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Can't Take That Away

4.90  ·  Rating details ·  86 ratings  ·  25 reviews
An empowering and emotional debut about a genderqueer teen who finds the courage to stand up and speak out for equality when they are discriminated against by their high school administration.

Carey Parker dreams of being a diva, and bringing the house down with song. They can hit every note of all the top pop and Broadway hits. But despite their talent, emotional scars fro
Hardcover, 384 pages
Expected publication: March 9th 2021 by Bloomsbury YA
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Average rating 4.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  86 ratings  ·  25 reviews

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Aug 26, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: queer, to-buy
A genderqueer icon punching bigotry and ignorance to Mars? We can only stan
leo | 飛べ

give me all the enby characters you cowards
My new goal in life is to do whatever it takes to protect Carey.

This is such a messy contemporary, and brilliantly so. It just feels so incredibly real, and at the same time all of the bad things are balanced out by all the good, affirming, supportive things. Really, there's even on-page therapy!! Which means that even though this has its hard moments, it was ultimately a really comforting and empowering read.

CWs: suicidal ideation, depression, assault, transphobia, misgendering, homophobia/quee
Lea (drumsofautumn)
I had honestly never heard about this book until I saw it pop up on Edelweiss but.. a genderqueer main character featuring in a musical? Hello, it is buzzword galore for me!

Instagram | Blog | Booktube Channel | Twitter
Nicolas DiDomizio
I was lucky enough to read early drafts of this manuscript, and let me just say... this book is EVERYTHING. Insanely lovable protagonist Carey Parker's journey is full of heart, humor, queerness, activism, feels, Mariah Carey worship (#Lambily4Life), and so much more. This is an instant YA classic about the power of finding and owning your authentic voice! ...more
Dec 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I adore this book! It's got Broadway references, well rounded characters all over, and it's so so so queer it's lovely! Carey is fantastic and I love how the chapter titles start with how Carey identities at the time. Some of the queer stuff is a bit heavy handed at first, but lessens up once the setting is established and you settle into a wonderful story.

Carey's story isn't your typical YA meet cute romance. Yes, it has that. And it's adorable, but the romance is kind of left on the back burne
Lisa Pineo
5 stars. NetGalley has requested that reviews for this book not be published until a month before publication. For now I will say this has been a huge pleasure to read and is now a top 5 favorite of all YA books I have read.
Jun 29, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: covers_love, i_must, queer, ya
Berry A genderqueer, Troye Sivan looking mc who will falsetto the bigotry away? Yes ma'am, thank you. ...more
Trigger warnings: Alzheimer’s, Assault (Verbal, Physical, Sexual), Blackmail, Bullying, Cancer, Death (Death of a parent, death of a grandparent), Emetphobia, Forced Outing, Gender Dysphoria, Grief, Hate Crime, Homophobia, Medical Complications, Queerphobia, Sexual Assault/Harrassment, Shooting (Threat), Suicide Attempt, Suicide Ideation, Transphobia

Jan 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
I received a free egalley of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I have read quite a few YA books with protagonists who are part of the LGBTQ+ community, but this is my first book with a genderqueer protagonist. I think that’s because this book may be one of the first to ever amplify a gay genderqueer voice, and it is an #OwnVoices story. I cannot tell you strongly enough how important I think that representation is, both for informing people about identities they may not k
J.Paul Thunders
Brittany Zimmerman
Nov 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to NetGalley and Bloomsbury for the ARC of this book. All opinions are my own.

Not many books have truly affected me down to my core. Only one comes to mind (besides nonfiction) and that’s The Hate U Give. Until I read this. Can’t Take That Away brought me to my knees and shook me to my core. Thank you Steven, for this beautiful book. Although I don’t just think a thank you is enough.

When I first heard about this book I was so excited and I immediately added it to my TBR. When I got t
Alex Richards
Dec 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I cannot say enough good things about this book!!! I have been dying to read it ever since I read the synopsis and it did not disappoint!

I absolutely loved the main character, Carey, and was totally there for their journey. As a genderqueer, Mariah Carey-loving, diva-in-training, Carey goes through a lot, and encounters a few very small-minded people in their small town. Carey's struggles were so real and well-written. I felt each emotional punch deep into my core, and wanted to jump off the pag
Jason June
Dec 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
There really aren't the right words to describe how much reading about Carey and their journey meant to me. As a genderqueer person, there were so many times Carey describes their gender and I was like, "YES!" Carey gets me, and I feel seen, and this book is for sure going to boost the hearts of so many readers. ...more
Jun 24, 2020 marked it as to-read
i love this cover!!
Syd L
Dec 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was really excited to receive this book after attending ALAN 2020!

In this book, Carey is a genderfluid teen faced with conflict after coming out the year prior and then being cast as the lead (a traditionally female-identified role) in the school musical.

The biggest thing to love about this book was the genderfluid representation. Carey’s exploration of gender felt authentic, and the wide cast of supporting characters just added to the representation in this story. Additionally, I loved that
Books That Burn
Dec 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: clear-ur-shit
*I received a free review copy in exchange for an honest review of this book.

CAN'T TAKE THAT AWAY Is about being true to yourself, following your dreams, and making your small slice of the world a little safer for the ones who come after.

The plot rotates between focusing on the MC's inner struggles and musical aspirations, the queerphobic treatment they encounter at school, and their relationships (both platonic and romantic). Early on these sections felt a little more divided, but as the book
Will Skrip
Jan 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
What starts as an overly-syrupy, seemingly predictable high school romance becomes something much more profound in Steven Salvatore's timely and evocative CAN'T TAKE THAT AWAY. Reminiscent of the recent Broadway hits THE PROM and DEAR EVEN HANSEN, Salvatore taps into the viral social justice that seems to pervade the lives of young people today. As a lifelong theatre kid, I'm particularly supportive of Salvatore's assertion that finding the confidence to get up and sing in front of an audience r ...more
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, arc
***Full Disclosure: I was contacted a while ago by someone in marketing at Bloomsbury to do a super early read of Havenfall by Sara Holland because I had read and reviewed that author's Everless earlier and liked it. Well, the same marketing person recently reached out and asked if I'd be interested in reading Can't Take That Away. I've been reading a lot of LGBTQIA+ YA lately (and loving most of it) so I was all in to read and review this #ownvoices story. Now, back to our regularly scheduled p ...more
Susan DeMartino
Jan 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I received an advanced proof and read it in 2 days! It is an excellent book and will have deep meaning for adults and young adults alike. Great themes of self-love, acceptance, activism, equality and friendship. Can’t recommend it enough.
Jan 14, 2021 marked it as to-read
Oh my
Sep 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: queer, release-2021
som ★
بمو\ت الكفر؟؟؟؟ كتاب حياتي اليديد
Aug 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review posted on Edelweiss.
Tori Bovalino
rated it it was amazing
Apr 17, 2020
Liz Brennan
rated it it was amazing
Jan 12, 2021
Holly  McDade
rated it really liked it
Dec 04, 2020
David Wright
rated it it was amazing
Dec 26, 2020
rated it it was amazing
Nov 12, 2020
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Steven Salvatore is a queer (gay and genderqueer, using he/him and they/them pronouns -- please default to they/them) writer who lives in New York with their husband. Steven has worked in higher education since 2011, teaching composition courses across curriculums. When not writing or teaching, you can find Steven rewatching any and all Star Wars media or listening to Mariah Carey's extensive and ...more

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