There's one thing Jay Collier knows for sure—he's a statistical anomaly as the only out gay kid in his small rural Washington town. While all this friends can't stop talking about their heterosexual hookups and relationships, Jay can only dream of his own firsts, compiling a romance to-do list of all the things he hopes to one day experience—his Gay Agenda.
Then, against all odds, Jay's family moves to Seattle and he starts his senior year at a new high school with a thriving LGBTQIA+ community. For the first time ever, Jay feels like he's found where he truly belongs, where he can flirt with Very Sexy Boys and search for love. But as Jay begins crossing items off his list, he'll soon be torn between his heart and his hormones, his old friends and his new ones...because after all, life and love don't always go according to plan.
From debut novelist Jason June comes a moving and hilarious sex-positive story about the complexities of first loves, first hookups, and first heartbreaks—and how to stay true to yourself while embracing what you never saw coming.
What a glorious book. I wasn't going to write a whole-ass review, maybe just a quick, cute comment about how cute and messy and queer this was, but I've read a few other reviews and something about them really bothers me.
Let's talk about cheating and queer relationships. Most of the negative or lukewarm reviews I've seen on here state that they didn't like this book because the main character cheats on his love interest. Which, frankly, I think is bullshit for several reasons.
1. Queer relationships - specifically m/m relationships from my experience - are often open-ish, non-monogamous, defy heteronormative standards in some way or another. This is no reason to say they're sinful or superficial. We were told a family makes a man, a woman, a son and a daughter. We all know that is far from the truth. We were also told a relationship is between two people that only have sex with and love each other. Which is just as shortsighted. 2. Feelings are pretty fucking complicated and the way this book talks about romantic and physical attraction is pretty cool. You can be attracted to other people besides your partner, you can even have physical relationships with other people, and you can even have several romantic relationships with other people and still value, love, and care for your partner. All of these things are valid and possible. The fact that YA books like this discuss these dynamics is amazing and even revolutionary, if I may say so. 3. The love interest, Albert, doesn't care about the cheating aspect in itself. Does he love it? No. But what bothers Albert the most is Jay's dishonesty, which makes Albert feel like he is being used to tick off an item on Jay's agenda. 4. This book is messy and perfectly realistic. Navigating relationships is tough, especially when they're undefined and growing. Yes you should always respect your partners, no there is no rule book that will lead you through romantic & sexual entanglements without causing a little bit of personal drama here and there. People are complicated and so are feelings. So Jay has every right to have sex with someone and fall for someone else at the same time. He has every right to continue having sex with someone and start dating someone else. Sure, at some point a conversation has to be had, and it probably won't be a comfortable one because again, people are complicated and so are feelings. Which leads me to my third point again; the problem is not that he is having sex with someone else, but that he isn't being open and honest about it. A relationship takes at least two people so you do owe this special someone your honesty if you want to lead a loving and healthy relationship with them. This is something our guy is only just learning. There needs to be room for mistakes.
For people to brush this off as "this is cheating and cheating is bad™, two stars" does not do the novel justice. It's shortsighted and literally misses the point.
That being said, not only did I love the realistic portrayal of messy, queer teenagers, I also loved how unapologetically horny this book is. I immediately fell for Max, the genderqueer best friend with amazing hair and a cracked heart (maybe the MC for the sequel?). I also found it genuinely funny, although sometimes the writing (ohmygawd, and the constant face-palming) was just a tad over the top. And lastly, these characters had depth and so did their relationships, whether they were friendly, romantic, or parental. Well-deserved five stars.
I was in the mood for a YA story with plenty of feels, so when I saw this book's cover and read the blurb, I requested an ARC for review, but mostly because I genuinely wanted to read it.
Having grown up quite literally in the middle of nowhere myself, I immediately identified with Jay's circumstances of watching all of my friends begin their romantic adventures, while I waited impatiently for my turn. It was extremely lonely and isolating and not at all recommended.
So when Jay's family moved to Seattle, I was thrilled to see where the story would go from there, allowing Jay more opportunity to grow into the person he was meant to become.
Then my heart did a little happy dance when Jay met a cute, nerdy, gay, Asian guy named Albert and they eventually began a slow and steady courtship.
And then the rains came... : (
I don't want to throw out a bunch of spoilers; *HOWEVER*, this story did not come with any type of Trigger Warnings, which I don't feel was quite right.
One of my very biggest no-no's in romance is CHEATING, which in my opinion definitely happened here and on more than one occasion.
Some may argue that, since they hadn't officially stated their status as boyfriends, it wasn't cheating, but I respectfully (and whole-heartedly) disagree.
At one point, Jay had just had an amazing date with Albert, definitely wanting them to become boyfriends, then, as he was walking home from that date,
Then Jay continued to avoid telling Albert that he'd been sleeping around, because he thought it "might" affect them becoming boyfriends.
Ummmmmmmm, YOU THINK???
Aside from the cheating and some over-the-top grand gestures, I did like the story's humor and quirkiness, but it never quite approached full-on love, though.
Overall, I'd rate it at around 3.25 stars, but only recommend it once the readers had been provided with a trigger warning about the *repeated* cheating and lying.
My ARC copy of the book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.
JAY'S GAY AGENDA is the charming, funny, sex positive book I wish I had read growing up. Jason June does an incredible job of exploring messy teen relationships through Jay, a charming and deeply flawed protagonist. Painfully relatable and laugh-out-loud funny, JAY'S GAY AGENDA is the teen romcom of your dreams.
Jay's Gay Agenda has an absolutely irresistible cover, and the promise of a funny, quirky gay YA romance had me SCREAMING. I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. However, to my utter dismay, Jay's Gay Agenda is neither humorous nor endearing.
I'm usually hesitant to read new-to-me authors, but I was willing to take a risk on Jason June, mostly due to beautiful marketing and a lot of hype. I'm a huge fan of queer books hitting the big publishing markets, and I was eager to support this book and this author.
One big struggle for me with Jay's Gay Agenda is that the main character is insanely unlikable. I'm talking cheating, lying (like, to a pathological degree), and just a total lack of communication between him and every other character. I get that he is young and eager to live life!, but I really just did not like him one bit. There are a lot of decent and interesting side characters, but that didn't make up for the fact that the MC was just not for me.
The plot was also a bit of a struggle. The repetitive lists got to be more of a "thing" than something I enjoyed reading, and I ended up skimming those every time they came up (which was constantly). I also found the word-substitute-instead-of-cursing thing to be a bit... silly? Like a gimmick. I was also confused as to if Covid was a thing in this book? It's kind of mentioned but not really? I was confused.
I think this author had the right idea with this story, but it didn't work as a romance for me. It reminded me slightly of Something Like Summer, which I am not a fan of. Maybe this story just needs the right reader for it's kind of humor and writing style.
This was a really fun and messy (in the best way) YA read. I wouldn't say that its a new favorite, but I had SO much fun following along with Jay finding love and I will absolutely read more from Jason June in the future. Cute cute cute!!
I was looking forward to a cute, sex-positive book about a boy finding himself in a big city but what I got was an 18-going-on-12-year-old boy who lied constantly, for no reason, to all of his friends (as well as cheated on them :/) and then he had the audacity to wonder why they were all mad at him in the end.
There was some positives about this book, including LGBTQ+ representation and um, I'm sure there's other stuff. There really isn't that many positives. I'd take the time to make a list, but considering 99% of this book was just Jay making lists, I honestly hope I never see a list again.
Jay's entire personality trait was the fact that he wanted a boyfriend and/or dick. I mean, it's fine to want to be in a relationship and/ordick. There is nothing wrong with that. But if that's your entire personality, then there might need to be some stuff you have to work through first, or the situation is just going to end up badly. The relationships in this book is 100% an example of this and I hated it. You should be in a relationship because you feel like you want to be in one, not that you need to be in one.
Every other sentence was a joke that tried way too hard and fell flat or a pop-culture reference that will be irrelevant in two years. Jay kept on making lists for every little thing, which is fine until they show up on every other page. I literally had to hold myself back from ripping one of the lists completely out of the book. They became so annoying.
I can't. This book was not it. I ended up skimming through most of it and read the entire thing in an hour and a half. That is an hour and a half I will never be getting back.
this might have made for a fun and cute read, but i'm going to have to be real with you, there was a lot of secondhand embarrassment and staring-at-the-wall-attempting-to-self-brain-bleach involved in it for me. questionable decisions were made and a lot of the awkwardness could have been avoided if they. just. talked. to. each. other. that being said, i really appreciated the way that the author portrayed relationships to be messy and a lot of work, but worth it in the end—it felt real.
not me adding this book to my tbr because of the cover or anything lol - me every other day, adding books to my tbr
So this wasn't quite the lovely, hilarious, quirky, queer, YA love story I expected it to be. It was, however, very sex positive (though in only one specific way.. more on that later) and I think that should definitely be celebrated. Mostly because it's the only positive thing I can attribute to this read. Sorry, no, that's a lie. I liked Jay's parents. Who were also very sex positive. There we go.
The problem really starts, and ends, with the main character. Not only was he a bit OTT in some ways he was just completely.. well, dick-crazed? To put it nicely, I guess (it would've been nice if the focus on virginity hadn't been so prevalent but also why did no single person address the fact that sex comes in lots of forms, not just penetrative? for a queer novel, this was a very heteronormative view). And he was totally oblivious to literally so much, including his own hypocrisies. I'm not saying he was the only one to be guilty of such, and hey, this is a bunch of eighteen year olds we're talking about here, but.. still.
I wish I could've loved this but I barely liked it. I hope people can enjoy this, because I absolutely think queer readers need messy romcoms they can see themselves in, and there's definitely a plethora of messy romcoms for those of us who are straight, I just.. I hated the lying, yes, and I hated the cheating, but more than that (and this is big because I really hate cheating) was how easily he was forgiven. By literally everyone. Yes, yes, it's a YA, we need to wrap up everything nicely, but.. nope. Teens deserve to see consequences play out. We all do. It's part of life.
Also, COVID/quarantine was mentioned offhand like twice and a) that was really jarring and b) no, stop, I don't want this in my fiction.
I have no idea if there's more to come because GR indicates this is the first in a series but I don't think I'll be reading on. Especially not if book two is from Jay's POV.
** I received an ARC from the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **
There. I said it. I'm kinda sorry for being so harsh and rude but I'm also sorry for all those hours that I spent reading this book. . . We all know how important it is to have more representation in books and how much the LGBTQA+ community needs more books in the market but still... Sometimes we just have to admit that representation is not enough to make a book good. So... where should we start. . .
The writing was really bad. I'm no english major but even I could realise that the writing style and the story in general was in a HUGE NEED of editing and more work. I get that the book centers around a list that Jay creates but was it really necessary to put in every single chapter his gay agenda over and over again? It just seemed like a mechanism to achieve the minimal word or page count to be quite honest.
Also, you could tell by the way that the teens interacted, acted and said things that the author is WAAAY past the teenage years. It just seemed at times that they wanted to put things that were trending in the period they wrote the story so it would seem more modern.
And let's not even talk throughly about the fact that all those teens (especially Jay) could think about was SEX. It was sex after sex after sex. Nothing else. No personality, no dreams, no aspirations, no negative thoughts. . . Only sex. I get the fact that the MC lived 18 years of his life not even meeting a gay guy and he's feeling left out and desperate, but are you serious? Not even the most perverted gay guys that I've met in my life are that PERVERTED.
Overall, this was a completely mess. From the cliche plot choices, to the poor writing and characterization this unfortunately was a huge let down and waste of time.
I loved, loved, loved this book, to the point where I'm dangerously like? Whomst would I NOT die for in this narrative?? Relatable, hilarious, messy, earnest, and heartfelt, just the way the best coming of age stories are. I loved being in Jay's head throughout this book and buckling up for the lovely ride, and loved its ensemble of characters every bit as much. (Also, as someone who also grew up in Seattle like Jay, loved seeing this gorgeous, diverse, often underrated city so well accounted for in a story <333.) A book that will set the tone for many to follow. Can't wait for it to be out in the world!!
Jay's Gay Agenda, the debut novel from Jason June, is a cute, sex-positive story about finding your tribe.
Actually coming out to his friends and family wasn’t difficult—no one seemed too surprised that Jay was gay and no one made fun of him. But in his small Washington town it appears he’s the only gay person. How will he ever find a boyfriend and get to have the amazing memories and experiences he’s dreamed of if he’s the only LGBTQ person around?
When his mother gets transferred to Seattle, it seems to be the answer to his prayers. His new school even has a Queer-Straight Alliance! He can’t wait for the move, to meet a handsome boy and be able to cross things off his “agenda”—like holding hands, being part of a queer group of friends, and, of course, losing his virginity.
And while it’s not long before he makes a great friend and meets the boy of his dreams, he quickly finds out how difficult it is to choose between a relationship that moves slowly and romantically and one that goes right to the bedroom. He also is torn between embracing his new life and remembering those he left behind, those who stood behind him before he moved. Can he fulfill his agenda without letting people down in the process?
This was a sweet book, a story about how good it feels to finally be among those with whom you have things in common. I love reading stories where a person's sexuality isn’t an issue and where no one has a problem with it.
The characters in Jay's Gay Agenda are fun and genuine, and while they may have their struggles between right and wrong, this book definitely sends good messages to teenagers and others who need them.
I don't know how to say this respectfully so I won't but what the fuck was this lol.
Jay's Gay Agenda is about Jay who hates being the only gay kid in his school. When his mom gets a better job, his family moves to Seattle and Jay is so excited to finally meet actual LGBT+ friends. He writes out a list that he calls his Gay Agenda about the things he wants to do- sexual or otherwise. As Jay begins to cross things off his list, things don't go according to his plan.
I like the idea of this book: a gay teen gets to go deep in the LGBT community and finally fit in and be himself. Great!! Love that!! Yesss gay agenda!! But this book was just not it. I have this problem a LOT but a lot of m/m YA books (especially ones that label themselves as sex positive) tend to just be horny boys doing horny boy shit and I'm like... ew lol. A lot of it was just icky, like the cheating and being used for sex.
Not to mention his LITERAL FIRST TIME and the guy puts some lube on and goes to town after 5 seconds ??? I thought it would end up being like oh no his first time wasn't what he dreamed but no. He loved getting dogged by some dude he didn't even know already had a boyfriend and the whole thing was ICK. I'm not the anal expert but fucking ow. You gotta PREP. YOU DON'T JUST SLAM A FKING HOTDOG IN LIKE THAT.
I hate horny teenage boys actually.
While I could relate to his struggle and I thought it was nice when he opens up and meets new friends, this entire book was literally just him being horny and wanting to fuck any male who looks at him lmao. He doesn't even fall in love??? After some drama happened I was like yeah!! He's gonna get with one of these other boys and I couldn't even tell which one he would go with because there was so many. But no!! At the end of the book he's like wow I hope I find love in the future!! I'm like bruh what was the POINT of all this then?
Yet again a book calling itself sex positive, and a queer one at that and I don't think that term means what you think it does but if I knew this wanted to label itself that I would have said yeah bye. It's never ACTUALLY what it should be- it's just yeah he's gonna fuck and you're going to be chill with it.
I didn't like the writing and Jay was so annoying oh my god. His inner monologue was so cringy and would have just random parts of him screeching or something idk and I wanted to bully him behind a Wendy's dumpster. He would get so whiny and selfish when things weren't about him. The lying, the cheating, the attitude it was all so bad. All of the side characters felt interchangeable and I swear there were like 3 people that were the same person. This book tries so hard to be quirky and fun but it really isn't.
Then Jay just kept repeating his damn list every other page and I got it dude. That's enough slices!!!
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
2021 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge: A book that published in 2021
2.5 stars, rounded up to 3 because math
After finishing this book, I'm feeling very, very conflicted about it. On one hand, those who identify as LGBTQA definitely deserve a book that is a rom com that resembles thousands of heteronormative books that feature almost the same plot. On the other hand, I feel like they deserve something/someone better than Jay.
This is a common trend in my reviews: I'm not a huge fan of books where the only reason the plot is able to move forward is because the protagonist is almost a pathological liar. And this book definitely only moves forward because the protagonist lies to just about everyone and everything. And then gets mad and upset when all his lies collapse. And, because YA/new adult books have to be tied up with a pretty bow, the protagonist is forgiven by friends/loved ones when he really shouldn't have been.
There's just something about Jay that was inherently unlikable to me. He's just unsympathetic; every problem in the book is his fault and it takes an extremely long time for him to realize that. He just keeps doing dumb shit and, after a while, it gets very annoying. Jay is supposed to be this super smart character, but he truly is just a dumb ass who thinks only with his penis. Additionally, after he fucks over the other characters multiple times, he is forgiven way too easily.
There's also the fact that the author mentions COVID-19 (but at random times? It's so inconsistent). Which will date the book so quick. Also, people read for escapism so I definitely could have done without random reminders that COVID is a thing. I like how Jay complains about people being out and doing things in the time of COVID, but then hooks up with a random person?
On the other hand, I absolutely adored Jay's parents. I would love to read a whole book about them and the shenanigans they have lived through. Jay's dad probably was the only reason I kept reading; I wanted more scenes between him and Jay.
I know people are going to love this book. And they should. There are thousands versions of this book that exist for the straights, so it's beyond time that the gays get their version. I just... wish it was a better version.
➵ this story is so refreshing. it's less about finding love or coming out and more about simply being gay and embracing the revitalising change that a new place brings, the exhilaration of finding a support system, and of course, exploring the thrill in crossing off items on a list — one that includes everything from befriending another gay to losing one's virginity. it's unconventionally, unabashedly sexy and doesn't shy away from portraying gay culture through an unfiltered lens. certain specific decisions might not be the most righteous but that's something to appreciate from the realistically flawed characterisation and unintentional hurt that a young adult story can wonderfully portray. hilarious and messy, with a diverse side cast, this is a book i would recommend.
➵ starting on one breezy afternoon while i sort this dishevelled drawer. what i expect is a sex-positive, hilarious, and messy teen contemporary while it also features coming-of-age themes, flawed characters, and painful yet realistic sides — as mentioned in this post on my blog.
i guess it's gonna be someone's cup of tea but it wasn't mine! i did even find some parts cute, but it was messy and almost gave me headache, also and most important i'm NOT a fan of cheating or lying (not even if you consider/think of those things)!
Esse livro me deu MUITO MAIS do que eu esperava!! A história me conquistou de cara: Jay se muda para uma cidade grande, onde as pessoas têm identidades diversas e ele finalmente poderá encontrar o garoto dos sonhos. Nessa aventura, ele entra em conflito com amizades do passado, comete muitos erros, tem experiências que tanto sonhava pela primeira vez e muito mais. Adorei a narrativa sex positive, que mostrou que adolescentes podem, sim, ter desejos sexuais e pensar em perder a virgindade. Max é um dos meus personagens favoritos e uma pessoa que eu definitivamente queria ter conhecido quando adolescente. A escrita do Jason é perfeita para um contemporâneo YA e é muito divertida. O livro é bem amarrado e funcionaria perfeitamente bem como volume único, mas fico feliz que teremos uma continuação. INDICO MUITO!!!!
(Se você não curte histórias com traições e mentiras, ou simplesmente adolescentes sendo adolescentes, evite esse livro e vá ler algo que de fato te interessa.)
Whether 1st-person YA works for me or not depends on the MC's voice. That's purely subjective, like whether or not a person IRL is someone I'd want to spend time with or someone who makes me want to flee the room. Turns out I don't want to spend time with Jay. But I can see how other readers might react differently and find him engaging. So I'm not giving a star rating to this DNF, just moving on.
Hello! Considering so many awful reviews were given to this book, I’d like to post my optimistic review for the author and any prospective readers.
First thing: Yes. There is a love triangle. If that’s something you’re not into, you’re definitely not fit to read this book, or else you’re just setting yourself up for distaste.
Second thing, Yes there is cheating. NOT by the main character (because he wasn’t exclusive with anybody and i don’t consider anything he did cheating) but by someone else in the story. The person who did cheat was cut out immediately and i was so happy because he was an asshole.
The ending?! OH MY GOSH PLS IT WAS SO CUTE
i fell in love with a girl when i was 15 and she was my first love, so the fact that Jay found his first gay love in this book and was so relatable for me was amazing and i literally just loved this book so much.
loved loved loved it.
10/10 would definitely recommend. I might even pick up this book over a Colleen Hoover one? 😳
pls give an _____ Agenda-like sequel or something PLEASE (blanked so you won’t know who ended up with till you read the story, you’re welcome, though it’s pretty obvious from the first couple of chapters because one of them is just more loveable 😂)
y’all can say what u want ab this book but i will definitely be buying my own copy of this book from Barnes and Nobles to tab and highlight. this book was a very refreshing read and i loved it.
P.S. I ASKED FOR A SEQUEL IN THIS REVIEW I WROTE LIKE TWO MINUTES AGO AND ON THE AUTHORS PROFILE I JUST FOUND OUT THERES GOING TO BE ANOTHER ONE YALL IM SO HYPE AHHH
I'm really in two minds about this book. Some parts of this felt so fun and messy and beautiful but then others... were just so off.
The pop culture references really missed the mark for me. Firstly making Jay's favourite artist Shawn Mendes was... a choice. We have so many fantastic queer music icons in 2021, why shove them aside for a straight white vanilla pop singer?
The fact that the only piece of queer media that was referenced throughout the book was Drag Race felt very... stale. Again, it's 2021, we have so much more queer media that should be showcased in a book that claims to be challenging the stereotypes that come with being gay.
I had fun with this but it definitely lacked a more authentic voice.
I haven’t been this happy after finishing a book in quite a while. You know that feeling of having eaten an incredible meal? You’re full, but also so satisfied! That’s how I feel right now after finishing Jay’s Gay Agenda.
Jay is such a relatable character. He hasn’t met another Gay guy until he moves to Seattle. Then the floodgate opens and he neeeeeeeds to experience it all. The charcuterie of meat is ripe for the taking, as they say. I remember coming out and feeling the EXACT SAME WAY!
Max is the GBF I always wanted to be. He becomes Jay’s Gay Guide throughout the book, teaching him the ways of the Gays. When you move to a new town, it’s hard to meet new people, so I was happy Jay had that person to turn to. When you meet someone and click, it’s just meant to be.
Albert is the sexy nerd we all salivate over and when his Meet Cute with Jay happens, you can’t help but smile. I couldn’t help falling in love with him myself. He is the epitome of gentleman and I really want a book 2, so that we can really get a full book of their love story.
I honestly have nothing bad to say about it, which is the sign of an INCREDIBLE book! I’m left with a smile on my face and an immediate need to reread😂 I definitely needed a sex positive YA book in my life when I was younger. I have it now, which makes me happy for all the gays coming out now. The future is definitely GAY!
Thank You to Epic Reads & Jason June for my copy of Jay’s Gay Agenda in return for an honest review.
Un peu lent au début, un peu rapide après ça mais au final très addictif et vraiment chouuuuu. Une petite romance queer qui fait du bien, sans gros dramas, juste de bonnes vibes et des personnages attachants !
Finished this book last night. Unfortunately, I found it quite problematic, and I was overall very disappointed…. After reading some Goodreads reviews, I realized that I wasn’t the only one who had these thoughts.
First of all, yeah I get where Jay is coming from, but making your whole existence about getting d*cked isn’t exactly healthy. He is s*x crazed. At first I was really impressed by how s*x positive this book was, since it’s being marketed as a YA novel. Loved how realistic it was. But after a while, it felt wrong. Jay exists only for s*x. Literally.
This, in my opinion, is a very sad portrayal of the LGBTQ community. Obviously, not everyone’s the same, but still. It did make me slightly uncomfortable, how everything was about having s*x and stuff. I’m not even kidding, remove the sexual aspect(s) from this book, and you’re left with nothing.
Additionally, I found everyone in this book extremely toxic and problematic. Max is one of the worst people I’ve had the displeasure of reading about. He’s literally so toxic and he’s always playing the victim in all situations. Somebody needed to put some sense into that kid. He painted Reese in such a negative light, victim-playing yet again, when in reality he was the overly dramatic one? I’m sorry but no. That ain’t it sis.
Tony, I won’t even comment on. Dylan, Tony’s boyfriend, is just as bad.
Jay is just a big fat mess. He literally played poor Albert. I don’t really consider his actions as cheating because nowhere was it mentioned that they were officially a “thing”, but when someone literally has the “wait for me” talk with you, and you agree to it, and at that same moment you literally go to the neighborhood’s f*ckboy to get laid, then YES, there is a problem with you. Especially when Albert asked him about it, and Jay realized that what he was doing was probably wrong and would hurt Albert, yeah that was the first red flag 🚩. Jay realized what he was doing was wrong, but kept doing it, because why not have fun and get “the best out of both worlds”, despite hurting people in the process, right?
And yes, this is a YA novel and everyone has their happy ending. Quite unfortunate tbh, since I think the best solution would have been for all of them to leave each other alone and move on with their lives.
Anw, I found everyone in this book way too toxic. Overall quite a problematic and disappointing read. There are some great LGBTQ+ books out there, that no, I wouldn’t really recommend this one.
P.S: I understand that we’re talking about a bunch of 18 year olds f*cking around, but no. At 18 you should know that ditching your best friend who needs the cash prize of a contest you’re supposed to be entering together in order to get out of homelessness is THE WRONG THING TO DO, especially when you’re ditching her just to get some d*ck on the dance floor of a high school dance. There are countries where it’s mandatory for 18 year olds to serve in the military, so no, at 18 you know exactly what you’re doing and who you’re hurting.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Equal parts fish-out-of-water early 2000s romcom and subversive gay coming-of-age story, JAY'S GAY AGENDA is the sex-positive book that I wish I had as a teen.
I love how Jason June wasn't afraid to write such a flawed character in a way that was refreshingly optimistic; Jay was learning and growing and even though he made a lot of mistakes, nothing was intentional, and I feel like that's a really hard balance to strike. What Jason June does here is write a strikingly realistic exploration of sexuality that, even though it's sometimes coated in adorable small town phrases (like Jay's inability to say a certain four letter F curse and instead says "frack") and a cute, glossy, wide-eyed sheen, the book isn't afraid to delve into what gay cultures looks like in terms of dating and hooking up and sex (the difference between romance and carnal lust, particularly, is explored here, as well as the ways in which sexual relationships form quickly in The Gay World) and that really breaks down the heteronormative romcom structure in ways that I found SO SO SO welcoming. Sign me up for anything that reshapes the romcom from the typical heteronormative structure to something that is so perfectly and fittingly G-A-Y!
Why did the city's most notable attraction have to be so "bonery?
This book was actually really enjoyable did i absolutely enjoy it entirely? not really however i still enjoyed the parts that i liked.
Jay is the only out gay kid in his small town in a very rural area so he hasn't had the chance to meet anyone that is like him until his mum gets a work promotion then his whole life starts to change. Jay's journey from this small town kid to exploring his sexuality more was such an interesting process to witness because he is this nerdy and shy kid who is able to now fully have the experience at the tip of his fingers.
Relationships and dating is messy in any kind of way no matter who you preference because you can experience all times of heartbreak especially being in your teen years. Jay is one of the few examples of a person who has no experience with anything and creates a list wanting to experience those things. I liked seeing him make that change of moving to a city where the schools are larger and he can finally meet people who are similar to him it made me happy to read. Jay is immediately taken with not one boy but two and it's a normal reaction when your not dating someone to like more than one person and explore those relationships further. I didn't see jay cheating in anyway because it's never stated that he was in a relationship or with one person fully and the way i see it his world has opened up that he's only now just being able to explore himself sexually.
Jay and Alberts relationship during the course of the book is messy, real and honest that we get to see all areas of it not just one part of it. It's really relevant when Albert finds out that he has had sex with another boy and he's mad but it's not the cheating that he's mad at Jay for its the dishonesty that he felt at not being told about it which i found really realistic. With a lot of YA novels they don't really explore this type of a thing and I loved the fact that Jason wrote a pretty realistic paring.
I did find Jay in the book to be a very self absorbed and a liar for some parts of the book and especially with dealing with his best friend and the albert situation which i found very annoying. The repeated lies and changing of the story to make himself sound better really rubbed me the wrong way and did i enjoy the redemption arc of his character? uh yes and no because I just couldn't get passed at how many times he lied.
The parents in the book were also very prominent during the book which definitely is a bonus because most YA novels have their parent characters in the background. Jay's parents were both really supportive with the fact that they had a gay child and did everything possible to be as involved parents as they could be and I loved that. They placed no judgement and loved their child unconditionally and I really wished that was the story for a lot of coming out stories however this is not usually the case for a lot of ones.
I mean there really isn't much else i can say on the book it was kind of a 50/50 ride for me as some of the writing really bothered me but the story itself was really done well. This story is about finding yourself, exploring new things and relationships which this book has and i liked and i definitely don't need to read the agenda list ever again with the amount of times i heard it.