C.G. Drews's Reviews > I Wish You All the Best

I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 5-star, contemporary, read-2019, young-adult

Am so here for books that quietly open the door to my heart and then yell "I'M NEVER LEAVINGGGG". Because yes. This book. Yes. It was so heartfelt and vulnerable, with characters I quickly decided I'd die for (I am nothing if not lowkey, obviously) and so many scenes that made me want to cry (in the best possible way).

I just...I sincerely think everyone should read this, ok? Like I say that for so many books, but not only am I internally screaming because I just love it as a book and story, but it also so needs to be read to open everyone's eyes to:
➢ really explain how your mental health is affected by being closeted and rejected for who you are
➢ how so so hard it is on teens (but on anyone too) to be rejected by your parents who should love and protect you
➢ the agony of living a life that isn't true to you (in Ben's case, constant misgendering)
➢ what it's truly like to go through panic attacks/triggers
➢ how terrifying it can be to come out

I'm not saying that lgbtqia+ books need to exist to educate allies. But reading, I've always believed, is like walking in someone else's shoes and reading this was absolutely like being Ben for 300pgs. You feel their pain, their panic, their love, their passions for art and their need to just be viewed as a worthwhile human who deserves happiness. EVERYONE deserves that. And everyone needs to work on their empathy to really understand what it's like. Like every time Ben was misgendered and it hurt them (physically) *I* felt that pain too. So the book is just excellently well written with the emotions as well.

But at its core, I do believe this book is a warm and loving hug to enby teens. And it made me cry for that. It is a story with sadness, but it is a story that is so lovingly full of hope, that you'll finish and close the cover feeling like you deserve a place in this world to take up space living true to yourself and who you were born to be. I love this book for that. It's so important.

When Ben comes out to their parents, they're immediately thrown out of the house in the dead of winter's night. They end up being picked up by their estranged sister, Hannah, who basically disappeared from home the second she was 18 because of the terrible way the parents treated her. They weren't physically abusive, but they were intentionally cruel, so strict, and like from chapter one you could see they only cared about Ben's grades. About how "successful" Ben would be...not about Ben themself and how they were coping. Subtly cruel parents are really common in life, so it really broke my heart. Like how could you toss out your child, that you said you loved??? how.

Ben's mental health was also another thing I felt was written super accurately. As someone with anxiety and depression too, I connected to Ben instantly. The panic attacks, sure. But the anxiety spirals?! The ingrained belief that you're annoying people, that you don't deserve love because "you're a mess". Ben IS a mess, but dammit, they still deserve the world. And their friendship with Nathan was this beautiful slowburn tumbling into trust and affection that I couldn't get enough of. Nathan is like YELLOW and SUNSHINE and TERRIBLE JOKES and WELCOMING OPENNESS. And Ben is over there with their art and hair in their face giving off "don't talk to me ever" vibes. I love that mix ok??! Favourite trope. And there was no "Ben must be cured of their anxiety and turned into a 100% happy well person!!" at the end either. They got therapy and they got friends and they got love -- which helped so so much. But they were Ben on page 1 and Ben on the last page. And that's what I love in mental health books. Unconditional love from good people to those that need it most.

Basically I could gush forever. 😫The book meant a lot to me (for so many reasons, not just the mental health relatability, that I can't explain further right now) and overall it's a story about acceptance and being told you're worth something, set against the backdrop of an intolerant world.

Also the cover is SO FRIKKIN PERFECT (and cute) because you have no idea how hard it was for Ben to lean against someone and they're right there!!! leaning on Nathan!! AND I JUST--
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Quotes C.G. Liked

Mason Deaver
“I've been mentally preparing myself to come out all over again, but I've been doing that for a while now. That was one of the things I realized early. If you're queer, your life has the potential to become one long coming-out moment. If I ever want to be called the right pronouns, I'll have to correct people and put myself out there first and who knows what could happen.”
Mason Deaver, I Wish You All the Best

Mason Deaver
“Love at first anxiety attack”
Mason Deaver, I Wish You All the Best

Mason Deaver
“Bodies are fucking weird, especially when it feels like you don't belong in your own.”
Mason Deaver, I Wish You All the Best

Mason Deaver
“Whatever happens”—his grip tightens a little—“I wish you all the best, Benjamin De Backer.” He says it with a smile. “You deserve it.”
Mason Deaver, I Wish You All the Best

Reading Progress

March 29, 2018 – Shelved
March 29, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
June 18, 2019 – Started Reading
June 18, 2019 –
page 60
18.24% "trying to read maximum queer books for Pride month 🙌🏻also this one has already made my heart ache so 😭"
June 19, 2019 –
page 120
36.47% "Me: this book seems fairly good
[2 pages later]
June 19, 2019 – Shelved as: 5-star
June 19, 2019 – Shelved as: contemporary
June 19, 2019 – Shelved as: read-2019
June 19, 2019 – Shelved as: young-adult
June 19, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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Leigh Kramer Already wanted to read this and now you've made me want to read it all the more!

C.G. Drews Leigh wrote: "Already wanted to read this and now you've made me want to read it all the more!"

I'm so so glad I was convincing!!!

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