Autoboyography by Christina Lauren
Publication Date: September 12th 2017
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre: LGBT / YA / Contemporary Romance
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.
*** Note: I read this book online available as free read on Riveted by Simon Teen. Many thanks to publisher. ***
Autoboyography was LGBT, contemporary romance that revolved around relationship between two high school boys in Mormon town. It was about finding and accepting true self, being you and loving yourself the way you are, family relationship, Mormonism, views on bisexuals and gays and their feelings, friendship, and m/m romance.
WOW! This book was amazing. Characters, plot, setting, theme, writing, monologues and dialogues, school, school work, seminar, book writing, those post it notes, and messages- everything from first word to last full stop at the end, I loved it all. Writing was gripping, flawless and beautiful. Told in first person narrative in witty and refreshing voice of Tanner made the book enjoyable.
Book started with Tanner telling about his friendship with Autumn ever since he moved to Utah, his life at Provo high in LDS town among LDS students and how suffocating he felt keeping his bisexuality secret because of his ex-Mormon mom’s past experience and what her family did to his mom’s lesbian sister. When Autumn challenged him to join the seminar that means he had to write entire book to pass the class, he went along with it thinking writing book in four month would be simple, a piece of cake.
Well, it was actually simple for him as this year prestigious LDS student and bishop’s son – Sebastian – was teacher assistant in this seminar who happened to be hot and handsome and sparks were flying when they met eyes in the first class. He inspired Tanner to write his own story and feelings, an autobiography with their story.
The attraction and infatuation turned into real feelings and love but every love story has obstacles and here it was Mormon religion. Sebastian and his family were through and through Mormon, their religion and beliefs don’t accept gay relationships. It was interesting to find out where this relationship and feelings lead Tanner and his book on his bisexuality, will Sebastian reciprocate his feelings and if so, will he keep it secret, and what will happen when Sebastian’s family will know about his sexuality and relationship.
Family dynamic was amazing. I loved Tanner’s family. Father- Jewish but not very Jewish or followed Jewish tradition and rules, Mother Ex-LDS, Aunt- Lesbian, and sister- a teen who was outspoken and true gothic lover. Tanner’s parents were so supportive, understanding and lovely. I loved the way they waved their gay friendly flag. They accepted their son and daughter the way they were, answered their all curious questions, discussed things, loved them unconditionally. They raised equally amazing son, Tanner.
Tanner was best, my new favorite character who won my heart. He was smart, funny, and adorable. He wore his heart on sleeves but at the same time he was being cautious in town of Mormon. And when he fell in love, wow, he was on cloud nine and was writing such romantic book. He was developed character but not totally perfect. There was a moment when he made huge mistake but he wasn’t the one who would turn his head away and run in opposite direction. He was one of those who will face the situation and solve the problem. I loved that in him. His feeling, thoughts, and reactions were heat felt and so realistic.
Sebastian was written wonderfully. He was perfect son, perfect LDS, perfect student and to-be-published author. He has even perfected his smile and facial expression but he was gay and that was imperfection for him. I could see why he felt it was wrong to use gay word or accept it. He lived and was brought up in house and town that felt the same and it was instilled so deep in him. Like Tanner, I loved it when Tanner made him throw that perfection and false smile out of window and accept the real him and let his feeling come out. But it took lot of chapters and pages, heartbreak and suffering for him to accept who he was, what he wanted and decide what to do about it. His development was slow and steady. We see much later what was going on in his mind but all his feelings and struggle was shown through his conversations with Tanner and what Tanner understood from his reactions and replies.
Best thing in the book was balance between family, friendship and romance. His friendship with Autumn was great. I enjoyed reading their time together and conversation between them. It did look complicated from the beginning and I suspected it will come in between Tanner’s relationship with Sebastian but I loved how they made things smooth at the end. I loved Autumn by the way.
I loved romance and chemistry between Tanner and Sebastian. There was instant attraction and it took less time in turning that to boyfriend and love but doubt and complications was always there. Tanner knew giving Sebastian heart would be big mistake, his parents were right to worry and me too was dreading heartbreak as soon as they kissed first time. And when that heartbreak came, I hated Sebastian at that time. I didn’t want to understand his situation. How could he do that!
At climax, things turned from complicated to disastrous by Tanner’s mistake and then its admission. Honestly, I thought book will end here but then came second blow. Of course there need to be more because life is not that simple. I liked reading what happened at Sebastian’s home and what he felt in this part. End was good and epilogue was best.
Overall, it was lovely, heartwarming, refreshing, and the best contemporary romance and LGBT book I ever read.
What do you think about the book and my review?
Have you read this book already?
Are you going to add it to TBR?
Which is your favorite LGBTQ book?
Follow me on-