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Published by Simon and Schuster on September 12th 2017
Narrator: Deacon Lee, Kyle Mason
Genres: M/M, Romance, Young Adult
Purchase links: Amazon, iTunes, Audible
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Source: Leo PR, Simon & Schuster
Fangirl meets Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda in this funny and poignant coming-of-age novel from New York Times bestselling author Christina Lauren about two boys who fall in love in a writing class—one from a progressive family and the other from a conservative religious community.
Three years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go, and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah.
But when his best friend Autumn dares him to take Provo High’s prestigious Seminar—where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester—Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgment and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity.
It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him.
We received this book/audiobook for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect our opinion of the book or the content of our review.
Book Review: 4,5 stars
I’ll start this review off with a little bit of unnecessary knowledge about myself. So, as a matter of fact, I don’t like surprises. Or at least mostly, I don’t. Could be because I’m a control-freak or simply because I’m afraid of changes and surprises normally entail those. But every once in a while a book manages to surprise me. “Autoboyography” is definitely one of those surprises. And what a beautiful one it was!
When I started my advanced copy of this gem, I honestly had no clue as what to anticipate. Yes, I could totally picture Christina Lauren being able to write MM-romance. But I’ve seen a couple of times when MF-authors ventured into MM territory and simply couldn’t manage the right vibe. MM-romance is a very complicated sub-genre. Often, the books are very angsty and deeply emotional because questioning your own sexuality and identity is a huge deal. In “Autoboyography”, this issue is even paired with the fact that the MC’s are only in their late teens/early twenties, so this whole story had a lot of the YA-vibe going on.
When I normally open a Christina Lauren book, I know I can look forward to fast-paced romance, lots of sexy times and funny banter. What I got when I opened “Autoboyography”: A highly emotional, mostly serious, slow paced and clean story of two boys who struggled not only with who they truly were but also with their life situations. And you know what? It totally worked. I can’t even begin to describe the new kind of respect I have for the amazing author-duet that is Christina Lauren. I’m a huge fan as it is and that only intensified after meeting them in Berlin this June – but for them to be able to do a 180 and write something so completely different from their ‘normal’ works? Wow, this just struck me speechless. I bow down to both of you, ladies!!!
The only aspect of story I had my personal issues with was the religious parts. I’m not a religious person myself, I do believe in something higher than humans but not ultimately in one particular God. So all this talk about church, about the restrictions the church community put on their parishioners and all the negative outcomes of all those restrictions – and how it even influenced the people who weren’t part of the community – gave me the jeevi-heevies. And made me raging mad at times. And it intensified my own peace in not believing in God. Because what God would want to see his parishioners unhappy and miserable? So yes, this whole religious aspect overshadowed my otherwise positive feelings for this story and I really thought that from time to time, the focus has been a bit too much on all that. But that is a rather personal complaint.
Even days after finishing “Autoboyography” I still can’t get Caleb and Sebastian off my mind and think they‘ll stay with me for a while to come. I give this amazingly beautiful and tender story 4,5 stars and can recommend it to everyone. And I mean EVERYONE. Even the ones who normally don’t read MM – this book is not only about the D and curious guys getting it on to see if they really crave dudes now. No, this book holds a really important message – you have to find out who you truly are, even if it’s a tough journey. Because at the end of the day, you can only be yourself. Everyone else is already taken. The only reason why I can’t give “Atutoboyography” the full 5 stars is that I normally don’t do slow paced, clean and religion. I really hope that Christina Lauren will do more of this new side of theirs in the future. So beautiful!