Narrator: Deacon Lee, Kyle Mason
Published by Simon & Schuster Audio on 09-12-17
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Length: 9 hrs and 19 mins
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Fangirl meets Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda in this funny and poignant coming-of-age novel from New York Times best-selling author Christina Lauren about two boys who fall in love in a writing class - one from a progressive family and the other from a conservative religious community.
Three years ago Tanner Scott's family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah.
But when his best friend, Autumn, dares him to take Provo High's prestigious Seminar - where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester - Tanner can't resist going against his better judgment and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity.
It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him.
I was so blown away by Christina Lauren’s Autoboyography that I emailed two of my former English professors to recommend the book to them for their YA Lit classes they have for teaching majors. I believe this book should be added to all high school reading lists across the world!!
Why was I blown away?
Book Hangover: Autoboyography is one of those novels I will be thinking about weeks after listening to it. This rarely happens to me. Sure I stay stuck on a book for a day or two maybe but weeks?! I can count on one hand how many books have stayed with me that long.
This novel is so beautifully written. They layers to the story, romance and characters can be broken down into other stories or possibilities. Yes the core of the story is a romance between two teenagers. That in of itself has heighten emotions. That first crush or love is special, scary and in some case forbidden. We’ve all ready novels with a Romeo and Juliet, star-crossed lover thing. Maybe one person is from a wealthy family and the other isn’t so they are divided by their classes. Others are forbidden (not to the level as a few decades ago) because they are not of the same race. Maybe the couple is from different religious beliefs. Then there’s the issue of gender or sexual orientation. The latter two are the big issues Tanner and Sebastian face.
Tanner is bi-sexual and his family is supportive of it. His parents had their own issues when they were dating (different religious backgrounds) so they know some of the issues that can tear a family apart. Sebastian is a ‘straight’ LDS (Latter-Day Saints, aka Mormon) guy who is heavy into his church and family. So these two young men have many issues to deal with internally and externally if they are going to be together.
I know little to nothing about LDS, just the typical stereo-types and I feel like I learned a lot by listening to Autoboyography (yes it’s fiction but the authors did their research to get the details right and I love that they didn’t demonize the church. Which if you listen to the authors/narrator interview at the end of the audio book which I highly recommend (the audio version and the interview) then you will know that was one of their main goals.)
If you’re not into audiobooks but can get your hands on a copy from the library you really should listen to the bonus interview at the end. In any case you NEED to read and/or listen to the masterpiece by Christina Lauren. I don’t care if Contemporary, YA and/or GLBT is not your “thing”. You will enjoy this book on a human level. This romance, much like Tanner’s story he writes in the novel, could be edited to be set on the moon with two other characters falling in love, it wouldn’t matter. The love and heart the author duo put into their writing and characters would still shine through and WOW you all the same.
A few of my favorite quotes:
After 17 years I've finally finished my BA in English (no I do not want to be a teacher). Before majoring in English I would not have touched anything labeled "classic", but I have enjoyed a few along the way in my college career.
While I hated to read growing up, I am now an avid book reader and audiobook listener. I love rejecting reality one book at a time. I only read fiction within my favorite (at least to date) genres which include: most romance (paranormal, contemporary, D/s, BDSM, M/M)Urban Fantasy, and a few YA (mostly PNR or UF from favorite adult authors, but I'm slowly stepping out of my comfort zone after enjoying a few contemporary YA novels in adolescent literature class I took).
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Reading this book contributed to these challenges: