- Publisher: Simon & Schuster (September 12, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1481481681
- ISBN-13: 978-1481481687
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.4 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 136 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #420,467 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Autoboyography Hardcover – September 12, 2017
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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.
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With an honest and unafraid portrayal of the obstacles a relationship can face when homosexuality and religion are the main components, Autoboyography excelled at capturing an inspiring coming-of-age love story. Top-notch writing and storytelling from this duo further allowed for this story and its characters to feel completely relatable, to open that door to show that anyone from any spectrum can find a piece of themselves in Tanner or Sebastian.
Its lack of bias or agenda and instead its true focus on these characters as real teens, real young men struggling with the pressures of sexuality, beliefs, societal pressures, and familial belonging, was a truly powerful element. In reading this story, it’s incredibly obvious that Christina Lauren took the time to accurately research and portray both a faith and sexual orientation that many readers will have no understanding of. With Tanner’s non-LDS status, his lack of knowledge and stereotypical beliefs of the Mormon faith will connect with many readers, but his journey to researching and understanding it on his own and through Sebastian was both very educational and key in understanding the main conflict of a relationship between the two.
Autoboyography read like a biopic of first-love with teenage awkwardness, exploration of self, and the pressures of society or religion to be like everyone else. Tanner felt far older than his age, confirming that hiding oneself in a crucial time of growth in ones’ life can force a maturity that wouldn’t possibly be there otherwise. But oh the big heart he had to opening himself up to the very real chance his feelings wouldn’t be returned was starkly vivid on the page. The supporting players were truly figures to emulate, all fully accepting and caring and the kind of cast that each teen in this world truly need surrounding them.
Christina Lauren tackled two sensitive subjects with grace and heart and, in their unique way of telling the story, made it very easy to instantly fall into it. Autoboyography told the tale of a messy, but brutally beautiful love story, and the ride as a reader in experiencing it was wonderfully exhilarating. This is storytelling at its best, at its most unputdownable, top-of-its-game best. Every parent, every teen, every adult needs to experience the sheer beauty behind the power of love and how strength comes from opening your heart rather than closing it off.
I've been finished with this book for hours and I'm still dazed and in awe of it. It's one of those books that had me smiling like a goofball while making me a bit uncomfortable. It's a book with a ton of heart, love, pain, and wanting. It's one of the most beautiful and poignant books I've read this year. It has easily made it into my top five books of 2017.
I don't know the words to explain how important it is that a book like this exists. I grew up Mormon in a majority Mormon community similar to Provo. I had friends in a similar situation to Sebastian where they couldn't come out as gay/bisexual when we were in high school because we were Mormon and they didn't want to be rejected by everyone we knew and loved. They had a hard time accepting themselves for who they were and this book hit me hard even though over a decade has passed since I was in school. I was the bystander/confidant who could only watch my friends go through those heartbreaking situations but this book was so reminiscent of what they went through that it had me in tears for my friends again as well as the characters.
This is the book that I wish they could have had access to when we were teens and I'm so glad that teens now will have it. It was beautiful and emotional and I need everyone to read it! It also kind of broke me but in a good way. I had to remind myself multiple times while reading that my friends are happy now with who they are outside of the closet and I could only hope the characters would get to that point too. I have a feeling I'll be thinking about this book for a long time.
I was so blown away by Christina Lauren’s Autoboyography that I emailed two of my former English professors to recommend the book to them for their YA Lit classes they have for teaching majors. I believe this book should be added to all high school reading lists across the world!!
Why was I blown away?
Book Hangover: Autoboyography is one of those novels I will be thinking about weeks after listening to it. This rarely happens to me. Sure I stay stuck on a book for a day or two maybe but weeks?! I can count on one hand how many books have stayed with me that long.
This novel is so beautifully written. They layers to the story, romance and characters can be broken down into other stories or possibilities. Yes the core of the story is a romance between two teenagers. That in of itself has heighten emotions. That first crush or love is special, scary and in some case forbidden. We’ve all ready novels with a Romeo and Juliet, star-crossed lover thing. Maybe one person is from a wealthy family and the other isn’t so they are divided by their classes. Others are forbidden (not to the level as a few decades ago) because they are not of the same race. Maybe the couple is from different religious beliefs. Then there’s the issue of gender or sexual orientation. The latter two are the big issues Tanner and Sebastian face.
Tanner is bi-sexual and his family is supportive of it. His parents had their own issues when they were dating (different religious backgrounds) so they know some of the issues that can tear a family apart. Sebastian is a ‘straight’ LDS (Latter-Day Saints, aka Mormon) guy who is heavy into his church and family. So these two young men have many issues to deal with internally and externally if they are going to be together.
I know little to nothing about LDS, just the typical stereo-types and I feel like I learned a lot by listening to Autoboyography (yes it’s fiction but the authors did their research to get the details right and I love that they didn’t demonize the church. Which if you listen to the authors/narrator interview at the end of the audio book which I highly recommend (the audio version and the interview) then you will know that was one of their main goals.)
If you’re not into audiobooks but can get your hands on a copy from the library you really should listen to the bonus interview at the end. In any case you NEED to read and/or listen to the masterpiece by Christina Lauren. I don’t care if Contemporary, YA and/or GLBT is not your “thing”. You will enjoy this book on a human level. This romance, much like Tanner’s story he writes in the novel, could be edited to be set on the moon with two other characters falling in love, it wouldn’t matter. The love and heart the author duo put into their writing and characters would still shine through and WOW you all the same.
Most recent customer reviews
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