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All Boys Aren't Blue

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  4,700 ratings  ·  1,169 reviews
In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia. From the memories of getting his teeth kicked out by bullies at age five, to flea marketing with his loving grandmother, to his first sexual relationships, this young-adult memoir weaves together the ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published April 28th 2020 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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Moonbook Maybe chat if you library has e copy, like on thier app or check with libby (it's a library app)

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Average rating 4.43  · 
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 ·  4,700 ratings  ·  1,169 reviews


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Cindy Pham
Jun 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Update: Changing my GR rating to 4 stars because I'm trying to keep my goodreads more consistent to my personal impressions rather than what I think the book should be "objectively"!

4 stars for me personally, but I believe it deserves 5 stars for young adults that this is geared towards. This is a lovely and wonderful memoir that I think would be perfect for LGBT+ teens and allies who are seeking to learn more about gender identity, toxic masculinity, and themselves. Johnson puts himself in the
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Kai
Jun 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: important, owned, queer
so who the fuck let it slip that I cannot resist books with beautiful people wearing beautiful flower crowns on their covers

What baffles me most about this book is the realisation that heteronormativity and homophobia sit so deeply within society that even when you have a loving and queer-friendly family and friend-circle you will fear and avoid coming out (to yourself as much as to others) for decades. Let that sink in.

Honestly though, this book was everything I hoped it would be: An exploratio
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Riley
Jun 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this is a very powerful memoir about being black and queer, and the intersection of those identities. the author narrates the audiobook and you can tell he is a natural born story-teller. i highly highly recommend this
emma
Truly I don’t know how to review this book, so I’m just going to list a few things about it here.

- Rarely have I encountered a memoir as honest as this one.
- Eventually I felt like it was a little dumbed down???
- And it’s called a “YA memoir”...I don’t know what that means but it seems unnecessary
- Despite that & feeling kind of slumpy when I picked this up, I fell into it right away.
- It’s so well-written and compulsively readable!!!
- There is just so much forgiveness and truth and wisdom in th
...more
Jesse bowtiesandbooks
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"No amount of money, love, or support can protect you from a society intent on killing you for your blackness, and shows that a community that has been taught that anyone "not straight" is dangerous."

All Boy's Aren't Blue is Johnson's memoir-manifesto; designed to encourage queer black boys to uncrate the layers of their masculinity and racialized existence. All Boys Aren't Blue is an effervescent interrogation of compulsory heterosexuality and crushing gender-centric expectations, a kaleidosc
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Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
While this book was hard to listen to at times, it packed SUCH a powerful punch and was an amazing memoir that touched on the intersections of being Black and queer. Definitely recommend checking this one out!!
Gabby
This book was so good, it was so powerful. This is a powerful YA memoir about George exploring his sexuality, telling stories from his childhood, and it's written so beautifully. The story-telling in this book is so raw and I loved feeling as if we were growing up alongside him and rooting for him the whole way through. I listened to the audiobook which is read by the author and it was the best experience.

I think this is a great place to start if you are new to nonfiction and you are looking fo
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megs_bookrack
Jul 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At the conclusion of this memoir, the author writes, if one person is helped by my story, than it was all worth it.

I think we can be confident that many, many people will be helped by reading this. Lives will be inspired and changed; not just young people either.

THIS BOOK WILL SAVE LIVES.



A full review may come, but maybe not. The bottom line is this book should be read by everyone.

I also highly recommend the audiobook, read by the author. Incredibly well done.
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Cristina Monica
I feel honoured to have had the chance to read about George M. Johnson’s positive and negative experiences growing up. I also feel humbled by the fact that the author trusted us with his secrets and wanted to make this book a safe space for other people out there who may struggle with the same issues he did or want to become more educated on them.

Life really is a journey and everyone experiences it differently. Some lose their virginities at fourteen, others at twenty-three. Some have their fir
...more
Kevin (Irish Reader)
Jun 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
I absolutely loved this book. It might be a short book, but it will leave such a long lasting impression. This book also educated me on black lives and black queer lives, and for that I am so grateful that I read it. I would highly recommend you check out this memoir.

I also read this during a 24 hour readathon, you can check out the video to hear more of my thoughts: https://youtu.be/_xMcY58rFaw
...more
Ashleigh (a frolic through fiction)
I won't be writing a review in the typical sense, since it just feels wrong to review somebody's life experiences, especially when so far from my own. What I will say though is that despite this not being my usual kind of book to pick up, I'd highly encourage everyone to read it. It's so worth it. This memoir is geared towards a teenage audience who wouldn't typically hear about this kind of experience, a fact that often proves dangerous for so many people growing up without the right kind of su ...more
Elle
Jul 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
I’m going to try to keep this short, mostly because I don’t think I’m the person most equipped to give a full analysis of George M. Johnson’s life and memoir. But despite this book not being written for me, specifically, I believe there’s still a lot that can’t be learned from the author’s words and experiences.

“The spectrum of our traumas can be as broad as our identities.”

Johnson’s stated goal in All Boys Aren’t Blue is to offer some guidance to kids navigating an LGBTQ+ and/or black identity
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✨    jamieson   ✨
All Boys Aren't Blue is George M. Johnson's memoir, double manifesto, exploring his life as a Black gay man in America and what his queer identity means to him. This feels too personal to rate because it's intensely and painfully honest at times. Johnson brilliantly delineates the story of his life, sometimes with hope and humour, with retrospective sadness or anger, sometimes as means to educate or inform. It's the kind of queer book that just didn't exist a few years ago but needed to. This is ...more
sarah xoxo
Apr 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
All Boys Aren't Blue is powerful, real and honest. Storytelling at its rawest.

All Boys Aren't Blue covers a myriad of topics from sexual discovery to family dynamics to internalised homophobia through short essays and anecdotes. Johnson pulls stories from his childhood and own experiences, then explores and relates them to issues others might be struggling with. The storytelling style is unembellished and blunt. No words are wasted, and the message hits home. We follow him from a child through
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Jasmine from How Useful It Is
This book was an informative and interesting read. I liked the story about the author's name. One thing we all have in common is worrying about what other people think of us, queer or not, it happens to all of us. Growing up with cousins and all being taken care of by granny, awesome as she was, sounds fun. She's definitely the coolest grandma ever. The cowboy boots story had me smiling. I liked the advice about speaking up and other advices, including time.


This book started with an introductio
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Clem (the villain's quest)
3.5/5

trigger warnings for rape, use of the F word, use of the N word... other triggers are in the foreword of the book bc i can’t remember.

Instagram | youtube

an important story for an important voice, i highly recommend you to listen or read this book, it’s about the black queer experience in the US and if you want to be more educated on the black experience, this seems like a good place to start bc it’s YA non fiction. very easy to read, short and although redondant, the story does makes it poi
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Bookishrealm
THIS BOOK SHOULD BE READ BY EVERYONE. And I genuinely mean everyone especially the black community. Sometimes I don't feel like people understand the stories and experiences of those who are both POC and identify as Queer especially black women and men. I'm so happy that George decided to share his story. He talked about everything from coming out to toxic masculinity. Sometimes I'm proud of how far the Black community has come in relation to the LGBTQIA+ community; however, I'm also always remi ...more
Gavin
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-reads, lgbtq
Wow. I really don't read non-fiction to be honest, but after so many incredible reviews, I really wanted to read 'All Boys Aren't Blue' by George M. Johnson. I related so, so much to many of George's experiences growing up as a confused, gay teenager. I just loved this book so, so much, it was emotional to say the least. 5 stars!
Julie Zantopoulos
My only regret is that I listened to the audiobook (not a bad thing) and didn't wait for my copy to arrive so I could annotate/tab it. Such a powerful series of essays that traverse the topics of black family, queerness, acceptance, and finding your way in the world. I loved it. It wasn't always an easy read but it was a very powerful one and I'm glad I have it coming my way.
Sophia
Jun 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
for the right readers, i have no doubt that this book could fundamentally change their lives. george m. johnson believes that we always have the opportunity to be the blueprint for the next generation, and i think he lays his attempt to be that very beautifully in this book.

this memoir/manifesto is a candid, chatty exploration of Blackness and queerness and how those two identities intersect. george m. johnson tackles a lot in a relatively short book. there are letters to his family (these were
...more
Isabella
Jul 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
At times heartbreaking, at times uplifting and hopeful, this memoir-manifesto does for young queer kids what mainstream media still doesn't do: show that they're not alone, that they're not "weird" for being different, that they have a community and that they are valid.

Beautifully written, raw and honest, this memoir was an incredible read that I will be thinking and cherishing for a long time :)
Corina
Jul 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

This book is another MUST READ that opens eyes, tells experiences most of us readers won’t be able to understand until we live them.

Which makes this book incredibly powerful.

I love that the book and its message is directed towards queer Black boys. But also to anyone who is struggling with their identity. The message is clear: There is hope. You are not alone. There are people who went through the same. You are seen!

Overall the audiobook was a quick read for me. It’s only 5 hrs and 12 m
...more
Shaun Hutchinson
Jul 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A really wonderful exploration of growing up Black and queer. I listened to the audio, and I thought the author did a really fantastic job. Hearing his story in his own words made it that much more special.
Acqua
Jun 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
All Boys Aren't Blue is a memoir aimed at a young adult audience that talks about growing up as a Black and queer in America. It's a powerful book and accessible for those who need it most, including teens who aren't used to reading nonfiction, while dealing with difficult topics. It's the kind of book that makes me glad I finally decided to start reading nonfiction in my free time this year.

It's a necessary reminder that we can't sort people into boxes and we should push back against the societ
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Sol ~ TheBookishKing
I started this on a whim because a friend of mine was reading it, not knowing what it was about or what to expect. But what I got was such a gripping story that I listened to it all in one sitting.

I laughed and cried, and cried some more and that last line ... had me crying again lmfao.

This is a memoir about a Queer Black Boy growing up and facing the racial/homophobic issues that come w/ the Country we live in. At times it was heartbreaking, at times it put the biggest smile on my face. And th
...more
Lilith Black Bee
Jun 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
5 beautiful stars!!! Review to come.
Reading_ Tam_ Ishly
Jul 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"The brightest spot that summer was me falling in love for the first time. Beyoncé was her name."

Who doesn't fall in love with the Queen?!

*Review coming up*
Kate (GirlReading)
This was absolutely phenomenal. Truly one of the best memoirs I've ever read.

It was emotional, hard hitting, uplifting, devastating, frustrating, funny, heartwarming and painfully important. Johnson's way of writing is natural, chatty, filled with emotion and his words chosen with care.

There's not one single person who wouldn't benefit from reading this book. There's no underestimating the life changing good this book can do in the hands of people who need it most.

TW: sexual assault, use of raci
...more
Sahitya
May 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was such a beautiful and brilliant read. A story of the author’s growing up, and ultimately his story of finding himself, this book might deal with many difficult themes but ultimately it’s about a loving family, a brotherhood of amazing friends and full of hope for the next generation of queer Black teens. A must read.
Drewthereader20
Wow wow wow, another 5 star read this weekend! What is happening? Lol really good made me cry!(:
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260 followers
A prolific and powerful voice, George M. Johnson is an award-winning Journalist, Consultant, and Activist located in Brooklyn NY.
From the scores of places that he’s written for to the outlets who have written about him, his connections in the media world run deep with his knowledge and expertise being called upon from publishing to the big screen.
On social media, he has an impressive presence, wit
...more

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