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Deposing Nathan

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  1,186 ratings  ·  302 reviews
Nate never imagined that he would be attacked by his best friend, Cam.

Now, Nate is being called to deliver a sworn statement that will get Cam convicted. The problem is, the real story isn’t that easy or convenient—just like Nate and Cam’s friendship. Cam challenged Nate on every level from the day the boys met. He pushed him to break the rules, to dream, and to accept him
Hardcover, 393 pages
Published May 7th 2019 by Page Street Kids
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Zack Smedley Hi there! Sorry for such a late response (I don't really check these on GR). Short answer: possibly. Longer answer: I wrote this as "upper" YA, and it…moreHi there! Sorry for such a late response (I don't really check these on GR). Short answer: possibly. Longer answer: I wrote this as "upper" YA, and it definitely shows...this would be too dark/mature for early middle schoolers. For late middle schoolers (14+), it would really be a case-by-case basis. It deals with a lot of appropriate themes (social pressures, family, friendship, religion, identity), but it also deals with some brutal subjects, such as parental abuse. Here are all the content warnings, but send me an email if you still want any clarification. Thanks! :)
Zack Smedley It's set in West Virginia! A lot of people assume that's because I'm from there, but I'm actually born and raised in Maryland...I picked WV because, a…moreIt's set in West Virginia! A lot of people assume that's because I'm from there, but I'm actually born and raised in Maryland...I picked WV because, after researching the political climate (as well as state laws) of a lot of different states, that one was the most fitting :)(less)

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Average rating 4.28  · 
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 ·  1,186 ratings  ·  302 reviews

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Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned, important, queer
"If you think you have to earn enough points on someone's rubric for them to accept you, then either you're wrong to assume they won't love you for who you are, or they never loved you in the first place."

This book reads like a punch in the gut feels so naturally it's 5 out of 5 stars.

Deposing Nathan was one of my most anticipated books of 2019. I knew it was going to hurt. I knew it was going to wreck me. I knew it would love it. And I was 100% right.

Let me start with saying that I really love
Zack Smedley
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: lgbtq
Made it with my own two brain cells <3
Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription

“It’s not cute when people try to ‘fix’ each other. It’s cringey and dysfunctional. We both need to already have our shit worked out before we bring anyone else into it.”

🌟 So one of my friends have told me you are the stingiest reader when it comes to 5 stars! I think I deserve that title because this is my 50th book for this year and still no 5 stars. I feel like I need to explain why this is not a 5 stars book fo
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, netgalley
Nate’s always been a good kid. But when he becomes friends with the new guy at school, Cam, his family notices a change. Cam’s the kind of guy who forces him to think about life, the universe, and his dreams … and, yeah, sometimes they break the rules. Soon their two worlds twist around each other and, as Nate explores his feelings for Cam, everything implodes in a fistfight that ends up with Nate stabbed and Cam in jail. Now Nate’s forced to give a statement under oath. But to tell the truth ab ...more
t o m (T.J. Reads the Stars)
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-favourites
This book REALLY took me by surprise. Though simply written with the occasional trope, this story was beautifully done. It explores a lot of moral complexities that YA contemporaries in general tend to shy away from, as both Nate and Cameron are very aware of their own flaws and how it affects them. As a result, Nate and Cameron’s relationship was one of the most refreshing dynamics between two characters I’ve read about in a contemporary for some time. It balanced being both tense and unpredict ...more
I tried to keep my expectations neutral on this one because I felt like it could go in so many ways based on the premise, some of which were not positive, and they were kind of blown out of the water, if I'm being honest. This isn't a book about a trial so much as it is about two guys who quickly become really close and how they each handle it when that relationship turns into something they didn't expect. I see I'm the first review on this, so I really don't want to spoil anything, but I'll go ...more
Julie Christensen
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant and heartbreaking, but also so true

I really loved this book. The structure of the story is unique – jumping back and forth between a deposition and flashbacks, and the author does it so well – it’s utterly seamless. In some ways I felt like I was watching a movie. I never got bored, which is one of the biggest compliments I can give a book. But it’s also got a great voice. The voice of an adolescent male, with all the bravado, stupid jokes, and geek-out moments of real people. I don’t
May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing

First off, whew boy was I a basketful of emotions during this book. From shaking with anger to full on crying, I did it all.
Second, each character was so well done, I changed my mind several times over whether or not I hated certain people (in the end my answer was obvious).
As a first book, I am so incredibly impressed and will 100% be reading more of this author in the future.

*special thanks to TJ Reads the Stars for putting this book on my radar and influencing my decision
✰ Aileen ✰
Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq, e-book
It's been a while since I last bawled my eyes out over a book. ...more
Disclaimer: I received this ARC courtesy of Page Street Kids through NetGalley. I am grateful for the opportunity to review an ARC for my readers, but this will not influence my final rating. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and based solely on the book. 

I don't know how to wrap my head around this book.

I wrote and re-wrote this review, but nothing sounded authentic. I felt like I was trying to make sense of a book that to me, was a wholly emotional experience. From the moment I
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is easily one of the best debuts I’ve read this year. I was expecting to enjoy this one, but it absolutely blew me away. Themes such as religion, abusive parents, and hell — even bisexuality haven’t been portrayed as often as they should be in YA fiction, but Zack Smedley does them justice here. All of the characters and relationships are fleshed out, even the smallest ones. The prose are natural, and the humor is so funny. Deposing Nathan is so good, and even more — so important. I recomme ...more
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
I hated this book. And it was phenomenal.

I honestly can’t remember having so many visceral negative emotions about a book as DEPOSING NATHAN.

Narrator Nathan is the opposite of a Profile in Courage. He’s deceitful, mostly to himself, but also to those he loves. Who wouldn’t be brainwashed by a church to believe bisexuality would send him to hell? Who wouldn’t be living with the most controlling, emotionally abusive aunt (Lori), his dead mother’s sister who functions as a parent? Who wouldn’t be w
- ̗̀ DANY  ̖́- (danyreads)
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-reads, lgbt
. : ☾⋆ — 5 ★


this is not an easy book to review. Deposing Nathan, on paper, seems like a very straightforward book about friendship and self-acceptance—but reality is not as kind, and Deposing Nathan instead dives into a deep study of domestic and psychological abuse, internalized homophobia, religion, and, sure, also friendship and self-acceptance. but trust me when I say that never in a million years did I expect a YA, contemporary LGBT
Alex Galloway
5 amazing stars.

So this book is by far the best debut I have read. I loved the characters in the book and the writing was spectacular. I loved the way the plot was set up and how the author wove the narrative between what happened in the past and the deposition. The entire story was told with such grace and respect for the characters and what the author was portraying.

I love the bisexual representation in this book and that it was told with care and very unapologetically. Nathan and Cam are tw
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, lgbtqiap
What you have to understand about Cam - and this is important - is that up until he jammed a shard of ceramic in my gut, he was the best friend I’ve ever had. I know why I’m here, Mrs. Lawson, and I know what you want me to say. But you’re not going to like it, because the fight wasn’t just Cam’s fault. If anything, it was mine.

Within a couple of hours I’d heard about this book for the first time, bought it, and read the entire thing. Deposing Nathan has such an interesting story. Nate was s
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, voices
This is such a needed book in the YA and LGBT genres. Not only are the characters compelling and well-rounded, but it tackles some incredibly important and difficult topics. What's most impressive is how Smedley balances writing a bisexual main character who is also religious. It was extremely refreshing to see how faith and sexuality are not mutually exclusive and this book deserves so much praise for walking that line so perfectly and authentically. This book made me think, smile and hurt all ...more
JJ || This Dark Material
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, arcs, to-review, fiction
The socially- and self-conscious dialogue is a little too on point and well delivered for high schoolers at times, but Deposing Nathan covers a lot of important ground and, for the most part, covers it well. Full review TK.
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The last time I couldn't put a book down, because I really wanted to know what was going on, was a few months ago. But then I started this one and I ended up reading till midnight, finishing it under tears, crying into the darkness. 🤣
I couldn't sleep afterwards. 🙈 This really messed me up on an emotional level. 😅

But first things first: I'm gonna spoiler a little in the end, there'll be a HUGE Spoilerwarning before, so you can skip these parts if you want to.
Also, check out the CW's first: Paren
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Well...holy hell that was wonderful. I don't really have enough words to describe this book, but I'll try to make them on my blog soon.

Peace out, y'all, read this book.

-Book Hugger
Sometimes I read books and love them, and then days or weeks or months later I'd think back and go, "This wasn't as good as I thought it was." Well, this book is the opposite of that because I seem to love it more and more with each passing week.

Deposing Nathan is good. Like, award-winning good. Like, why the hell are you reading this when you could be pre-ordering the book RIGHT NOW good.

It's a propulsive debut that covers a myriad of complex topics from religion and sexuality, to parental abus
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
Real rating 1.5 stars, so rounding up to 2 stars. So... this book... I can't work out who this is for? The author has stated that "As a member of the LGBT community, his goal is to give a voice to marginalized young adults through gritty, morally complex narratives." but if I was a 'marginalized young adult' would I really want to read a rather depressing story about a teen in a really rather awful situation, or would I rather read something which would show the world as I would want it?

Now let
Lizzy (Bent Bookworm)
~*Check out all my reviews over on The Bent Bookworm!*~

I'm giving this book five stars, even though I only read the first 10% and the last 10-15%. It was extremely painful to read, and Nathan's aunt's character reminded me so much of my mother. I grew up in a fundamentalist Christian cult (much more repressive than even Aunt Lori's beliefs seem to be, from what part of the book I read) and even what little I read brought back some really bad memories.

After reading the ending, though, this is a
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
*This was sent to me for review from the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

4 stars.

I was expecting to love this, so it's no surprise that I did, but I'm glad that I did.

I loved that the characters were messy, so so damn messy to the end. I feel like authors tend to want to wrap all of their characters in a pretty little bow at the end of novels, but that's just not realistic, and I loved that these characters were still not the best people in the end.

I'm not bisexual so I can't f
andrea ✨
**possible minor spoilers??? but nothing too dramatic

this is pretty much my comeback to reading after a MONTHS long reading slump/school taking over my entire life/only being able to read for school, and i’m glad that it was successful!

this is the fastest i’ve ever read a book of this length, so i’m going to take that as meaning that it was very good. which it was.

this book was fast paced and very easy to read. i was reading at a pace of about 100 pages per hour, which i have NEVER done before.
 e l s a
Apr 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"That's one of the big Dad goals, you know. For their kid to be loved that much by someone else."

Oh wow. The last part of the book, or day 3 was just phenomenal. This book was just sO sO sO heartbreaking. It took me quite a long time to read this book lol, but wow im so glad i finished it. I loved it.
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have only just read the last page of Deposing Nathan, and I am already writing this review. If you know anything about my reviewing style, you'll know that's a rare occurrence. However this book affected me so deeply, and I have so many things flying through my head, that I have to write them down. It's necessary. So if half of this review descends into a babbling, incoherent mess just know that's because those are my exact emotions at this point. This book was raw. It was beautiful. It was de ...more
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq-teen
eARC from Netgalley
Marieke du Pré
This is an incredible book. Nathan’s voice, the way it’s been written, fabulous! I’ve read it three times already and I rooted for Nathan and Cam so much. I loved this book, the best read of 2019!
Dec 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.25⭐️ this book surprised me, it captured me from the beginning and my emotions were everywhere while reading this. I picked this up last night and just couldn’t not put it down. This is a true YA book, which I am so picky about. I either love or loathe this trope, for me if it’s written well, true I will, as this was it can be a fantastic read. I would not put this into the love story category if that’s your thing - While this is a YA story I found many of the themes hard and so upsetting to v ...more
Jun 08, 2019 rated it liked it
A lot of stuff jammed into 400 pages, and not an easy read. The story is difficult and fairly convoluted. Nate is being deposed as to the circumstances causing his close friend Cam to stab him in the stomach with a ceramic shard. The story moves back and forth from the deposition to the events leading the stabbing. There's a lot of subjects covered: sexuality, religion, family relationships, and friendships. The characters are messy, unyielding, and it's hard to feel empathy with them. Nate is f ...more
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Zack Smedley was born and raised in southern Maryland, in an endearing county almost no one has heard of. He has a degree in Chemical Engineering from UMBC and currently works within the field. As a member of the LGBT community, his goal is to give a voice to marginalized young adults through gritty, morally complex narratives. He spends his free time building furniture, baking, tinkering with ele ...more

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