Reviews

And They Lived... by Steven Salvatore

ravenk28's review

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

2.5

Tbh I’m not even finished with the book yet and I don’t think I will. 

I was actually really excited to read this book as it was described to show a fat gay teen breaking out of the mould society but on them whilst also figuring out where they lie on the non-binary spectrum. 

That being said I was not prepared for the way sex would be discussed in this.  It kind of gave me the ick the way Benny’s toxic mindset about the topic was so normalised and encouraged by others. 

 
And don’t get me started on the miscommunication trope that literally made me put the book down. Both MC are immature in there own way because they’re teenagers. But I just can’t get past Chase’s friend Benny and how when it came down to it he was more of an instigator than a help when everything went to shit for Chase

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lac_a's review

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emotional reflective sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

craywisch's review

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adventurous emotional lighthearted reflective fast-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? Yes

3.0

hollyr1999's review

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emotional funny reflective fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

I wish I could’ve read this when I was in high school. The characters, the humor, the story were all so great

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ladywren890's review against another edition

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emotional reflective sad 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? Yes

4.0


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bryanhoardsbooks's review

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5.0

SOLID 5 STARS! Short review: You know that feeling when you read the first chapter and you know you're going to love it? That's what I felt with this book. It's a book that I wish my younger queer self would've read. I laughed (a lot) and shed some tears. Please preorder this book! It's my favorite read of the year so far!

madmadmaddymad's review against another edition

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hopeful inspiring reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

First of all I would like to mention that I wasn’t totally a fan of the WRITING of this book. It’s probably a four star book if I were going to be honest about how it felt to read it. Emotional books like this should never be written in first person present tense. Because it’s too intense. It feels like an action story. That’s just my opinion. 

Second. 

I love everything else about this book. Chase is heartbreakingly relatable. I loved how it was a gender discovery story - and that he came to decide it’s okay to both be nonbinary while using he/him pronouns and calling himself gay. The whole question of queerness and gender and sexuality is dealt with beautifully in this book, and felt so naturally depicted. 

I also love Jack! He is the epitome of the manic pixie dream girl trope.  But I love that about him. And I love that this trope can be used and can thrive in a book like this, with a queer romance story at the heart of it. 

The love story was so good. I really enjoyed how quickly they fell. How sweet and tender it was, and how, even in the midst of all of that, there was still so much of a struggle. Sometimes, happily ever after isn’t the most important part of the ending. I had my misgivings when certain events happened in this book, because with the whole thing being told from Chase’s perspective, it is a challenge to go through what Chase is going through while also realizing that other people can be going through shit too. Jack’s struggles were painful to read, and even more painful because it was clear to me that they just needed to talk to each other. I love that this story is an exercise in empathy, queerness, and self acceptance. 

And I love that it has a happy ending. 

Great book. Excellent. 

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cayeman's review against another edition

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emotional funny hopeful inspiring reflective 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? Yes

4.25


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shivelyblinnash's review

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2.0

I have not yet finished this book, and I’m not entirely sure if I will finish it.

I was so excited when I saw this book was being released as I adored Can’t Take This Away, so it was a no brainer that I’d love this book just as much, right?

Wrong. I’m not sure if it’s the content of the book - maybe I’m the wrong person to be judging a book dubbed as ‘sex positive’ as a sex neutral asexual - or if I just didn’t like the writing.

The best way for me to describe how I feel about Can’t Take This Away and And They Lived... is this:

Both books together are a meal. Can’t Take This Away is your favourite part of the meal, which you eat quickly and want there to be more of when it’s over. And They Lived..., however, is the part of the meal you hate, that you want to be over without eating it, and are so happy when you finish it.

2.5/5 stars

(so far, if I finish the book I’ll update this review)

Update: I finished the book (finally), and my
opinion hasn’t changed.

ava_g11's review

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5.0

TW: talk about eds. this book is amazing. not only is the story one for the ages but the eloquent writing Salvatore uses...its perfection. with jack being a writer and chase being an artists, together they create words which cannot be denied. the way jack is described through chase's pov you can visualize their spark. there's really no words to describe the language, you need to read and find out. and the story itself my god. as a queer, fat person exploring my own gender identity, i love how chase explores the gender spectrum and discovers there is no need to define themselves with labels. we as a society strive to put labels on ourselves for the comfort of others, and chase learns that through the book. their struggle with an ed really hit home for me. having them talk it through with dr sweatervest was like looking a mirror, a reflection of my mind and my own struggles. in books i read about eds, i only ever see characters struggling with anorexia and how they fight to be small. eds come in such a variety and are different in all of us, they aren't all about losing an impossible amount of weight through restrictive eating. it makes me sad that so many people are hating on this book. we all experience things differently and to say this book is unrealistic??? not everything in books is realistic...idk it rubbed me the wrong way. i love how they aren't afraid to talk about sex, and in a positive light. sex safety is important and needs to be taught to the youth because the conservatives are too afraid to talk about it. sex for so long has been thrown under a blanket, hidden behind a curtain and for what? most of us will share experiences like this in our lifetime so there's no need to shy away from it. and the inclusion of gay sex as something that showcased love and primal urge rather than some sort of fetish. every word in this book had a purpose and served it well. Salvatore wrote something that will forever remain on my bookshelf and will forever be ingrained in my heart.