I read this book during an online book club on LGBTQ+ themes. Which subsequently, I found out about while attending the YA Summit in 2020. (Thank you Dr. Bickmore and Dr. Donovan!) I encourage everyone to get involved in some way for this year's YA Summit. Thank you for allowing me that plug. Onward...
This book has stuck with me ever since. We've all been in that place where we are trying to figure out our place in this world, all while navigating first loves and the drama of high school. This book makes me grateful for attending high school in a time when social media wasn't present, but it also allows me a glimpse into the strife my own children and students might face. It shows me the power that technology can have in positive and negative lights. On page 180, Felix (our main character) searches the following: I'm transgender, but I don't feel like a guy or a girl. Felix doesn't have a strong family structure that he can discuss his feelings with. He resorts to internet searching for answers which I bet is something a lot of us can relate to. In Felix's case they are able to join a support group at a community center and start the process of identifying who they are. This book shows the importance of true allyship.
The characters are vibrant and bold and they demand respect. Kacen dedicates this novel in the following way:
For trans and nonbinary youth:
You're beautiful. You're important. You're valid.
They couldn't have said that more perfectly, but this book isn't just for youth that identify as trans or nonbinary. It is for anyone that has experienced or is experiencing the peaks and valleys of adolescence. It is for anyone that knows the value of self love and discovery. This book is perfect for YOU!