Tuesday, January 15, 2019
Reading Diary: Autoboyography by Christina Lauren
For Christmas, I received a very shiny, pretty new Kindle and I thought 'hey, maybe I can get back into reading with this' and I really wanted to some e-books that I'd had for awhile. So, Autoboyography was started. And it really is just so emotional.
It's the story of a teenage boy, Tanner, who grows up in California and he's out to his friends and family and school that he's bisexual. Nobody minds, his parents are hugely supportive. But then his mom gets this amazing job offer and moves the family to Provo, Utah. Provo, Utah being a hugely Mormon place to live. The Mormon religion literally seeps into most things in Provo and for his own protection, Tanner's mom asks him to get back into the closet and he does.
But of course, there would be no story here without something going against plans, right? Tanner ends up joining this Seminar which encourages students to write the first draft of a novel within class. And the Seminar's teaching assistant is Sebastian, last year's Seminar hotshot who ended up with a publishing deal. The second Tanner sees Sebastian he feels this intense connection and attraction. And the rest, as they say, is history.
What I really loved about this book is the friendships and family relationships. Tanner's parents in particular made me sob with their unwavering love and support for Tanner's sexuality. I also loved the exploration of the Mormon religion - through Tanner's eyes the reader is able to delve more into what their religion and values look like both good and bad. We see their commitment to service and the good they do to their communities but also see the narrow-mindedness of their views of same sex attraction and relationships.
I loved Tanner and Sebastian. There are so many awkward parts in the book where the two of them are sort of dancing around the fact that they are both attracted to one another but unable to say the words or make a move because of the uncertainty around their situation. There's also such an intensity to their relationship. The feeling of dread just builds and builds as the two of them dive in to this thing together and when they start behaving more recklessly it becomes inevitable that they will be found out. And I just couldn't tear my eyes away from the words in this story and away from these two beautiful boys.
The last thing I loved so much about this book is this sense of how writing can be such a catharsis. Tanner writes his own story and turns it into not even a fictionalised account of his relationship. But he is at least able to write everything down and try to find meaning in what is happening and what he's feeling, his doubts, his fears, his hopes. I loved that Tanner had that as his disposal and it reminded me how much writing has been important in my own life for that same reason.
This isn't really a review, just some thoughts on what I've been reading. But I do highly recommend this book!