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


ARC provided by the publisher.

rep: Black gay mc, Korean American gay li

So many good concepts went into this book. It’s a patchwork of beautiful ideas, a warm & cozy blanket. It’s also made of wool, though, so I can’t touch it for too long.

Things I absolutely loved include: supportive parents who joke around with their kids and talk them through difficult situations; a gay character whose arc didn’t revolve around coming out; a whole pleiad of gay characters, actually, more or less secondary, but never stereotypical; that trope I adore and want to see more of where a person doesn’t forgive their parent just because of the (imagined) blood-tie, and more.

Like I said, all the ideas that this book is build of, are amazing. It’s full of positive energy, of love for the world & for people in it, of joy. It wants to share that joy with you, as you read on.

It’s just that while I can appreciate all that, I’m not the right kind of person to appreciate the writing itself, I’m afraid. I found it dry and a little bit boring at times, and cringy when it comes to dialogues. And let’s not even mention all those Harry Potter references… (I counted nine and I’m not sure if I didn’t miss a few.)

There were also those two instances of talking about homosexuality as if it’s all about a person’s sex life and the romantic attraction doesn’t play any role in it. I mean, come on! You’re gay even if you don’t have a sex life at all. Let’s not bring the split attraction model into books for teens (or any books, period).

In the end, How to Be Remy Cameron is a pretty cool book tackling a bunch of important issues in a respectful way. I just wish I could like the style of its prose more.