A review by whatjanereads
How to Be Remy Cameron by Julian Winters


In his AP literature class Remy gets the assignment to write about the question „Who am I?“.
And thinking about it... it’s such a hard question to answer.
Remy is a black, gay, 17 year old boy, adopted by a white couple when he was still a baby. But do these labels define who he is? Do labels other people in general put on you define yourself?

This book asks so many important and interesting questions and it’s very introspective. I loved that!
It’s a very quiet book, a slice of life/coming of age story, but also super realistic. And if you know me I love realistic books!!!
Remy and his friends felt like real teenagers to me, their conversations felt real. They drink and have sex and hate their teachers. Remys family life felt real. His love life too.
It wasn’t always super exciting, but who’s life is? But it was really thought provoking and that’s what made this book so special for me.

There‘s talk about friendship, growing up, exploring your identity, adoption, consent, life as a gay, black teen and so much more.

The best part of this book was the music though. I‘m a huge music lover and I’ve never read a book where the music and the song’s playing were actually described.
I only loved Ian because he was such an 80s music nerd (like me) and there hasn’t been a day since I finished it that I haven‘t listened to Bette Davis eyes. ❤️

What I personally wasn’t into was the style of writing. It’s verryyyy detailed and super slow paced. I could have done without a lot of the descriptions of places, characters etc. This sadly made many parts of the story really boring for me, and it took me almost 100 pages to dive into it.
There were a lot of characters, and since I‘m a grandma with no memory I often mixed up who was who from Remys group of friends.
I get that the author wanted to introduce a very diverse group of people, but I personally could have done with half of the characters because they did not make a huge impact on the story anyway and just got me very confused.

I really liked this book in the end and I guess the story has the potential to become very important for many teens. It’s a very heartwarming story.
But it’s not a book I would reread I guess.