Fangirl meets Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda in this funny and poignant coming-of-age novel from New York Times bestselling author Christina Lauren about two boys who fall in love in a writing class—one from a progressive family and the other from a conservative religious community.
Three years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go, and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah.
But when his best friend Autumn dares him to take Provo High’s prestigious Seminar—where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester—Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgment and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity.
It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him.
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
My first Christina Lauren review under 5 stars – it just feels so wrong! The first thing, however, that I would like to make clear is this: my rating has NOTHING to do with the plot of this novel. In the Acknowledgments section of the book, the authors, Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings, mention that this book is the book of their heart. As cheesy as it may sound, I completely get it. Autoboyography just reads like a book they poured their heart and soul into.
My favorite writing duo is known for their humor. Their books make me laugh out loud on the regular. Not like quiet snickers either, I’m talking roaring laughter. Oftentimes in public places where strangers look at me like there are cats or something equally crazy coming out of my mouth. While Autoboyography was one of their more serious books (the main characters faced some very real and serious obstacles) their trademark humor remained – something I am eternally grateful for.
I absolutely adored being inside Tanner’s mind. Not only was he freaking hilarious, his inner dialogue just reads like an angsty teen. Sure, he was relatively mature for his age, but he thought and did things to remind me Autoboyography is YA. I especially loved Tanner’s zany little family, his best friend Auddy and of course Sebastian.
Naturally, the main source of conflict in this book comes from the relationship between Tanner and his Mormon love interest Sebastian. In today’s day and age, the problems that these two teens face are so relevant. I fully encourage all teenagers to read this book, LGBT or not. For me, a straight supporter of the LGBT community, Autoboyography was eye opening. There are things that I can sympathize with, but will never fully understand. Reading from Tanner’s perspective gave me new insights into the struggles of not only being gay, but being bi, being unsure, facing social pressures from your family, community and friends, etc.
Now that I’ve rambled for about 400 words, I’ll finally explain what made this book 4.5 stars for me instead of 5. Most of Tanner’s chapters were written in first person, however, towards the end of the book, when dual POVs come into play, there is a chapter narrated by Tanner from the third person. It seems so trivial, but the entire time I was reading it, I was confused. I kept trying to figure out if it was intentional, and if it was, what purpose did it serve?
My Takeaway: It was immediately clear that Christina Lauren put a lot of thought, effort and heart into this novel. In my opinion, it is a must read not only for the LGBT community, but for all teens (and adults, honestly). I hope that CLo keeps writing YA, it turns out their YA novels are just as sensational as their Adult Contemporary.