Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Review: I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver

I Wish You All the Best
Mason Deaver
Release: May 14, 2019
Goodreads Amazon
When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they're thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents' rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school.

But Ben's attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan's friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life.

At turns heartbreaking and joyous, I Wish You All the Best is both a celebration of life, friendship, and love, and a shining example of hope in the face of adversity.

OMG! My heart! I've followed Mason Deaver for forever on Twitter and have slowly watched as he turned his #enbylovestory into I Wish You All the Best and it is worth all the hype. Because this book, guys! This book! It was one of those books that I finished and immediately knew was a game changer for YA lit. Not only is it the first book I've read with a main character that identifies as nonbinary but it's the first YA book about an enby teen I know of written my a nonbinary author. It makes my heart so happy to read a book where my enby friends will be able to see themselves in the pages.

Mason Deaver approaches so many hard topics in this story and does it with the perfect balance of hope and kindness. It's a book about identity, family, mental illness, friendship, sexuality, love, and becoming comfortable in your own skin. It made me laugh. It made me cry several times. And it made me hug my book in places while grinning like a madwoman because of the cuteness. Parts of it were hard to read because Ben’s experiences reflected things I've seen so many of my enby friends’ experience. The fear and anxiety, of course, but especially the body dysphoria. And I personally could relate to Ben on so many levels. Especially with their anxiety.

I loved Ben as a character and watching them go through so much made my heart hurt. But conversely, watching the person they become on the other side was so satisfying. I won't say anything more about it because I don't want to spoil anybody but Mason Deaver stuck the landing on how this story wraps up. I loved watching Ben interacting and getting to know their estranged sister and brother-in-law. I also loved his friends. They were hilarious and quirky and they reminded me so much of my own friend group growing up.

Another character I loved just as much as Ben was the love interest, Nathan. He was such a happy go lucky guy that you can't help but love them. And they way he treats Ben was adorable. I loved watching their relationship grow and change throughout the book.

I Wish You All the Best is going to be such a powerful force in the YA community and I’m so glad it’s out in the world. It's going to touch so many lives and that thought makes me tear up a bit. I’m just going to be over here in my little corner of the internet wishing Ben and Nathan all the best.

  4.5 / 5 Stars

Book 20- Sweet Street: Sweet Contemporary Romance

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