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I Knew Him

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  239 ratings  ·  66 reviews
In his senior year of high school, Julian has one goal: be invisible. All he wants is to study hard, play basketball, and pretend he’s straight for one more year. Then, he can run away to university and finally tell the world he’s bisexual. And by “the world,” he means everyone but his mom and best friend. That’s two conversations he never wants to have.

When he’s talked in
ebook, 289 pages
Published April 15th 2019 by NineStar Press
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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 ·  239 ratings  ·  66 reviews

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anna (½ of readsrainbow)
rep: bi mc, gay mixed-race Filipino li, lesbian side character, gay side characters

Review also on my blog & on Reads Rainbow. ARC provided by the publisher.

You know those books that just make you feel safe? As if someone you love gave you a long, warm hug? As if for a brief moment you knew with absolute certainty that everything is going to be okay?

That’s how I Knew Him made me feel.

This is very much a character driven story, even though I can tell you it lowkey hinges on a high school produ
Oct 23, 2018 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: bi-books, lgbtqia
Feels weird to review your own book, but here we are. I hope you all will enjoy this little sliver of my soul and I can't wait for you to meet Julian and Sky.

EDIT 03/19/2019 - So there's a cover up now! And a description! It won't be long now.
Be advised this book does contain depictions of underage drinking, and a lot of swearing. Biphobia is a topic that gets addressed as well. Overall a sweet story with some heavy moments.
I'm so very excited!
Thank you very much to NineStar Press for providing a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Wouldn't it be wild if I had a boy hold my hand, and the world didn't end?

I wish I had a book like this when I was fifteen. This book would have made that little bisexual bookworm so seen and safe, and showed her that she was normal. This book is a reminder as to why we need -- and deserve -- to have #ownvoices books written and published.

I Knew Him follows Julian, a seventeen-y
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites


Julian is a high school senior who's reluctant to come out as bisexual. He's just broken up with his girlfriend, Lucy, and is conflicted about how people will react to his sexual orientation so he hasn't shared his secret with anyone. He meets Ruth and her brother Sky, who are new to his school, and finds himself falling for Sky. Julian and Sky start spending more time together as they become lab partners, both audition for the theater's production of Hamlet, and talk outside
M The Confused Flamingo
“Wouldn't it be wild if I had a boy hold my hand, and the world didn't end?”

Okay, I 'll say this right off the bat, this is not the best-written book out there, and there are many things in it that made me shake my head, or simply pissed my off. But it also has some wonderful bi representation that made my heart go all soft and mushy and it made a home for itself there and I regret nothing!

So this book is basically the story of Julian a high school senior who is a jock and also stars
charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)
It wasn’t always about owing someone honesty. It was about whether telling them was safe.

On my blog.

Rep: bi mc, gay half-Filipino li, lesbian side character, gay side character

CWs: biphobia, implied emotionally abusive past relationship, past outing, homophobia from parents

Galley provided by publisher

I have to say I didn’t have any expectations going into this book. Sure, I was excited by the concept, but I wasn’t expecting anything. So, I was really pleasantly surprised by this
*I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

This was cute!
Admittedly, I haven’t read a whole lot of books with bisexual rep. They’re kinda hard to find, even in the YA audience, so to read this story about Julian and his journey to accept who he really is was rather cute. There’s a lot of internal struggling, especially as the book is told in first person POV, but overall this was a cute, fluffy, quick read.
The plotline itself is rather simple, as Julian is just a
Mar 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
this book deserves so much more recognition!

first, the bi rep is great. definitely in my top 5 favourite books with a focus on bisexuality.

second, the romance is so cute. seriously! the communication, loyalty, and affection were so beautiful.

i was worried this was going to be another angsty coming out story where person a is in the closet and person b can't handle that and puts pressure on person a to come out, but it wasn't like that at all. julian being in the closet wasn't an issue for sky
Jul 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbtq, queer, my-e-things
3.5 stars. I wanted to read this because it's a Hamlet/Horatio story, which is one of my favourite ships. There wasn't much Hamlet and Horatio (too bad!), but I still enjoyed reading this. I didn't have super strong feelings about it beyond it being nice, though there are some good messages here and it's an enjoyable low-angst YA coming-out story. Julian is bi and doesn't want to come out because he doesn't feel safe and that's okay and I love that it's presented that way. I love the message tha ...more
Rebecca Reviews
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Abigail de Niverville’s I Knew Him is a great YA read with lots of Hamlet, a sweet romance, and an interestingly complex bisexual protagonist. I breezed through this novel but I wish that some characters and the writing were stronger.

Julian is a high school senior who just needs to pretend to be straight for one more year. He’s reluctant to come out as bisexual, especially to his mom and best friend. Julian is also dealing with the fallout from his parents’ divorce. When his friend talks him in
Maryam Rz.
I received an ARC of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to the publisher, NineStar Press!

In his senior year of high school, Julian has one goal: be invisible. All he wants is to study hard, play basketball, and pretend he’s straight for one more year. Then, he can run away to university and finally tell the world he’s bisexual. And by “the world,” he means everyone but his mom and best friend. That’s two conversations he never wants to have.

When he’s talked
Kavita Kumar-Karthik
Apr 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a book of finding oneself, accepting oneself and living life to the fullest. It is a light-hearted yet heart touching read and deals with a teen boy accepting what he feels. Julian, a sweet boy living with his single mom, has just realized that he likes both girls and boys. Not sure how the world will view him, how his mother would accept him after his father's debacle, whether his friends would understand him, this young boy keeps living each day with conflicting feelings.

As if things w
Look. Look. This is like when you hand someone a bag of a plastic cookie cutters and a log of rainbow sprinkle sugar cookie dough and somewhere, in the process, the shapes got messed up and came out being only a vague similarity to the shape they were meant to be. They’re still sweet, still edible, but not at all what was planned or meant to be.

Which is to say that I didn’t hate this book, not even close, but I didn’t really like it, either.

Julian is a high school student trying to get through
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Title: I Knew Him
Author: Abigail de Niverville
Publication Date: April 15th, 2019
Rating: 5/5

Description (from goodreads):

“In his senior year of high school, Julian has one goal: be invisible. All he wants is to study hard, play basketball, and pretend he’s straight for one more year. Then, he can run away to university and finally tell the world he’s bisexual. And by “the world,” he means everyone but his mom and best friend. That’s two conversations he never wants to have.

When he’s talked into a
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
This book conquered my heart! This is exactly the kind of queer contemporary YA that I needed right now.

I really loved Julian. His struggles of accepting his bisexuality were very relatable, like him wondering if he should even bother telling people he's bi, if he might find a girl he'll end up marrying. But then he meets Sky and everything changes! I really enjoyed reading about their first interactions, I'm glad that their conversations were actually quite awkward at times. Reading about Julia
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm tired so this is the best review you're going to get. 4 stars.

Rep: LGBTQIA+ CAST, bi MC, gay LI, lesbian SC, gay SC, mixed race characters.
TW: major biphobia, homophobia, homophobia from a parent, implied emotionally abusive past relationship, outing, underage drinking.

I started reading I Knew Him once before and didn’t make it past the first few chapters for some reason, but I decided to commit myself to the story this time because it had been burning a hole in my TBR for the better part o
Dekotah Thompson
Apr 03, 2019 rated it liked it

This was a solid read for me and one of the only books I've read with a Bi protagonist. Jules was a great character, one who I related to in a lot of different ways as he wants to run from his problems but grows able to face them head-on. His thoughts and feeling and how he handled different situations throughout the book was so mature and in other places so naive, just like so many teens out there. The author didn't shy away from creating such a realistic cast of characters all with their ow
May 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
a very adorable little YA romance

rarely read anything set in Canada so that was new

Cute and sweet ,, very sweet but idk

It was good
Roberta Blablanski
What a phenomenal coming of age tale. Julian is coming to terms with his sexuality while navigating his last year of high school.

His relationships with his friends, his parents, and the new boy in school complicate his journey. The author does an excellent job of conveying his conflicting thoughts about who to come out to and who to avoid showing his true self to.

The slow burn is endearing, giving the reader time to get to know the love interest and how he fits into Julian's life.

I enjoyed th
Apr 14, 2019 added it
Ah this was so wonderful! I couldn’t put it down.
Apr 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Nothing is as healing as a happy coming-out story without any relationship angst. Reading this made me feel so warm and happy. Also it's so great reading a book set in Canada by a Canadian author! ...more
Rian Durant
Apr 17, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars

I requested I Knew Him as soon as I noticed there are references to Shakespeare in it.MM and Shakespeare are totally my cup of tea and having them together is always a recipe for enjoyment.

This is a well written contemporary YA novel with low angst and a rather cute love story between the main characters.

It was a bit slow for me at the beginning but somewhere around 30% I warmed up to it and read with interest until the end.

I liked a lot the bi representation in the book. Julian, the ma
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
''It’s not always easy being honest with yourself.''

My heart is full and warm! This was so sweet and precious. I absolutely appreciated the way bisexuality was addressed in this story. Not many books i’ve read, have address all the struggles and phobia related to bisexuals and I found that in this story, the fears and struggles that Julian goes through felt real. I love the communication, the understanding and the trust between Julian and Sky, I love how their relationship developed throughout t
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Received from Netgalley. So this one took me a little longer to read. I slogged through the first chapter and tossed it on the back burner. I find the whole jealous, pushy girlfriend annoying. Once I picked it up again and got to the first meeting, things quickly improved, and I really enjoyed it. It’s a coming out story, with a lot to sort out before graduation.

When he’s not pretending to be someone else, Jules is a teenager struggling with who he is, but coupled with Sky he’s sweet and happy.
Sophie Hopkins
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a splendid debut novel. I particularly enjoyed the fact that there wasn’t just 1 LGBTQIA character. It makes the story more complex and realistic.
Nov 04, 2019 rated it liked it
this story does a great job at addressing misconceptions about identity and orientation. i just wish i felt more for the characters. but its still a quick and cute read.

3 stars
Jun 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
2019 Pride month read #15

I wasn't sure about the rating, but then I remembered why this book is so important.

One, it raises awareness of problematic behavior going on in the LGBTQ community and this is something that's still very much needed, with all the biphobia and transhobia, racism and bigotry, and so-called Drop the T "movements" and petitions.

Two, it portrays a healthy relationship between two teens who support each other and are there for each other in difficult moments. There's no mis
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-1st-ng
This is a refreshingly realistic tale. When readers meet Julian, the bi-sexual main character, he is afraid to admit things to himself and anyone else. As we follow him in his senior year of high school, navigating Friday night parties, basketball season, meeting the stunning new boy with beautiful eyes, Julian stops fighting what he feels. He draws strength from those around him he can trust, and ultimately he ends up with that new boy and far less afraid of himself.

I voluntarily read a Review
i really wish that there was more slowburn between the two but thats the only thing i have with this but nevertheless i love the way they talk about coming out in this so much
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbtqia-reads
I have a weakness for Shakespeare and if I am honest it is the main reason this book caught my eye. The author shared a post on twitter about her book being a YA contemporary with a sprinkle of Hamlet, and bi-sexual and lesbian rep. I'll admit she had me at hamlet but I'm also a sucker for #ownvoices books and representation. So here we go!

The Story

I Knew Him follows Julian who is just trying to make it through the last year of school pretending to be straight so he doesn't have to deal with exp
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Abigail de Niverville is an author, poet, and composer based in Toronto. Originally from the East Coast of Canada, she often is inspired by her hometown. She holds an M.Mus from the University of Toronto.

Abigail's novels WE GO TOGETHER and I KNEW HIM were published by NineStar Press and are both available at most major retailers. Her poetry chapbook POEMS WORTH SAVING is available now in through m

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“I think we all want to pretend we're the same people. But none of us are. It'd be easier for us all to walk away, instead of trying to stay together. We want things to always be the same. But they can't be, can they?” 3 likes
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