Cuteness with all the feels…
Genre: Y/A, Contemporary, GLBT
No. of pages: 407
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.
What a sweet love story. I was wrapped up in the three of the main cast in the process of writing a novel of their own! It was like a sugar-rush high for me to read of other author struggles and an angsty soppy cute romance entwined within.
I appreciated the education on the Latter Day Saints religion, and how it did not feel preachy. That it was simply an aspect of Sebastian – not all of him. Just like him being a mentor, author, brother, son, gay… all parts of the whole. But religion is a bit of a trigger for me in reading. Something about it always makes me feel uneasy – but that says something about me and my personal experiences, and not about the quality of ‘Autoboyography.’ Nonetheless, the experience of faith within the pages took the shine off enjoying the story a little.
I like the representation of our bi protagonist, Tanner. How he addresses that it is a valid identity and not an excuse for indecision or infidelity. Though I was put out with how his mother basically forced him back into the closet when they moved to Provo… it almost felt like child abuse. But they supported Tanner in a multitude of other ways that was heart-warming. Because of this restriction, it made it difficult for Tanner to be himself and form honest relationships. It was great tension for the story.
Sebastian, I love/hated him. He was so sure of himself in some parts, and a meandering lost puppy in others. If I was in Tanner’s shoes I may have slapped him a few times in frustration and hurt. Seriously Seb ping-ponged all over the place. I would have been a blubbering mess, dissolved into a puddle of my own making.
Tanner’s best friend Auddy, for some reason I want to say she was a beautiful disaster – but she definitely was no disaster. Maybe a little messy. And definitely beautiful… ginger sisters need to stick up for each other! Auddy is definitely the major grounding force for this novel. While Tanner’s Dad is the voice of reason.
On the whole I found Christina Lauren’s writing style pleasant and easy to read. Spotted with some interesting word choices that lent an air of intelligence shining through the narrative. Though there was a small amount of repetition that jumped out at me, which could have been identified at the final editing stage – I was a little perplexed as to why it wasn’t ear-marked because besides that, the writing was outstanding.
‘Autoboyography’ definitely dragged the feels out of me. That fluttering in my chest, nervous knots in my stomach, and yes, a few escaped tears. I didn’t want the story to end when it did. That’s a great sign of how much I was into this novel.
We get a few chapters from Sebastian’s perspective at the end of the novel, and why I can see how it fleshed out the story and added some angst and tension – it’s a pet hate of mine when you suddenly change the P.O.V. after it’s been thoroughly established. It feels a little lazy. I wish we could have uncovered those little factoids from Tanners perspective and kept the narrative consistent. Or maybe I’m being overly OCD?
‘Autoboyography’ is fairly predictable – it’s a love story, so you can guess the ending from the first page. But I really enjoy a predictable romance every now and then. Great escapism. I was also surprised at the moments of humour interspersed throughout. It certainly added another layer to the narrative and grounded it in reality.
Overall feeling: A totally immersive experience that gave me all the feels.
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