Reviews for I Wish You All the Best, by Mason Deaver

strangeweather's review

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2.0

I don’t think I’m the right audience for this book, felt a little like an explanatory pamphlet of being nonbinary (or just a unidimensional rendering of stereotypical experience), which perhaps is what teens need? I hope it helps others but hoped for a more nuanced read myself.

rob_bob's review

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5.0

This book was so fricken wholesome!!! Ahh it’s so cute and just the slow burn romance... I looooooved it. This is the first book about a non binary person or for that matter a book that’s even had any non binary people in it I’ve ever read. I know a couple non binary people and they’re all super nice but it’s not like we’re close and I’d never ask them the questions this book kind of answers. It being an own voices book to makes it all the better. Other than just the representation the story was also great and like I said absolutely adorable. I mean not all of it but for the most part. I think it’s telling an important story but also at the end of the day it’s just a good book too.

a_lonely_alien's review

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emotional medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? N/A

5.0

carmensbook's review

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4.0

This book is really cute. It’s the first book about a non-binary person I’ve read and it’s written by a non-binary author. The book shows the reality of coming out for lots of people, which is not always easy or turn out good. It is not focused on how it affects the family or friends, but on the person that it’s actually coming out.
The book also talked about anxiety, panic attacks and depression in a real and accurate way about how the person that suffer them, usually feels (like when Ben expends days without leaving their room).
Another thing that it’s great about the book is that it doesn’t focus on the relationship, but on how Ben feels after coming out and being kicked out of their house, their personality, their fears and insecurities and how difficult it can get when you don’t feel good about yourself.
Nathan is a Bi sweet little angel that must be protected and loved.

lunaxreeadds's review

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emotional lighthearted sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

dostojevskijs's review

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5.0

"I hate sand. It's coarse, and it gets everywhere." I wonder if he'll catch on.
Nathan groans so loud the people jogging at the other end of the park turn to look at us. "Please tell me you didn't just quote the worst movie of the saga."


Let me just.. seventeen year old me is incredibly in love with Nathan, not too different from how in love seventeen year old me was when it came to Augustus Waters. In a way, I'm happy this book didn't come out until now because I'm not entirely sure seventeen year old me could have handled both Augustus and Nathan at the same time.

This was another book I found at my local library just days after seeing it on Goodreads, and it makes me happy to know that the LGBT section is not only growing, but it's also keeping up with current LGBT literature - not just "older" books, but also those very recently published.

Despite what I said about seventeen year old me being in love and all that, I do wish, in a way, that this book had been around when I was in my early teens, or even in my late teens. Because it would have helped me so much regarding coming out - but it's all good, because I know it's helping teens in the same situation from now on. So, not only was it sweet that the library had it for me to read, but that it's there for other queer kids - trans or gay.

That also brings me to the part of the book that I'm not sure wether I like or dislike - while it's realistic and complex regarding coming out and dealing with dysphoria, the book itself easily falls into the "same old" YA structure. It checks most stops off the list, and at first it bothered me a little but then I realised... isn't this exactly what I keep saying I want? A typical YA book, just with actual representation. I don't mean to say that the book isn't dark in any way or that it doesn't struggle with really tough stuff, because it does. But it does so while following the usual YA recipe.

At first, I was bothered by how easily Ben's sister and brother-in-law takes them in, and how of course he suddenly managed to make not just a great friend, but also a friend of that person's two best friends. But then I realised that even disregarding how boring or uneventful this book would've been if he'd been friendless throughout the whole book, would I have wanted something different? No.

Yeah, Deaver's raw realism is tangled up with the YA clichés. But why not? Even if there was no realism in the friendship between Ben and Nathan, or how easily Hannah and Thomas take Ben into their home (and there is plenty of realism there, nothing feels unrealistic, simply not that original)... it is a YA recipe that is still dominant, especially when it comes to books partly about romance like I Wish You All the Best. And while it is really tiring in mainstream YA... it might not be original here either, but here it is refreshing. It really does. Deaver kept me jumping from raw, dark emotions to jittery, cheesy romance where both of those had the representation I rarely get to see. It was a great mix of seeing people like me struggle and seeing people like me happy. And that is worth so much, especially when it's as well-written as this.

My only proper issue would be the lack of personality for Ben. I feel like most other characters feel a lot more complex and well-rounded, while Ben as a person is never quite established in a way that makes me feel like I know who Ben is. I suppose that is the consquence of having a main character be the narrator - we see everything from their point of view, including how they view themselves, and considering Ben's lack of love for themself... I wish Deaver would've used the other character' interactions with Ben to establish Ben further. Because I would've really loved to get to know them more.

delirium23's review

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4.0

3.5

My rating is more geared towards the writing and my personal preference and not the subject matter. I am super happy this book is out in the world and will happily recommend it! The content does deserve the hype.

malasopa's review

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emotional hopeful inspiring medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

loovelyluna's review

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emotional funny hopeful medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.5

dvann93's review against another edition

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This is such an important book to have on the YA shelves! Ben De Backer’s journey is one that needed to be told, and I am so happy that non-binary readers in particular have this book as a mirror to see themselves in. Without giving too much away, I found the end of this book to be incredibly sweet and heartwarming.