My name is Chiara and I am a Bookworm.
Today’s book that I am so excited to talk about is I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver.
Mason is a nonbinary writer from North Carolina and I have loved their book. Please check out their website, and follow them on twitter
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.
I want to start by saying how new this is to me. I haven’t much experience with nonbinary and I am still learning and wanting to ask a lot of questions.
To begin with I found The ‘they/them’ aspect of the story a little jarring. And I want to point out that that is completely my fault and not the authors. It is me who has to get used to it and find a way to train my brain that when I see/hear they I don’t have to go looking for a second person that isn’t in the story at that moment. By the end of the book I got more used to it but as much as in this review I’m going to try not to misgender any people or characters if I do please correct me in the comments.
The story starts with Ben trying to tell their parents that they are nonbinary and the aftermath. We aren’t detailed much of the aftermath including him being kicked out but through the following chapters you hear parts of the conversation through Ben’s thoughts, and those snippets are enough for your imagination to put together the kind of anger and hate that they must have been facing.
My favourite characters is defiantly Nathan. Yes, Hannah gives him a new home and Thomas gets him into a wonderful school and Ben’s therapist listens to him and helps him … but I think Nathan honestly saved Ben’s life. Nathan was Ben’s rock when he needed him and without Nathan I don’t think Ben would have a story to tell.
I love how relaxed and easy the relationship is between Ben and Nathan. Their relationship (pre-romance) is so easy. It’s the kind of friendship/potential romance that I would like … like being with the other person is as easy as breathing. I know it isn’t as easy as that … even for Ben and Nathan … but in their quiet moments when they’re just holding hands and watching the sky and the silence isn’t uncomfortable and you don’t need to say anything. That for me is relationship goals.
In some ways Ben, in my opinion at least, is a different person around Nathan, Sophie and Meleika. A lot more funny, relaxed an carefree than he seems anywhere else.
The only fault I can seem to find i this book is that when Ben tells people he is nonbinary, with the exception of his parents, they all seem to know what questions to ask, or what should be said in that situation. Me, pre-reading this book, wouldn’t have had a snowball’s chance in hell of asking the right questions … and that is my own fault for being sheltered and uneducated. This book has been an eye opening.
I agree with Becky Albertalli’s quote on the cover. “This book will save lives.” But I also think it will educate a few as well.