Anna asked:

is this book appropriate for 14 year olds?

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Cat I would say yes, but I'm a firm believer that kids should be exposed to difficult and complex topics because that's life - encountering it first in fiction makes things less frightening when experienced first hand. It's a coming of age story, so there are sexual awakenings and characters figuring out who they are and what friendships/romantic relationships mean. On top of that there are themes of loss, grief, and depression.

In some ways it's a pretty heavy book, but it's also accessible for young readers - it would get the message across that not everyone has a squeaky clean life, and that's ok. Some 14 year olds will be more ready and receptive to this than others, but I'm always hesitant to say someone is too young because the topics are complex. People are gay, people are depressed, people swear, people have sex, sex is confusing, and puberty is the wooooooorst - kids know all this already, but if it's normalized early on then maybe it won't be so hard for them to talk about it as they're going through it.
Alisa I am a 14 year old and I recently finished reading this book. I personally believe any other teen my age should be allowed to read it. I found it awesome and was very moved by it. Some parts of the book are very troubling. More than once, I had to close the book and actually sit and take in what I'd just read, but yes, a 14 years old should be allowed to read it. Awesome book, by the way!
Leo Lopes I wouldn't recommend it to a gay teenager struggling to accept himself and be comfortable in his own skin. Teenage years are already so hard, no use in adding an incredible sad book to the list.
CapesandCovers It depends on the teen. The book covers some sensitive issues and definitely isn't a feel-good read (not to say it isn't amazing, because it is), and if the 14 year old is prone to depression, I'd say skip it. On the other hand, I would have eaten this up at fourteen, and any LGBTQ teen can probably relate to it, especially gay boys. Cat really did a great job of answering, so definitely take her answer in to account too.
eweFace Well I'm 16 and it really depressed me. This is not a happy book, but it's beautiful. Though I don't think the average 14 y-o needs this kind of read. It's a good one for those who had though times and need inspiration to carry on.
Noam I'd say no. I think some of the themes would be too complexed for teengers that young. There is also pretting strong language without the usual YA apologies. I'd say it like this - if you consider said 14 years old mature enough to watch Shamless, s/he also mature enough for this book.
GinAndCats I would say yes, as long as the 14 year old has a mature handle on the way life works.
Lisanne Yes, I am 14 and I loved the book. People sometimes have this idea that 14 year olds are completely delusional and don't know about some of these serious topics in the book, but that is definitely not the case.
Jami That is a tough call. There is significant mature language. Without handing out spoilers it deals with some highly sensitive issues for some communities. I know several rural librarians who would not feel comfortable recommending it (based on their past words about other titles.) On the other hand, the book is based in NYC and I would have devoured it as a 14 year old living in Arkansas. Message me if you want specifics (that might be spoilers.)
Emerson I am 12 years old and finished reading the book in January, albeit the Deluxe Edition of this book. I found a lot of the story relatable, but at times, I did have to close the book due to embarrassment during some of the pages, I guess. But I believe that any kid who is 14 and older and even younger should be able to read the book as long as they can handle the material given at hand.
What_the_hell Yes. I'm 14 year old. I read this book and enjoyed it very much.
Doug Only if his IQ is the same as his age.
ashes ➷ Guys, this book has descriptions of sex that literally go right up to people opening the condom wrapper. I agree that this was a great book, but we're talking about middle schoolers here.
Kevin Anthony Tuddao This book is a huge eye opener, and Yes I do believe that it's appropriate for 14 years old. Because this book tells the reality of life especially the troubles of identifying your sexuality and receiving and accepting rejections. Even though it tackles a very sensitive issue and may be frightening to some, in the end the book was still able to deliver what intends to deliver.
Mary Jacobs Yes and no.
I mean I'm 14 and it was fine for me--I love the book. But it also depends on what your background is. If you are a sheltered person, or if you consider yourself to be clean (you don't curse, don't hang around people who curse, or even if you are sensitive to sex topics), than you might be slightly uncomfortable...But like I said...I'm 14.
Sophia I'm 14 and I just finished reading this. I would say yes cause it shows the consequences in life, but also just to warn you this book is filled with a lot of cuss words and violent stuff.
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