no one is following me there.”

”Being gay isn’t wrong, but it’s not God’s plan either.” He shakes his head, and I think this moment, right here, is when it really hits me that Sebastian’s identity isn’t queer. It’s not gay. It’s not even soccer player or boyfriend or son.
It’s Mormon.”


Autumn:

”Sometimes I get the weird feeling that I wouldn’t be enough for you. I love you, but only a little.”

I think Autumn was a really good friend, not just for Tanner but also for Sebastian and this even though she barely even knew him. I liked the easy banter between her and Tanner and they gave me the impression that they were really good and close friends. Sure, Autumn had her flaws and I wasn’t always happy about the way she dealt with things, for some incomprehensible reason this only made her human and relatable though. *lol*

”They’re upset, but at some point they’ll figure out you can be right, or you can be loved. Only a handful get both at the same time.”

Sensitive issues:

The bi-representation:

”I’ve always liked whoever,” I tell him. “I really am bi. It’s about the person, not the parts, I guess.”

I LOVED the bi-representation in this book! For me it was spot on!!! Yes, I know a lot of people will disagree and say that it only pointed out the prejudices and kind of reinforced them by giving them space, but the bitter truth is that we actually have to deal with them each and every single day!!! They don’t vanish just because we don’t mention them! I totally agree with Tanner when he says that it’s nothing you get to choose! To be bisexual means to be attracted to both sexes and if you’re a bisexual girl and end up with a boy this doesn’t automatically make you straight! Same goes for being with a girl, just because you fall in love with a girl you’re not a lesbian! AND yes you can be faithful to your partner and still think that Milla Jovovich and Eva Green are damn hot! (which they actually are!!! *lol*) Oh well, *cough* back to the review! XD

”Why wouldn’t you just be with a girl, then?” he asks quietly. “If you were attracted to them? Wouldn’t it be so much easier?"
“That’s not something you get to choose.”


The Mormon/LDS representation:

”It’s completely different. Among a hundred other reasons, going to church is a choice. Being bisexual is simply who you are. I’m protecting you from the toxic messages of the church.”
I actually laugh at this. “And his parents are doing it to protect him from hell.”


I can’t say an awful lot about the LDS representation because I actually don’t know anything about it. So in some way this book was even kind of educational. *lol* I think I understand their beliefs and I got what they are talking about, but I guess I’ll never be able to truly fathom why religion is so important to so many people. I think I’m a lot like Tanner when it comes to that. I was raised a Roman-Catholic but I’m neither an active part of the church nor do I go to mass and I guess the reasons for that are pretty obvious. ;-)

”I assume his family doesn’t know he’s gay?”
“I don’t even know if he’s gay.”
“Well for argument’s sake, let’s assume he is and your feelings are reciprocated. You know the church thinks it’s okay to have same-sex attraction but you aren’t allowed to act on it?”
“Yeah, I know.”
“Would you be able to be with him without touching him?”


”I’ve never had someone over before who wasn’t a member,” he says. The mind reader. “I’m just watching you take it all in.”
I decide to go for pure honesty: “It’s hard to understand.”


Tanner’s slip with Autumn:

I think it wasn’t necessary for the plot but then again things like that just happen. I know some people will say that Tanner was acting irresponsible and shouldn’t have slept with Autumn especially because she was still a virgin, but please keep in mind that she said she wanted him to be her first!!! He didn’t take advantage of her! He was broken and sad and completely devastated and yes, he might have known that Autumn had a crush on him, but let’s face the truth: Autumn also knew that he was heartbroken and completely vulnerable when she slept with him!!! If anything they both took advantage of each other and their understanding was mutual! They made that mistake together and in the end they dealt with it like adults. ;-)

Their families:

Tanner’s family:

Mom can’t help herself. “Does he know about you?”
“About how I turn into a troll at sunset?” I shake my head. “I don’t think so.”
“Tanner,” she says gently. “You know what I mean.”
I do. Unfortunately. “Please calm down. It’s not like I have a tail.”
“Honey,” Mom starts, horrified.


Can I just say that I adored his family!?!? They were so awesome and supportive!!! Seriously, I really wish everyone would have parents like that! Yes, Tanner’s mom could be annoying with her bumper stickers and her reservations about Sebastian, but she was just worried about her son and that’s the most important thing!!! She just wanted him to be happy and accepted him the way he is!! Oh and the conversations with his dad?! I LOVED THEM!!! They were priceless!!! <333 Seriously, Tanner’s dad was so wise!! XD

“My parents know I’ve had crushes on guys before, but it’s never been a reality like this. Now there’s a guy, with a name and a phone. We’ve all been so cool about it, but I realize, sitting here at this silent dinner table, that there are layers to their acceptance.”

”He tucks a finger under my chin, lifting my face to his. “Are you willing to be a secret? Maybe you are for now. But this is your life, and it will stretch out before you, and you are the only person who can make it whatever you want it to be.”

She claps a hand over her mouth when she sees Sebastian, and tears rise to the surface of her eyes nearly immediately. Mom pull us up, hugs me, and then wordlessly takes Sebastian into her arms – he gets the longer hug, the one with the soft Mom words spoken into his ear – and something breaks loose in me because it makes him cry harder.”

THIS SCENE, THIS MOMENT!! IT WAS MY UNDOING!!! I cried so hard when I read it!! I swear I was a sobbing and aching mess!!! This was so beautiful and raw and painful, so damn freaking bittersweet!!! Tanner’s mom comforting Sebastian, hugging him even though his own mother should have hugged him instead, telling him that he is wonderful and precious and that he is amazing just the way he is!!! TANNER’S MOM TELLING HIM EVERYTHING HE NEEDED TO HEAR!!! Tanner’s mom, not his own!!! OH GOD!!! My heart is breaking once again. That poor boy, that lost and broken soul!!! The reaction of Tanner’s mom moved me so much, I have no words…. <333

Sebastian’s family:

”He’s gay; he didn’t die. Nobody is wounded. I know Sebastian’s parents are good people, but holy hell, they just inadvertently made their son feel like there’s something about him that needs to be fixed.”

Never in my entire life will I ever be able to understand how you can disown your own child!!! I mean you’re supposed to love your kid, it’s your role to protect it from harm!!! YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THAT LITTLE LIFE!!!! I love my daughter so much, I love her unconditionally, I would do everything for her!! I would even die for her!!! And because of that I can’t understand how Sebastian’s family could be so cruel to him! Especially his mother!!! I mean he only asked them what would happen if one of them was gay and they didn’t speak to him for an ENTIRE WEEK!!!! How can you do something like that to your own child!!!???? And to blame him for being gay?! Like he could change it, like it would be his own choice to be gay or not?! Like it’s a disease he can grow out of!!! ARGH!!! I can’t even….

”This was a week ago,” he whispers. When he looks up at me with tears in his eyes, he adds, “No one has spoken to me in a week.”

”I don’t even know how we got here, Sebastian. This? What you’re going through?” She stabs the air with savagely curled finger quotes around the words “going through.” ”This is your own doing. Heavenly Father is not responsible for your decisions. It is your free will alone that deprives you of happiness.”

”Her apron says KEEP CALM AND SERVE ON, and all he can think about is Tanner’s mom and her rainbow apron that embarrassed her son, and what Sebastian would give to have a parent who accepted him for what he was, no matter what.”

The ending of the book was so hopeful and sweet it actually made me light-headed and happy! <333 It was so cute that Tanner fell to the ground when he saw Sebastian and I really hope that they will find their way!!! Together of course!!! XD

All told, this book was amazing and if possible I’d give it all the stars and even more! “Autoboyograph” deserves so much more attention than it got and I hope my review will help to spread the word!!! READ IT!!! LOVE IT!! FIND YOURSELF IN IT AND BE BRAVE AND STRONG!!! Have the courage to be who you truly are!!! <333

Well, if that isn’t a message I want to spread, I really don’t know. *lol*
To say it with Fujita’s words:

”My deepest gratitude, Sebastian, for your bravery. I wish you well. You are an exceptional human, with depth and heart. Don’t let anyone – or anything – dim that light inside you.”
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,079 reviews17.2k followers
January 21, 2019
me before reading this book: love is a fake social construct
me after reading this book: love is real and it tried to fight me in the parking lot of a Denny’s

”A God worthy of your eternal love wouldn’t judge you for who you love while you’re here.”

So this was unexpectedly sad. It’s a story about a bi boy who moves to a predominantly Mormon area, and despite being closeted, quickly falls for the preacher’s son. It’s sweet. And cute. And also tears your heart out a bit.

What makes Autoboyography succeed is the weird tonal mix of cutesy romance and somewhat sad character development. It’s a mix that works very well, leading the reader to both suspend their disbelief around tropes AND emotionally connect to the story.

Basically, there is drama. There are things that Bugged Me. There were several very tropey things. But guys, the message around religion is so important.

Okay, so cheesy romance, but a cheesy romance with some freaking awesome messages. This book perfectly gets across the feelings of claustrophobia of being judged and always being looked at.
”McAsher can PDA it all over campus, and, outside of a little eye rolling, no one cares. They’re both Mormon, by the way, and if I’m not mistaken, shouldn’t be engaging in this kind of behavior anywhere, let alone in the middle of school, but will they be ridiculed or shunned or threatened? No. No one is going to report them to their bishop. They can’t get kicked out of school. I’m willing to bet that McAsher has had sex, and yet Asher will still go on his mission and come home and marry a good Mormon girl – maybe even McKenna – and be as self-righteous about LDS values as any of the rest of them. Meanwhile, Sebastian can’t even look at me in class, probably because he’s beating himself up over our innocent touches on Saturday.”

Sebastian’s character arc especially was one of my favorite parts of this book. Uh, personal shame based on religion is. A little too relatable. And made this book worth reading.

and listen, I know this book had some instalove - I KNOW - but i think that works. It’s a story about teenagers being teenagers in a world that looks down on them for liking each other.

I think there's something to be said for a book that manages to be so compelling despite the flaws. So though I found some aspects of this underwritten, on the whole, I really enjoyed this book.

TW: internalized religious homophobia, biphobia.

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Profile Image for Melissa.
647 reviews28.6k followers
March 27, 2019
A half-Jewish, half-nothing queer kid moves to an LDS-infested town. He can’t wait to leave.


And that’s just the start of Tanner’s truth.

A straight, thirty-something, married to her high-school sweetheart, non-practicing and childless Catholic is probably not the target demographic here, but I sort of beg to differ. Shelved in the YA section of the bookstore, Autoboyography is a story rooted in love, self-identity, and the quest for acceptance—things most of us have grappled with at one time or another, just in different ways.

I’m not much much of a YA reader. In fact, this is one of only two I’ve read this year and having had varying experiences with m/m romance in the past, this wasn’t an automatic grab. In actuality, this book wasn’t even a blip on my radar until I found myself in the midst of a Christina Lauren bender. And even then, I still wasn’t convinced this would work for me. The only tried and true way to decide, plunking myself down in a bookstore chair and giving it a go. I guess, if anyone could win me over, it would be this dynamic writing duo.

Ever present is the snarky and sarcastic humor in the Christina Lauren arsenal, compounded with the depth and emotion occupying the air around their characters and more importantly, the BIG takeaway. Autoboyography earning the top spot with the most impactful of their messages: be unapologetically you. If someone truly loves and accepts you, shunning you won’t be an option, even if they don’t agree with your life choices. And if someone chooses to turn their back, it’s because of their own issues and narrow views, not yours. As much as it might hurt to lose that person, it’s nothing compared to the soul-crushing reality of spending your life hiding who you are to spare feelings. End rant here ____.

The majority of this story is told from Tanner’s perspective, a senior embarking on his final semester in high-school. Living in the midst of an LDS (Mormon) community has posed a problem of sorts; not being true to his bisexuality. His parents, both incredibly supportive and open-minded—something I hope to be, should I have children of my own one day—have created a safe-space at home. Making it through this final leg of school and moving back to a more progressive city is the goal.

Until his best friend Autumn challenges him to apply for the Seminar. A class that demands an entire novel be churned out in a four-month period. Always up for a challenge, Tanner takes the bait. And it’s life-altering, to say the least. His novel, much more autoboyography than anything else, articulates his falling for the splotchy boy blusher.

Sebastian, the Bishop’s son and former super-star of the Seminar, plays the role of mentor. Now a college student at BYU, on the brink of a book tour for his debut’s upcoming release, and planning for a two-year Mormon mission, you could say his life is pretty much planned out. It’s finding Tanner, the only person who sees the real Sebastian hidden behind the practiced smiles, and reliving their relationship through his words, that inspires self-reflection and hard-truths.

Angsty, humorous, thought-provoking and brimming with lovable characters, Autoboyography is what I would categorize as an incredible experience. Whether it’s finding your own voice or learning to be more accepting and supportive of others, I truly believe this story holds something for everyone, not just younger readers or those struggling with their sexuality.
Profile Image for High Lady of The Night Court.
135 reviews5,031 followers
April 28, 2019
It opens with a boy and a girl, a dare, and crumbs on a bed.

First off I’m rating this book 5 stars, no doubt.

The story follows Tanner, in his senior year of school, in Utah. His best friend Autumn dares him to take the Seminar, a class where the students have to write a book in 4 months. Sebastian Brother is the prodigy that wrote a book and sold it, and is now back to mentor students. And as we all know is bound to happen, Tanner and Sebastian fall in love. But the problem lies in the fact that Sebastian and Tanner live in a society where Mormon are in the majority and Sebastian happens to be the son of a Bishop. Sebastian has never come to terms with his sexuality and is a part of a family that believes that same sex attraction is a sin and can be ignored. They would rather pretend that a person is dead rather than homosexual. Tanner on the other hand, has the most supporting family anyone could ask for, he was raised by parents who completely accept him and believe that love is everything.

I think after all this, no matter what I’ll love Tanner. The depth of emotion in each of his thoughts is truly mesmerizing. The consideration, understanding, and extraordinary amount of emotion that is a constant part of who he is always manages to surprise me. There’s moments where his thoughts or something he writes down is so poetic and skilfull it makes my heart ache. And then there’s the goofy, laid back part that makes my day. Watching him go through this part of his life left me speechless because seeing him go through so much yet stay true to himself and who is, is amazing.

I think a lot of people if put in his situation would have misunderstood something, given up, become frustrated, and maybe even would have tried to avoid going through this because the possibility of leaving them emotionally shattered was too great. And that’s why watching Tanner behave so understandingly even if his upbringing could have easily made him shun everything Sebastian stands for is so enchanting.

There is so much love tucked into each and every corner of this book it’s makes me smile every time I think about it. The love between friends, the love between family, and the love between lovers all of it was so integral to this story it kind of makes it impossible to stay too mad at the heartbreak. Tanner’s friendship with Autumn, his love for his family will always be highlights in this story. Tanner’s family is absolutely amazing. His parents are the most caring, open, understanding people in the world and watching them support him through the entirety of this story is mind blowing.

Watching this society pretend as if a person who doesn’t abide by their rules doesn’t even exist, makes me want to punch something. They want to people to change their very being just because the people they are is not acceptable to them. Every person deserves to be judged solely on their personality and all the characteristics that make them who they are not on something superficial and definitely not on their sexuality. And watching family cut off their own and disown them just because of their sexuality with no regard to the amazing people they are makes me angrier by the moment. No one should ever feel ashamed because someone looks at them in a way that makes them feel as is they’re constantly being judged for doing something wrong when there was no mistake committed at all.
The pressure society puts on people to change themselves to blend in or to influence their decisions infuriates me. And when a person’s family is a part of that oppressive society their life turns into agony.

This is definitely one of those books that makes me want to write a review at least partially worthy of it because it left such a lasting impression on my heart. I hate the fact that such an amazing story is over but I also couldn't be happier because I just read of the best contemporaries ever.

This book is a love story screaming to be heard, an announcement waiting to be made, a declaration waiting to be accepted, and most of all it’s a story of two boys who fall in love in a world trying to tear them apart.
Every single word made sense, every emotion reached out to me, and every character showed me something new. This story has earned every ounce of my love and has left an impression that will not be changed and has a place in my heart that will not be replaced.
Christina Lauren, you have my utmost respect.

"But this is your life, and it will stretch out before you, and you are the only person who can make it whatever you want it to be."
Profile Image for Gabby.
1,170 reviews25.4k followers
March 18, 2022
Just finished my reread of this book, and it was just as great the second time. Sebastian is so precious and he must be PROTECTED AT ALL COSTS. This romance is just really cute and I was smiling throughout this entire book, I listened to the audiobook this time around and it was great!

Here's my original review:
My review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7S8lb...

"His smile ruins me."
Holy shit, you guys. Autoboyography is my favorite book from Christina Lauren thus far, and that says a lot considering they are one of my all time favorite authors. I have read several male/male romances, but this one is different from the rest. I have been hyping this book all year long and it's my most anticipated book of 2017, and I'm happy to say it lives up to the hype.

This book is controversial to say the least, because it deals with a bisexual main character named Tanner, living in a very conservative Morman town in Utah. Tanner himself isn't Morman, but the town feels suffocating because the religion is everywhere. I am familiar with the Morman religion (I had a best friend in high school who was Morman), but I've never actually read a book that involved a Morman, or talked so openly about their religion and their lifestyle. This was a very eye-opening book to me, and I appreciated the amount of research that must have gone into this book, there were so many details about the Morman lifestyle. This book dives pretty deep into the topic of religion vs. the LGBT community, more so than I expected, and it handles it all so beautifully. There are so many beautifully worded bits about what it means to be bisexual and how it's about "falling in love with a person, not the parts" and not to mention Sebastian's struggle with being forced to chose between dating a guy and his Morman religion. In the Morman religion, you can find the same sex attractive, but you can't act on it or it is considered a sin and you would be banned from their practice. While the Morman people are really nice and clean and seemingly "perfect" this is their one major flaw: their nonacceptance of LGBT relationships.

"Sometimes I wonder whether it's God or the church that feels the strongest about these things."
"My opinion? A God worthy of your eternal love wouldn't judge you for who you love while you're here."


Sebastian and Tanner's love story was so sweet and innocent, it's hard to imagine anyone in the world having a problem with it. This book manages to be both heart-breaking and uplifting all at the same time. I absolutely adored Tanner's Mom, and how completely she accepted him and protected him from the world. She wants nothing but the best for her son and she gives him supportive bumper stickers, and wears LGBT and rainbow themed aprons and things and she's just so sweet and supportive of him. It really sucks that Sebastian doesn't get the same support from his family and he's forced to closet himself because of it. His Father is the Bishop, and it would be a disgrace to his family if he came out as gay.

"You have so much space in your heart for your church, but does it have space for you?"

This book was incredibly powerful with it's message of acceptance and being okay with who you are, and surrounding yourself with people who love you and accept you. While sending that powerful message, you get this sweet innocent love story of a high school student falling in love with the TA. The best part is it revolves around this class where the students are forced to write an entire novel for the last semester of high school, so both of the main characters are writers. This book has been compared to Fangirl and Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and I think this book is a lot like those books and I understand the comparisons! But I think this book is a lot heavier, in a way, than those books (in a good way). This book packs more of an emotional punch, and left me in tears of sadness and happiness at times.

"But if a tree falls in the woods, maybe it makes no sound. And if a boy falls for the bishop's closeted son, maybe it makes no story."

You can really tell when an author has poured their heart and soul into a book: and Autoboyography is that book for Christina Lauren. I can't say enough great things about this book. I adore Tanner and Sebastian so much, individually and together and I loved this story to pieces. This is easily one of my favorite books of 2017 and of all time. It's so, so, so important, and it was definitely an eye-opening experience for me. I also love that they included a list of other LGBT books and movies that inspired them when they wrote this.
THANK YOU SO MUCH TO KRISTIN DWYER FOR SENDING ME A COPY OF THIS BOOK!


Before Reading:
Christina Lauren are writing their first M/M romance novel that is described as Fangirl meets Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (aka two of my favorite books of all time).........

HOLY SHIT I NEED THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW.

AND THAT COVER. I'M DYING. I'M DEAD.

Profile Image for Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd).
332 reviews7,315 followers
August 16, 2017
I don't know how to talk about this book. I don't know if I'll ever be able to explain my feelings on this book and how it got to me in so many specific ways.

This book felt like a book about home. It was a story about people I grew up with, it was a story about myself and my connection to my sexuality and the religion I grew up being a part of. I saw my high school friends in character after character. I saw a boy I went to school with who grew up to marry another boy, even though it caused him a lot of pain. I saw myself growing away from my religion and towards falling in love with a girl. There is no way to make this review one that isn't deeply personal.

This story was hard and heartbreaking, but also lovely and sweet. It was nuanced in how it talked about religion, in how it examined the differences between religion and those who are religious. It was tough on a church that has been vicious and has handed out cruel words, while also highlighting the ways that Mormons are not an evil group of people. There are those who are wrong, without question, but there is so much depth to the way the sides of the situation are handled.

This was a love story, and a good one. It was romantic. It begins "His smile ruins me" and doesn't disappoint from there. I love these boys and their messy love story. Plus, the main character is bisexual! A bisexual boy who insists on his label and the meaning that that label has for him!

It is a story about religion and family that is deftly handled. It is fair while constantly pointing out the dangerous and divisive ways that the church comes between people. It is deeply and accurately rooted in LDS culture. I have never read a book that nailed what it feels like to grow up LDS and to grow up in Utah quite like this one did.

It is a story about teenagers being allowed to mess up, and mess up badly, but to still be able to come back from that. It is rooted in solid communication between family, friends, and partners.

And, more than anything else, it is a story that will stay with me because it felt (more than once) like being punched in the gut. It is absolutely excellent and I'm so glad that this book exists.



*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher but that in no way changes my review*
Profile Image for Kai Spellmeier.
Author 5 books13.5k followers
June 30, 2021
“A God worthy of your eternal love wouldn’t judge you for who you love while you’re here.”

This. Right there. I’m not a believer, really, but that might mostly be because I grew up in a society that worshipped a God who only loved conditionally. And to this day it’s the reason why religion is a red flag for me, especially as a gay person. You cannot preach love and give hate. You cannot preach freedom and deny it to others. And yet, they all do it.

My expectations were mile high. That rating! And the things I heard from friends whose opinion I trust. The first 100 pages or so were just as I’d expected. Fluffy, cute – a queer kid falling in love with someone who is off-limits for several reasons. He’s a guy, he’s basically a teacher, he’s Mormon. And all of that just added a layer of excitement and attraction to the story that made we want to scream out loud. I loved every single page, felt the butterflies, the thrill of a new crush, the hidden glances, the blushing, the loaded air between you and your crush, the promise of a first meeting, a first kiss, a first tender declaration of “I like you”. I expected the whole story to keep this light note. I knew it would get emotional, maybe even heart-breaking, but overall the story had a much heavier note than I’d thought.

Okay, I hate myself for doing this. It’s not the first time that I really liked a book but kept criticising it. I’m convinced that the people who read my reviews will shake their heads and think to themselves “Why did he even bother giving it such a good rating when he can’t shut up about its flaws?” I have no satisfying answer for that. You just gotta deal.

Let’s start with Sebastian. I didn’t like him particularly. Once I got over my crush – remember the hot teaching assistant who happens to be Mormon and therefore forbidden af – there wasn’t much left of Sebastian that I cared for. I will not diminish his struggle with his sexuality and his faith. People who are hurt and confused lash out and hurt others. But his façade annoyed me. His fake smiles, his politeness, they rendered him unreal. I can’t even tell you what Tanner saw in him apart from his looks and niceness. Also, that dude is supposed to be an extremely talented and promising fantasy author? I don’t see it. We even got two chapters from his POV and nothing about him indicated that he’d be particularly creative, that he’s a dreamer, a nerd, a fantasy enthusiast. But that’s just a minor detail (one that keeps bugging me though!)

Next one: Tanner’s family. I don’t know. They’re too picture perfect, too annoyingly happy and involved in Tanner’s feelings, his relationships, his sex life. Which shouldn’t be a bad thing, right? I love the fact that his family is so caring and supportive. It was simply a tad over the top. There’s always a bit of awkwardness and I’ve seen other books do it better (Jack of Hearts and other Parts, Full Disclosure). Also, Hailey, Tanner’s sister, should have received more attention. The few scenes she had were extremely funny and I would have loved to see more of her, maybe get a bit of character development.

And last but not least, the page count. I think that if you’d cut 50 or even 20 pages of the book, if it would’ve gone through another stage of editing, you’d have a more polished, slightly better-paced version. Once or twice I caught myself skim-reading a page because I wanted the action to move forward, because I got frustrated with the on-and-off relationship.

Nevertheless, if you’re still reading this, I’d say pick up this book. You’ll have a great time reading it. It’s a good love story, it has great bisexual representation, it shows the struggle of what it means to be gay as well as religious.

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Profile Image for emi.
403 reviews1,064 followers
January 18, 2018
3.5/5 stars

"I don’t actually care if you break my heart, Sebastian. I went into this knowing it could happen and I gave it to you anyway. But I don’t want you to break your own. You have so much space in your heart for your church, but does it have space for you?"

Let's just start this review with a disclosure, shall we?

A main theme of this book is the Mormon/LDS religion. Now I am a very proud, tapir-loving exmormon, meaning I was raised and baptized in the LDS church before realizing that the venn diagram of my beliefs and the LDS church's beliefs were two circles on opposite sides of the universe. Sprinkle in some historical inaccuracies and sketchy and unacceptable 1800s drama Mormons try to keep hidden, I decided to go through the uber-complicated process of removing my name from LDS records. Seriously. It's complicated. Technically, I had to use a lawyer.

But to get to the point, I have very negative and vocal feelings about the Mormon church. If you ever wanna hear them, I will tell you. However, this book doesn't shit on the religion, so I feel like I shouldn't either. I wanna be as respectful as possible. So I'm going to try my hardest to keep this review as objective as possible and keep my personal bias out of it, but it's gonna be hard. I like putting a little of myself in reviews, so there's a 100% chance I'm gonna fail. So if you are a practicing Mormon, maybe steer clear of this review. My apologies. I really am going to try.

description


So I read this book.

I liked this book. Rated it four stars.

I put this book aside and moved on to other things.

My mind, however, decided to focus on this book more than it probably should have. And upon furthur review, I realized that I didn't like this book as much as I thought I did. It had it's ups and it's downs and it's dose of instalove and fuck ups. So I lowered my rating accordingly.

So this book follows Tanner, who is bisexual and nonreligious, who's parents relocate him to Mormontown, USA and encourage him to hide his sexuality until he graduates and goes out of state for collage.

If you don't know anything about the Mormon religion, they don't really like people who aren't straight and male. They don't consider being gay a sin, but what is a sin is if you "act on your same-sex attraction" and marry/date someone of the same gender. So Tanner being bisexual isn't really accepted in Utah. Him falling in love with another Mormon boy, (enter Sebastian, who'll we'll discuss later) is a huge no-no to the Mormons.

Let's get seemingly off topic for a little bit. It will come back full circle in the end. I promise.

The other day, in fact the same day I finished this book, I was driving home from the library when I noticed a billboard on the side of the road. It was one of the electronic ones that change the ad about every ten seconds or so. I normally don't pay attention to billboards-usually I'm too busy jamming to T-Swizzle or something as I drive which was exactly what I was doing but this one caught my attention.

A little background knowledge: about two weeks ago, the Mormon President/Prophet died. It's quite a tragic thing to the Utah population. His death was the front page story in the local newspaper. Despite the fact that most Mormons have never met him, they really liked this dude for some reason. I;m not gonna blatantly state my opinion of him, but if you read this book I think you too can have a revelation and guess. Or maybe go read this obituary the New York Times wrote.

Anyways, this billboard contained a picture of the late Mormon President. It stated the year he was born and ended with 2018. The words, Rest in Peace, was written in big white letters. And I was instantly befuddled that someone out there, perhaps the Mormon Church with their member's tithing money or perhaps a LDS stranger, put up money for that billboard to be there. I found this extremely weird. However, 60.7% of the population of Utah probably don't.

Because that's the percentage of Mormon's in Utah. 60.7% of 3ish million people. And the heart of Mormon culture? Provo, Utah. Where 88% of the population (~100,000 people) are Mormon.

I feel like I'm doing a school report, googling these percentages to make sure their accurate. Gross. Let's move on from less mathy things.

So you know what else is important about Provo, Utah? It's the setting of this book.

So in this book, Tanner's parents are written to be the cool parents. The kind of parents you can confide anything too. The kind of parents that will talk to you about blow jobs at the dinner table. However, they also move their LGBTQ son to the heart of Mormonville and tell him to hide his sexuality. Then they are upset at him for wanting to date a Mormon. Statistically, 88% of the people who goes to school with are Mormon. This ain't cool with me.

description

But, like I’ve mentioned, Tanner meets super LDS Sebastian in this novel-writing workshop class of his. Sebastian is a year older, a college student, and only in the class to be a TA and help other students write an entire novel of their own. Which, by the way, seems impossible. An entire novel? In one semester? Okay… And it’s literally love at first sight. When Tanner first sees Sebastian, he’s instantly obssessed.

Eventually, the stars aligned for Tanner and him an Sebastian start a relationship. But Sebastian is, obviously, Mormon and his religion prevents him from accepting himself for who he is and who he likes, and angst ensues. There's a lot of breaking up and getting back together. Also add in the fact that Sebastian's parents are sooo typical Mormon it's scary. I can't even tell you how many people I've met in my life that are exactly like them. So sweet and so shitty at the same time.

I think you can either guess the rest of the book or go read it to find out.

Now I'm gonna be honest here. I wrote all that up, and I have no idea what I wrote. What points I touched on and what points I didn't. It's currently 12:05am and I'm more attentive on the episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians so I don't really feel like rereading it. To make sure I mention what I like and what I didn't like about this book, I've composed a list.

What I Like:
•Accurate portrayal of Mormons, at least the mormons I have met in my life. which is in the hundreds.
•Your religion shouldn't control who you are and who you like
•Characters were great
•Romance, when not too instalovey, was super cute and interesting
•It took place in Utah and for once I understood exactly what the characters were doing and where they were at and the cities they talked about. That's kinda cool
•it pointed out the flaws of the mormon religion without insulting it. i wish i had that self control
•but i don't oops. but that's important. the author very well could have destroyed the religion, but they realize that it is important to some people and respected it
•It kept me very entertained during a slow day at work. made the eight hours fly by much quicker.

What I Didn't Like:
•That one scene in the middle of the book that was COMPLETE BULLSHIT
•and was sooo super dramatic
•Like one character didn't go to school or answer their phone bc of it
•but then other character shows up at her house afterwards and they were like "hahaha never mind I ain't mad"
•and that concludes that
•EXCEPT WHY DID SHE MISS SCHOOL THEN
•Tanner's parents were competely shitty moving Tanner to Provo
•There's literally a very nice towns twenty miles or less away from Provo that are a lot less Mormon
•BUT WHY EVEN MOVE YOUR SON TO UTAH TO BEGIN WITH YOU ASSHOLES
•yoU GUYS HAD NICE, REASONABLE JOBS IN CA
•ASSHOLES
•also that whole "write an entire novel in one semester" class like wtf how is that even possible
•I can barely write this review, how can you expect someone younger than me to write a novel????
•Tanner's BFF Autumn
•She was annoying and unimportant. she didn't add anything to the story.
•I'm all about platonic friendships, but her relationship with Tanner was werid
•Also INSTALOVE
•I hate instalove

description

Anyways, this review has gotten way out of hand. Perhaps I should have written it when I was more awake. Whatever, who cares. You get my point. If ya have any questions about the MoChurch, I'll answer them for ya if ya like. I might be a little bias though. *shrug emoji*

Have a good day, y'all.
Profile Image for Larry H.
2,440 reviews29.4k followers
November 17, 2017


Yes, Leo, me, too. All the feels.

I couldn't love Christina Lauren's Autoboyography any more if I tried. As I've said so many times, I am so happy that young adult books like this exist and are readily available in today's world, to help this generation realize that whatever their problem is, they will be able to overcome it, and thrive. But at the same time, I can't help but be perhaps a tad bitter that not one book like this existed when I was growing up, because I sure could've used some encouragement through the struggles, even if it was only fictional!

Tanner's family moved to Provo, Utah when he was 15 years old. It's a tough time to relocate your life from a liberal city like Palo Alto, especially if you're a bisexual teenager moving to a predominantly Mormon town—when your family isn't Mormon. Tanner's parents encourage him to keep his sexuality under wraps until he graduates and leaves Provo, not because they're embarrassed or they disapprove, but they don't want him to have to deal with the scrutiny and criticism of the Mormons in the community.

With one more semester left in high school, Tanner's best friend Autumn encourages him to enroll in "The Seminar," an exclusive high school class in which every student will write an entire book by the end of the semester. Even though Tanner can be kind of lazy when it comes to meeting deadlines, he figures, how hard could it be?

"'Come on. I moved here when I was fifteen—which I think we can agree is the worst time to move from Palo Alto, California to Provo, Utah—with a mouth full of metal and no friends. I have stories.' Not to mention I'm a half-Jewish queer kid in a straight and Mormon town. I don't say that last part, not even to Autumn."

When "The Seminar" begins, it upends Tanner in a way he never expected. The prodigal student from last year's class, Sebastian Brother, whose novel was so good the teacher sent it to publishers and the book is about to be released to great fanfare, is helping mentor this year's students. From the minute Tanner sees Sebastian, he is utterly rocked by his attraction to him, and it's not long before Tanner has fallen head over heels in love with him. But given that Sebastian is the son of an LDS bishop, and a model student, there's no way he reciprocates Tanner's feelings, right?

"I can't read him. I can't grasp him. I have no idea what he's thinking and if he's messing with me or if he really is this good, but never before have I wanted so fiercely to lean forward and put my mouth on someone's neck, begging them to want me."

The harder he falls for Sebastian, the more Tanner's life is disrupted. He's never even come out to Autumn, and their relationship is kind of complicated, so he can't share his feelings with her. His parents want him to be happy, but they're very wary of him getting involved with anyone affiliated with the Church, since they know it won't—it can't—end well. He should just stop obsessing over Sebastian, ask one of his female friends to the prom, and hold off just a little longer.

One problem: "His smile ruins me. The feeling makes me uneasy, a dramatic lurch that tells me I need to have him or I won't be okay."

This book works for me on so many levels. The characters are tremendously well-developed and they're not 100 percent sympathetic; they're each selfish in their own ways. While the story's trajectory is, in a lot of ways, unsurprising, I was so happy that the plot didn't blunder into some of the stereotypical pitfalls I expected given the subject matter.

I also was pleased that the book wasn't too heavy-handed in how it addressed Mormons' views on homosexuality—while it was accurate in general, it didn't make every Mormon out to be a villain, although it did question how parents could put religion over their children's happiness.

Unsurprisingly, Autoboyography gave me all the feels, and I read the entire book in a day. As I sit and write this review just a few hours after a majority of Australian citizens voted in favor of marriage equality, I am encouraged that one day books like this will become the exception and not the rule, because people will accept everyone's sexuality as just another element of their identity, like eye color or height.

For now, though, it's great that books like this exist, because everyone needs to understand that love is love, and everyone deserves to love whomever they choose.

See all of my reviews at http://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blo....
Profile Image for shady boots.
500 reviews2,038 followers
April 19, 2018
I'M GAY I'M GAY I'M GAY I'M GAAAAAAAAAAY



Man, it always feels good to say it out loud. Though I have to remain closeted in my real life for my own safety and well-being, thank god for the internet. I can be as unabashedly, unequivocally and unapologetically gay as I want and it's such a liberating thing.

I guess that's why I harbored a lot of envy towards Tanner and also related very much to Sebastian. Here is Tanner; a bisexual boy who has very liberal, queer-positive parents who love and support him no matter what. And then there is Sebastian; gay, but stuck in a family and a religion that consumes every part of his life, having to go against his true self because those around him would never accept or understand.

I connected with this book because I see myself in both of these two. Tanner represents my hopes and dreams, my distant fantasies that seem infinitely unreachable. And Sebastian represents my reality, living in an oppressive environment that forces him to deny his truth, being part of a religion that forsakes him. Tanner has the life I want, Sebastian has the life I have.

It took me a while to warm up to them being together, though. I know, shocking. I did order gay fluff, and gay fluff was what I got, but I think the waiter went right to the main course without handing me the appetizer first. Basically I felt like Tanner and Sebastian's relationship was vaguely insta-love-ish at first, cause Tanner really falls into a deep obsession with Sebastian. Seriously, he goes full-on nuts for this guy within the first few chapters and it was kind of overwhelming. I mean yeah, I know what it's like to be boy crazy, but DAMN. I couldn't help but be like "Calm down, sis" sometimes at Tanner lmao. This guy had zero chill when it came to Sebastian, his horny levels were always at a ten.

So yeah, initially I felt like their romance moved a bit too fast for my liking. I wanted a little more time for them to connect in a non-lustful way, and this actually almost made me consider giving the book 4.5 stars instead. But in the end I think it was just a slight issue that doesn't really have any bearing on my pure adoration for this book, so reducing the rating by half a star felt wrong.

It also helped that I connected so much with these guys, Sebastian primarily since we're in such similar boats. Granted, I may not be religious like him, but my family certainly is. To the extreme, so we have that in common.

Honestly, organized religion is so fucking abhorrent. I respect people who have their own faiths and beliefs in a higher power, and if it gives them peace in their life then so be it. What I don't respect is that religion has all these rules and regulations that are simply unnecessary and could very well be man-made. People need to realize that these are archaic and outdated world views that should be treated as such. The fact that these religions have such control over people's minds and condemn people for being themselves and living their lives is disgusting, and there's simply no reason it should exist.

Sorry for the mini-rant. There were many parts in this book that had me fuming and really contemplating all this shit. Again, I am all for faith and personal beliefs, but I will never ever support organized religion because they don't support me standing in my own truth.

Anyways, I digress. This book was just such a joy to read from start to finish. I loved the ending and how meta everything got, and it's overall such a genuinely sweet, touching story.

Also, did I mention "gay"? I think I left that tidbit out.
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,610 reviews5,009 followers
October 9, 2019
His smile ruins me.

I should have reviewed this when I read it almost a year ago, but now it’s been too long and I don’t remember everything I want to say. 🤷‍♀️ Whoops. A few pros and cons that I remember:

P R O S:
- Tanner’s family is super supportive of his sexuality
- Tanner and Sebastian can be super cute together
- I laughed a lot
- while the book calls out a lot of what is hard about being queer and Mormon, it also features some reasons why people might want to stay in the LDS church

C O N S:
- I just… really don’t like Sebastian at all
- like even a little bit
- he just made me mad all the time and treated Tanner like hot garbage 24/7

I’ve read some adult work by Christina Lauren since reading this, and vastly preferred their adult work. I’d totally try another YA release by them if they return to the age range, but this wasn’t a huge hit for me and I don’t look back on it as fondly as I hoped I would. 3.5 stars, rounded up

Buddy read with the ever lovable Taylor! ♥♥
Profile Image for Whitney Atkinson.
903 reviews13.7k followers
April 15, 2019
4.5 stars

This is my first time reading Christina Lauren's YA works, and I loved it. It captures the perfect balance of funny yet meaningful writing and dialogue and character traits, which I really enjoyed. But what shines through in this book, for me, is the discussion of religion and homophobia, especially the denial, guilt, and shame that comes with being non-straight in a community of bible thumpers. Living in Texas, I understood Sebastian's predicament almost painfully, and so seeing how he and Tanner found a safe space with one another and Tanner eventually encouraged Sebastian to label his sexuality was really sweet. I'm in a bad mood unrelated to this book so I'm too lazy to type more but long story short, I read this in two sittings and thought it was great, and I loved the bi rep and Sebastian's character development.
Profile Image for Natasha Polis.
70 reviews13.7k followers
January 16, 2019
I LOVED THIS SO MUCH! I listened to the audiobook and was blown away. I love that love and religion were played against each other for a modern high stakes romance yet not demonizing either side. So happy I read this!
Profile Image for jessica.
2,479 reviews29.7k followers
July 20, 2019
‘i think a god worthy of your eternal love wouldnt judge you for who you love while youre here.’

i know quotes can sometimes make for lazy reviews, but i kept coming back to this again and again.

i generally tend to shy away from books where religion is a main plot device because i feel like it is a very personal and individualistic matter. but i was always seeing so many good things about this book, so i decided to give it a try. and i dont regret it.

i dont really have much to say other than i think the message of the book is the one thing that makes this worth reading. im glad books like this exist. and im glad representation for those who have not had it is becoming more common. in the wise words of god himself, lin-manuel miranda, ‘love is love is love is love is love is love.’

4 stars
758 reviews2,358 followers
July 29, 2018
having batman run me over in his bat mobile would hurt less. oh my god. 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭

this book was fluffy but it was also so sad, I DIDN'T ACTUALLY EXPECT TO HAVE MY SOUL CRUSHED WHAT THE FUCK. but thank you Christina Lauren for crushing it anyways.

no review, goodnight. i am tears.

------
i want this book to crush me, thanks.

also, this cover's so pretty. i want to eat it.
Profile Image for Warda.
1,091 reviews17.4k followers
August 25, 2019
I wanted tears and I wanted laughter and I got them.

This book was intense to read. Not only because of the connection Sebastian and Tanner formed but to also read of the struggle one goes through when the people that are supposed to love you the most, love you unconditionally, don’t. It was suffocating to read at times, and I felt the claustrophobic air that comes with having to hide a huge part of your identity from the people that you care about. But mostly the damage you do to yourself when you hide it from yourself.


—————————

Buddy-reading with this newly published author. 😏
Profile Image for She-who-must-not-be-named .
179 reviews1,144 followers
January 5, 2022
3.5 🌟

“Love fails for a million reasons - distance, infidelity, pride, religion, money, illness. Why is this story any more worthy?
It felt like it was. It felt important. Living in this town is suffocating in so many ways.
But if a tree falls in the woods, maybe it makes no sound.
And if a boy falls for the bishop's closeted son, maybe it makes no story.”


This book wonderfully depicts the importance of love: be it with oneself, with family members, or with a lover. It also highlights how parental support can actively mould a child and promote positive development.

The reason why I rated this book less than five stars is because I didn't like Tanner's impulsivity. Sebastian comes from a Mormon family who thinks being gay is a sin. And they have previously banished people from their community for coming out. When Tanner's mom (an ex-Mormon, who had to watch her sister go through all of that) asks him to be careful as it might put Sebastian at risk, he lashes out at her and calls her hateful. And I also hate how pushy Tanner was with Sebastian. Sebastian was already afraid to accept his sexuality because of his unsupportive parents and I hated how persistent Tanner was, despite knowing the risks Sebastian would have to face.
AND I also hate how he treats Autumn, his best friend. She harbours feelings for him and it's alright if he doesn't reciprocate them. But when he has a relationship fallout with Sebastian, he has sex with her (She's a virgin by the way) KNOWING SHE HAS FEELINGS FOR HIM. Talk about impulsivity and bad choices. To make things worse, SHE TAKES RESPONSIBILITY FOR HIS ACTIONS and apologises repeatedly-


Autoboyography isn't a bad book. In fact, except for the aforementioned points, I actually really liked the book. And I want nothing more than queer kids to find love and happiness in their lives and I don't mean to undermine anyone at all. I just feel it lacked the X-factor that could've made it stand out.
Profile Image for Judith.
724 reviews2,586 followers
June 14, 2018
4.5


I'm just a bisexual half-Jewish kid who's falling in love with an LDS guy






More pics,




A dare that would change two young lives forever...


Reading Tanner and Sebastian's story was special,truly special.I devoured this in less than 24hours.It's a beautifully told YA love story....not always pretty as they face prejudices and the expectations of religion and family.


Tanner and his family moved to Utah three years ago.While his parents are refreshingly understanding of his sexuality he's urged by his mother not to advertise it in an environment steeped in the Mormon faith.


Sebastian,a Mormon prodigy,seems to have his life mapped out for him.Not one for stepping out of line he finds himself powerless to resist the temptation of Tanner when he meets him in a Writing Seminar class.


I confess to not knowing much about the Mormon faith and I was both fascinated and disturbed by it.The Authors perfectly portrayed their beliefs/values/way of life without it being preachy in any way.Sebastian's struggle with his feelings for Tanner and his Faith felt alarmingly real.


Tanner and Sebastian's love,

-was tentative,intense,all consuming,

-first love with all the uncertainties,expectations,and ultimately the desire to be together that was so strong mistakes were inevitability made,

-set in an,almost,oppressive religious environment which while being an important part didn't overtake the story,

-the importance of family,the influences,the understanding,and beliefs that had to be followed no matter what.


I absolutely loved this story,one that will stay with me for a long time.



“Are you willing to be a secret? Maybe you are for now. But this is your life, and it will stretch out before you, and you are the only person who can make it whatever you want it to be.”





Highly Recommended.....
Profile Image for Christy.
3,711 reviews31.6k followers
September 18, 2017
4 stars!!!

“description"/

Autoboyography is a great coming of age/YA story. This was much different than what I’m used to when I pick up a Christina Lauren novel, but I was pleasantly surprised with how well written it was!

Tanner is a high-school senior who is half-jewish and bisexual. He lives in the mormon capital of the US. Tanner takes a writing class his last year of school and Sebastian, who previously graduated is helping out. Tanner and Sebastian have an instant connection and it goes beyond anything either one of them has ever felt. While Tanner is writing his book, it sort of turns into a story of self discovery and a love-story. His and Sebastian’s love story.

Sebastian Brothers has lived his life trying to please everyone. His family, God, they’re the most important thing to him. He’s tried to overlook the fact that he’s attracted to guys, and overall it hasn’t been too hard to do. Until Tanner. He can’t help it. There is something different about Tanner. Something he can’t stay away from.

These two were so darn sweet together. I loved watching their journey. Even though both of them came from different families and different paths in life, they fell hard for one another.
“I want to know everything about you,” he says into me, frantic now, his mouth moving over my jaw, stubble scraping my neck. “I’ll tell you anything.” “Are you my boyfriend?” he asks, and then sucks my bottom lip before laughing at himself, as if this isn’t the most amazing thing anyone has ever said to me in the history of my life. “Um, yes.” Boyfriend. Yes.


Autoboyography is a sweet first love story, but it’s so much more than that. It’s a story about finding yourself, of pushing the boundaries of life, and of coming to terms with who you are. It’s a story that will be pertinent to many people- even if you aren’t gay, bisexual, or religious. I loved the message of the book and found the story to be important. It’s a heart-warming read and one I recommend!



*I listened to the audio version of this book, and the narrator that voiced Tanner did an incredible job! For those of you who are audio-book lovers, check this one out!
Profile Image for BernLuvsBooks .
685 reviews4,625 followers
July 1, 2019
Oh, Christina Lauren - how do you repeatedly capture my heart in such a vise grip? Tanner and Sebastian - so sweet, so cute, so heartbreaking, so angsty & thought-provoking. How could I not fall in love with their love story? This book gave me all the feels.

Tanner is a bi-sexual high school senior living in Mormon Utah. Due to the environment, he is "in the closet" to everyone, except his immediate family. When his best friend, Autumn, convinces him to take The Seminar during their last semester of high school, he opts to enroll. How hard can it be to write a book in four months?

When local Mormon turned author/celebrity, Sebastian Brother acts as TA for the class, Tanner's entire world shifts. The moment he lays eyes on him he can't help but feel instantly infatuated.

His smile ruins me. The feeling makes me uneasy, a dramatic lurch that tells me I need to have him of I won't be okay.

Theirs is anything but an easy love story. Sebastian is fighting his urges, his Mormon faith deeply rooted. His struggles are evident - the shame he feels in disappointing his family and going against his religion versus the very real feelings he has for Sebastian are constantly at war within him. I loved watching him grow throughout the book and become more confident with himself.

Tanner though - he completely stole my heart! His family = #familygoals. His BFF relationship with Autumn was both complicated and beautiful. His pure love for Sebastian = #relationshipgoals! This book is also his book, his Autobiography, and the raw emotion Tanner writes with about his "love story" was poetic, honest and heartbreakingly beautiful.

Thank you Christina Lauren for this book and its message of love, acceptance, friendship, family and finding yourself.
Profile Image for demi. ♡.
206 reviews278 followers
November 23, 2019
❥ 2.5 / 5 stars

[ unpopular opinion ]

Once again that I read a book without reading its synopsis because I trusted the average rating and I thought I was going to love it eventually but it turned out that I didn’t enjoy it as much as everyone else did.


The story started with the trope that as some of you guys might already know, is far from my liking. An insta-love.


When Sebastian first walked into the novel-writing class of which Tanner was a member, they both instantly knew that there was something going on between them, and to make it more cliché, right, they had to work on something together (book) so their relationship was gradually developing.

(I would be lying if I said ‘gradually’ because in fact, it wasn’t, their love was like fast and furious. LOL)


But of course, their life wasn’t a bed of rose. Sebastian was a Mormon while Tanner was like an anti-LDS. Moreover, Sebastian also didn’t believe that he, himself, was a gay (even though he admitted to Tanner that he was always in love with guys since he was born.... umm ok i’ll try to believe you then), which made it more impossible for them to be together.


However, no matter how hard they tried not to fall for each other, they completely failed to do so and as a result, they decided to be together but there was a condition that it had to be a secret and no one need to know.


But due to a lot of factors, at one point, Sebastian thought that it would be the best if they two just broke up and went to their own ways.


That day, after they had broke up, Tanner was really devastated and did something very bad. And that thing was the thing that I hated the most in the book. It was totally unnecessary and I don’t even know why the authors had to include it.

(If you want to know what it is, you can find out in the book later by yourself / read some spoilers, or another option, DM me.)


But as they were inevitable and they both knew that, at the end of story, they found their ways to be together.


The end. Happy Ending.

__________________________________________

To be honest, I can see why many people like this book since it was such a cute and sweet love story (plus, so dramatic) but unfortunately, I’m not one of them.


Though I enjoyed reading some parts of the book, others I didn’t. There were so many things that kept irritating and annoying me.


Example :

1. The main characters (Tanner, Sebastian, Autumn) were all unbearable.

Tanner : Oh boy, all you can think of is Sebastian. You couldn’t write anything else because of him. When you tried to write a new book, Sebastian came up to your mind immediately as a cue. Everything is Sebastian, Sebastian, Sebastian, and Sebastian. Seriously, are you tired of that? Because I felt so tired when I read it.

Sebastian : You know what, my perfect boy, running from the problems didn’t help anything. I knew it hard to accept who you truly were but if you acted like this, trying to escape from the truths, I think you shouldn’t even end up with anyone.

Autumn: aka as Tanner’s Auddy (yes. that’s her nickname.🙄) Can I not mention her? I don’t feel like doing it.


2. Some stuffs were mentioned but what happened next? The two girls who accidentally heard Tanner and Autumn talking in the dress shop. What did they do with that information? The authors no longer mentioned it and we don’t know.


3. Mormons’ and religious rep? Oh my god, they were overwhelming. I didn’t hate it or anything but it was just too much that I had to skip reading about it sometimes.




P.S. I didn’t intend to write the review this long but the words just came out like a waterfall so if you read all of this, I want to say that you’re superb! 👍🏻
Profile Image for may ➹.
463 reviews1,852 followers
June 6, 2020
SOMEONE HOLD ME LOVE IS TRUE LOVE IS REAL AND I’LL NEVER ACHIEVE LOVE LIKE THE LOVE TANNER AND SEBASTIAN HAVE FOR EACH OTHER\

I just... god. this book is, objectively speaking, not perfect. it has flaws, and it even has insta-love, which if you know me is one of my most hated book tropes ever. but oh my GOD the way it was written kept me so engaged and I was so invested in this story that I literally didn’t realize it was insta-love halfway through???? (though I’m not sure I would’ve been as invested if it was a hetero romance,,,)

this book also came at the perfect time, after having seen Love, Simon (three times), after figuring out my sexuality, after me not being in a good mental place for months now, and this book just made me genuinely genuinely HAPPY

gushy review to come!!!

// kind of buddy read with my love 💞 (and fellow gay)
Profile Image for April (Aprilius Maximus).
1,088 reviews6,589 followers
April 25, 2020
“But this is your life, and it will stretch out before you, and you are the only person who can make it whatever you want it to be.”

representation: jewish, queer characters (bisexual [own voices], gay, lesbian), mormon, tongan, hungarian/swedish rep.

[trigger warnings are listed at the bottom of this review and may contain spoilers]


★★★★★

spoilery thoughts:
- the friendship between autumn and tanner is everything and so well developed
"I love you, but only a little."
- the commentary on being bisexual?? amazing.
"There’s the devil on one shoulder, the ignorant perception that I get from all sides, both inside and outside the queer community, who say bisexuality is really about indecision, that it’s impossible for bisexuals to be satisfied with one person and the label is a way not to commit."
- the constant discussion on religion and challenging harmful beliefs????? A+
“Mom didn’t want to break up with her parents but, like any normal, compassionate human, couldn’t justify alienating someone she loved because of a bunch of old rules in a book.”
- supportive parents!!!! Tanner’s parents are so incredible.
“my parents have made our home a gay, gay den of pride.”
“...LGBTQ essays, PFLAG pamphlets, and rainbow T-shirts are handed to me at spontaneous moments with a kiss and a lingering look of pride. Mom will slide the occasional bumper sticker into my pillowcase, to be found when the sharp corner meets my cheek at night.”
UWU
- but then again, hate goes both ways and his parents can be kind of hypocritical when being so against him dating an LDS guy.
- the fact that Sebastian is lowkey shocked when Tanner tells him his parents are fine with him being bi is so sad.
- when it goes into the background of LDS (the authors obviously did a lot of research) and I know that not all mormon people agree with a lot of the traditional mormon views and rules, it still made me so angry and upset reading about it (e.g. how within the LDS church, the hierarchy is exclusively male; the fact that they used to support conversion therapy; that they believe sex and marriage should only happen between a man and a woman; and the change in a handbook that said members in same-sex marriages would be considered apostates (or defectors from the church) and that children living in those households would be excluded from church activities until they’re old enough to renounce the practice of homosexuality and join.
“In summary: love and respect, but only if you’re willing to live by their rules… and if not, then exclusion is the only answer.”
- when Sebastian comes out to Tanner, it should be a happy moment, but instead he’s terrified and it’s so sad.
- their romance actually gave me butterflies tho… like wow.
“We’re sitting on a rock, side by side, arms touching, and I know this moment will be seared into my history forever.”
- love how this doesn’t demonise all LDS people. I like that throughout this book, Tanner also has his views on LDS people challenged as well.
- I also love how Sebastian isn’t giving up God or religion when he finally challenges his own beliefs. The book isn’t saying that religion is bad, it’s saying that YOU get to choose what to believe in.
“Sometimes I wonder whether it’s God or the church that feels the strongest about these things.”
- I will never understand Sebastian’s parents and how they can be so hateful. When they find out about a member of the church marrying another guy, they immediately asked, “how are his parents coping?” and then tanner thinks “It can’t have escaped Sebastian’s notice that his mom didn’t ask about Brett or whether he was happy; she asked about his parents, almost like having a gay son is something they have to manage, to explain, to deal with." and the fact that they don’t talk to their son after he comes out and will only accept him back into their lives after he just ‘decides’ to stop being gay????? wtf. The things they say to their son are absolutely unforgivable in my eyes.
- Sebastian’s character development is top tier. TOP TIER, I TELL YOU.
- I have no idea if any of this made any sense at all, but I had a lot of thoughts and I had to write them down because this is one of my new favourite books <3

“But did you ever look inside yourself while you prayed and try to find the seed of who you are in there, instead of just asking God over and over for permission to look?”

trigger warnings: loss of loved ones (in the past) due to war, mention of homelessness and past suicide attempt by a family member (due to being disowned by parents after coming out), really shit parents, homophobic slurs.
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