Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Book Review: All Kinds of Other

I know its only Tuesday but.... how is your week going? Mine is pretty alright. I feel like I'm a little overwhelmed with our family schedule, so I'm hoping that kind of eases up soon.  

I do have a really good YA book for you today, and I feel like it has been awhile since I've read YA, which is strange. I have a couple coming up so we'll get back on track. 

All Kinds of Other - James Sie

In this tender, nuanced coming-of-age love story, two boys—one who is cis and one who is trans—have been guarding their hearts to protect themselves, until their feelings for each other give them a reason to stand up to their fears.

Two boys are starting at a new school.

Jules is just figuring out what it means to be gay and hasn’t totally decided whether he wants to be out at his new school. His parents and friends have all kinds of opinions, but for his part, Jules just wants to make the basketball team and keep his head down.

Jack is trying to start over after a best friend break-up. He followed his actor father clear across the country to LA, but he’s also totally ready to leave his past behind. Maybe this new school where no one knows him is exactly what he needs.

When the two boys meet, the sparks are undeniable. But then a video surfaces linking Jack to a pair of popular transgender vloggers, and the revelations about Jack’s past thrust both Jack and Jules into the spotlight they’ve been trying to avoid. Suddenly both boys have a choice to make—between lying low where it’s easier or following their hearts.
I really want to talk about this cover because it is so interesting to look at. I mean, I didn't see the larger face right away, it wasn't until I was taking a photo of it that I saw it and I just really love it. So.. there's that. 

I also need to confess that I don't read a lot of books with LGBTQ+ characters and it isn't because I'm not an ally. I just really have a hard time connecting with the characters and I have to feel some kind of connection for me to really get into the story. Usually. I really adored these characters though because I think of my own kids at that age, but also remember what it was like to be a teen and awkward as hell, so I just really wanted to hug them both.

I'll be honest and tell you that there are some potentially triggering things that might be hard for some, at least make most people uncomfortable. Obviously a lot of transphobia and homophobia so slurs do make an appearance, there are some racist comments, and bullying. I feel like it takes a lot to make me uncomfortable in a book, but even I squirmed a bit. Honestly, I think its because I'm a mom and I am always fiercely protective of kids being mistreated. 

So that's my mini-mom rant. 

I went into this book thinking it was a YA romance but it really wasn't? Well, kind of? I'm not really sure I would classify it as such, but I guess I can understand why some would say that it was. I'm just saying, don't go into this hoping that that's what you're getting, because it's just a lot more than that. I also will say I felt like there could have been more book, there were some loose threads kind of left hanging and that is frustrating for me. I loved the writing style, I love the tumblr posts, I felt like the conversations throughout felt normal (which is a thing for me, it either works or it very much doesn't), and overall? I really liked this. 

I do think that I'm looking at this from a very straight and boring female point of view and if you were a member of the LGBTQ+ community, you might have a differing opinion of how the story flowed and maybe a few specific things about the book. In short, this book would be different for everyone but honestly? I kind of loved that. I think that's part of the beauty of it. 

Thank you to HarperCollins/Quill Tree Books for a review copy. I'm really excited to have my teens read this and get their thoughts on it. 

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1 comment:

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I did not notice the other face on the cover, so thanks for pointing that out. I like when people can get different things out of books, and you know I do love LGBT+ fiction.