How It All Blew Up

Arvin Ahmadi

fiction contemporary lgbtqia+ young adult
emotional fast-paced

288 pages | first published 2020

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda goes to Italy in Arvin Ahmadi's newest incisive look at identity and what it means to find yourself by running away.

Eighteen-year-old Amir Azadi always knew coming out to his Muslim family would be messy--he just didn't think it would end in an airport interrogation room. But when faced with a failed relationship, bullies, and blackmail, running away to Rome is his only option. Right?

Soon, late nights with new friends and dates in the Sistine Chapel start to feel like second nature... until his old life comes knocking on his door. Now, Amir has to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth to a US Customs officer, or risk losing his hard-won freedom.

At turns uplifting and devastating, How It All Blew Up is Arvin Ahmadi's most powerful novel yet, a celebration of how life's most painful moments can live alongside the riotous, life-changing joys of discovering who you are.

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hopeful 62%
emotional 50%
adventurous 37%
funny 37%
reflective 31%
lighthearted 25%
inspiring 18%
mysterious 12%
tense 12%
challenging 6%
dark 6%
informative 6%


medium 50%
fast 43%
slow 6%

Strong character development?

Yes: 42% | It's complicated: 35% | No: 21%

Loveable characters?

Yes: 61% | It's complicated: 30% | No: 7%

Diverse cast of characters?

Yes: 100%

Flaws of characters centre-stage?

Yes: 100%

Average rating