Audience: YA Contemporary Romance
Length: 329 pages
Author: Mason Deaver
Release Date: May 14th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads
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.
I read this via audio (which had a great narrator and recommend if you’re interested in that format option!) and really enjoyed it. It’s one of those where afterwards you just realize, it was a notable book all around.
It felt incredibly important to read this story about Ben and how they chose to find their voice. There were many tough conversations and resonating ones throughout. I liked the therapy sessions, the reconnecting Ben was able to work through with their sister and the absolutely sweet romance between them and Nathan. Ben and Nathan just made me smile. Nathan was the right kind of counter balance for Ben and they really clicked from the beginning.
The scenes depicting anxiety and depression were raw and I sensed everything through the pages. It’s full of heartfelt desire for friendships and a true place to belong and Ben just wanting to understand and find themselves as a person. I felt like I learned a lot and I think it would be a great read for others looking to learn more about a non-binary experience.
Overall audience notes:
- YA Contemporary Romance
- Language: some strong
- Romance: kisses
- Trigger/Content Warnings: coming out scenes (some received well, others not), disownment from parents, misgendering, transmisia, homomisia, ableism, suicidal ideation, slut-shaming (side character), physical/emotional/verbal parental abuse, depression and anxiety (including on page depictions), underage alcohol consumption