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.
This was my most anticipated release of 2019, hands down. I don’t think I’ve ever anticipated a book more, like this was my twitter name, which I never done for a book before, so to say I was worried I had put this on a pedestal is an under-statement.
And it was… way different than I expected. Ben know they are nonbinary, so it isn’t a “am i trans?” or coming out to yourself novel. It’s mostly about Ben’s new life and their depression/anxiety. Throughout the book, Ben mentions how accidental misgendering affects them as well as dysphoria, and none of it felt preachy.
So, while this book is overall hopeful and has a happy ending, I kind of expected it to be more happy? The beginning of the book rips your heart out and the rest of the book is dealing with that, so I felt a sort of melancholy tone throughout the book. Again, it isn’t a super depressing book, but it’s also not all sunshine and rainbows.
I guess you could say it’s a quiet type of happy? Ben’s really readjusting to their new life so they have a lost more moments that are quiet-happy, like small moments of happiness. I honestly don’t know if I’m making any sense, but at this point, that’s all I can say.
Also, something I saw and someone else noticed too, which makes me feel better, is that the secondary characters have stronger voices than Ben. I felt that their voice got stronger later on, but early on I was making posts about how Hannah is the best sister and how amazing Nathan was, not about Ben.
The romance was phenomenal. This book had Pride and Prejudice levels of “these two brushed hands and that one act of love has made my soul ascend!” It was sweet and I was holding my breath for these two to get together.
Another point for this book is that I absolutely devoured this book. If I could’ve read this in one day, I would have. It was engaging and I was fully invested in the story.
Overall, I loved this book. The tone was unexpected, but I easily got used to it. I rated it 4.5/5 stars and Mason Deaver is now an insta-add author (even if their next book is about grief).
Have you read I Wish You All the Best? What did you think?