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The State of Us

3.37  ·  Rating details ·  1,975 ratings  ·  468 reviews
When Dean Arnault’s mother decided to run for president, it wasn’t a surprise to anyone, least of all her son. But still that doesn’t mean Dean wants to be part of the public spectacle that is the race for the White House—at least not until he meets Dre.

The only problem is that Dre Rosario's on the opposition; he’s the son of the Democratic nominee. But as Dean and Dre’s m
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published June 2nd 2020 by HarperTeen
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Average rating 3.37  · 
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 ·  1,975 ratings  ·  468 reviews

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May 25, 2020 rated it did not like it
This thing is full of spoilers without tags. Enter at your own risk.

PLOT: So the book starts with 17 year olds Dre & Dean with their parents at a debate. The boys get trapped into the Green Room with no wifi while something vague is happening outside that turns out to be nothing. They end up deciding to be friends, but use an encrypted texting app to do it.

Characterization wise: So, I guess I have a whole lot of questions about Dre's background. He basically has no real cultural or ethnic iden
may ➹
May 26, 2020 marked it as uhhh-no
very powerful of me to think this was fishy ever since it was announced and now it’s been confirmed that the qpoc rep is terrible 🥰🥰

(someone tell this white gay man that a romance between a POC and a white person whose parent’s political beliefs are rooted in the oppression of the POC isn’t somehow turned into something okay just because it’s gay)
May 27, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
One star for this fucking turd of a line alone:

"Dean wasn't who I thought he was, and maybe the problem was that I'd already decided who I thought he was before I'd given him the chance to tell me. So, pretty much, maybe the problem was me."

Black and brown people know the danger of judging people based on preconceived notions, tyvm. If I have to suffer through one more storyline where the asshole conservative/Republican is portrayed as the victim, I'll stroke out.
Carol (bookish_notes)
May 24, 2020 marked it as asshole-authors
*UPDATE* May 26, 2020: Please check out these reviewers who have given their time to read and write detailed reviews of this book:

Review 1

Review 2

Original post, May 24, 2020: Well, I wasn't going to post anything about my feelings about this book's premise on Goodreads until some queer POC bloggers reviewed it, but since the author decided to block me on Twitter over my comments on a thread he was never even tagged in...I guess I will.

I get that books have a long time between conception and when
May 25, 2020 marked it as no-thank-you
Do I want to read a book by a white man about a person of color falling in love with a white Republican?

No. No I do not.

I'm too lazy to figure out putting pictures in here, but to quote Jack Harbon's Tweet, "You don't want diversity, you want the idea of it with NONE of the sacrifice and effort that comes with it. You want the appearance without the substance. You want the praise of readers of color, otherwise they can shut up, right?"

EDIT: Will no longer be recommending this.

CWs: public outing, homophobia
Jun 12, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2020, lgbtqa, ya
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 01, 2020 rated it did not like it
fuck that noise
May 26, 2020 marked it as nope
I’m not interested. More details here:

Additional note: The author blocked a black author who criticized the black rep in the book

More information: The sensitivity reader for this book, specific to asexual rep, is speaking out about the author trash talking their work on social media.
Nicole| Booklover.zzz | Zamudio-Román
4.5/5 stars

“I enjoy the part where adults I hardly know treat me like an anomaly because I know a few words with more than two syllables.” I grimaced. “They probably think all teenagers are brain-dead and sit around huffing dry-erase markers.”

Compared to other Shaun David Hutchinson’s YA books, The State of Us took me more time to get “into” after the opening. The starting few chapters drew my attention with the major event that happens in the first few chapter but I found that there were time (
May 28, 2020 marked it as not-touching-with-a-ten-foot-pole
#ownvoices Latinx readers alerted to this being a dumpster fire waiting to happen and we were told to wait so people could actually read it. And guess what? It was the dumpster fire people thought it would be.
Queerness shouldn't be more important than other issues and maybe white people should let POC write about their experiences, since they really don't know how to write them.
Read #ownvoices reviews about this, please.

Edit: The publisher hired a sensitivity reader for the ace rep and SDH subtw
Mar 22, 2019 marked it as to-read

May 30, 2020 marked it as to-read
this must be like the worst day to release this book...


did anyone say c o n t r o v e r s y ??

Jul 08, 2020 rated it it was ok
This book was a quick read, but I truly feel like something was missing, not only in the main characters' relationship but also in the main political narrative that was always on the background.

Let's talk about Dre and Dean first. I liked the initial concept of the two of them being the sons of the two candidates running against each other for the presidency of the USA, but other than that I wasn't interested very much. I felt like they lacked chemistry most of the time. I actually preferred it
Jan 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021
Relatable, witty, funny and adorable. Truly had a grand time with this one.
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)
omg Red, White, and Royal Blue ya-a-fied!

my library had the audio of this so I snatched it right up

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Hutchinson's first fully-contemporary read is a romance between Dre, the son of a Democratic Mexican-American presidential candidate and Dean, the son of a female Republican presidential candidate. Dre knows he's gay, while Dean is wrestling with here he may lie on the asexual/demisexual spectrum. Dre is out, while Dean cannot be for fear of how his family might react. But what unites them isn't just a budding romance -- it's ensuring that the third party candidate who is pure evil doesn't get t ...more
Oct 01, 2019 marked it as to-read
Haven’t even read RW&RB but this sounds too interesting to pass up.

Also, speaking as someone who detests both the Democratic and Republican parties, I’m really hoping this isn’t a “praise one party and demonize the other” situation. If that’s the case, it’s an instant one star from me.
May 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Y’all are going to fall in love with Dean and Dre falling in love. This is basically a YA version of Red, White & Royal Blue, and that’s exactly how it reads. It’s smart and funny and cute, and it knows its strengths. Hutchinson is still a master at crafting realistic characters and dialogue. I was sucked in by this book and absolutely adore Dean and the ace/demi representation here. Hutchinson also has one of the best and most realistic coming out scenes I’ve read in ages. That said, the resolu ...more
Cody Roecker
May 26, 2020 rated it did not like it
The number of problems I have with this book are many.

Tbh, you could have made Dre white and the story would not have changed in the least which speaks to the lack of work done for this representation.

The demi rep made me sad.

I don't have the energy to continue to write this - but i don't recommend this one at all.
Lily Herman
Jul 18, 2020 rated it did not like it
Ummmmm. Okay. I'm a person with #THOUGHTS on this one.

Admittedly I read The State of Us because my podcast is doing an upcoming episode of the uptick in political romances centered around Republicans and Democrats dating, and this book has supplied...plenty of fodder for that.

First, one of the elephants in the room: In my opinion, yes, this novel feels like a YA ripoff of Red, White & Royal Blue. The main characters were similar even down to even their general personality traits, the plots are e
everyone making rw&rb references and well... they're not wrong.. only this had 100% less royalty and was at least 50% more political.

honestly it's the politics that got me down about this book. there's so much debating, not just between the presidential candidates, but between dean and dre too. they argued about their political beliefs so much! it was a political overload.. and no offense america, but your politics are one of the most stressful to read about.

ive read like 7 sdh books and this i
Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, reads-of-2020
post-read review

Love wins and so does this book.

I want to dive right back in and relive Dean and Dre's story all over again. It was just that perfect.

This is now my second favorite Hutchinson novel (because We Are the Ants will always be my first love).

I cannot wait for it to come out this summer so I can write a nice, long rambling review packed with my deep love for every part, every page, every word of this book.

pre-read review

Here comes Shaun David Hutchinson about to actually improve my c
May 26, 2020 marked it as not-my-cup-of-tea
*exhales slowly*

I think it's better for me to give this book a pass. From those I've trusted who've read this book from ARCs, the rep isn't done well and I know I'm likely to be upset by it.
Dec 14, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2020-release
12/14 ~
Please let the son of the republican secretly be a democrat
Jul 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a cute read. I liked the back and forth between Dean and Dre and that neither of them were perfect, but they tried to be good sons, friends, and boyfriends. I also loved the Ace rep, especially since there aren't many books that feature it.

Dre and Dean are almost complete opposites, but it worked for them. Dean needed someone he could confide in and help him realize that it's okay to not have the answers about who you are and to just figure it out as you go. Dre was out and proud, but h
jessica ☾
Oct 10, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5/5 - Don’t hate, but this just seemed like a sort of knockoff to ‘Red, White & Royal Blue’. It was a bit of a fun read, but the ending was extremely unsatisfying.
dnf @ 51%

I am astonished that this was written by Shaun David Hutchinson. I have absolutely adored this works in the past, but this one... where do I even begin?

I guess with the fact that I understand the message that he was trying to convey, but I think he kind of contradicts himself within the book. The heart of this story should have been that people need to look past assumptions based on others' parents, political views, race, sexuality, etc., but that became warped within these pages.

May 08, 2020 rated it it was ok
More of a 2.25 but I'm feeling kind.
I wish I'd enjoyed this more but the writing style sadly did nothing for me. I kept waiting for some chemistry between the characters but it all just fell a bit flat for me. The ending in particular felt very...let's just say the plot twist was predictable and bland.
Still, if you liked Red White and Royal Blue, chances are you're going to enjoy this more political take on two boys on opposite sides falling in love!
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Shaun is a major geek and all about nerdy shenanigans. He is the author of many queer books for young adults. Find out more information at He currently lives in Seattle and watches way too much Doctor Who.

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