Autoboyography by Christina Lauren
Trade ed. ISBN 978-1-4814-8168-7 $17.99
E-book ed. ISBN 978-1-4814-8170-0 $10.99
Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 9-12
After living in their predominantly Mormon town in Utah for three years, Tanner Scott’s parents, who are beyond accepting of Tanner’s bisexuality, caution him—purely out of a desire to protect him—about openly being his authentic self. When high school senior Tanner enrolls in an honors seminar requiring students to write a book in one semester, he has little idea of the story he will tell, but when he lays eyes on the teaching assistant, Sebastian Brother—who happens to be Mormon—a forbidden but passionate chemistry builds that ultimately results in a love story, one Sebastian’s family might not be able to accept. This sensitive and complex story is as much about finding love as it is about finding and accepting oneself. The representation of the tensions Tanner experiences between being himself and respecting Sebastian’s need to protect himself and those he cares about feels urgent and authentic, particularly in how it highlights the challenges many youth may face as they come to terms with their own sexuality. The text deals sensitively with serious issues, especially Sebastian’s grappling with his sexuality in the context of a stifling Mormon upbringing, but it’s also hilarious and relatable. Readers will enjoy seeing Tanner find his voice as a young person and an author in his own right as they learn that the very book they are reading is Tanner’s own story.