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I Wish You All the Best
Cover of I Wish You All the Best
I Wish You All the Best
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"Heartfelt, romantic, and quietly groundbreaking. This book will save lives." — Becky Albertalli, New York Times bestselling author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens AgendaIt's just three words: I am...
"Heartfelt, romantic, and quietly groundbreaking. This book will save lives." — Becky Albertalli, New York Times bestselling author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens AgendaIt's just three words: I am...
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  • "Heartfelt, romantic, and quietly groundbreaking. This book will save lives." — Becky Albertalli, New York Times bestselling author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
    It's just three words: I am nonbinary. But that's all it takes to change everything.
    When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they're thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents' rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school.
    But Ben's attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan's friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life.
    At turns heartbreaking and joyous, I Wish You All the Best is both a celebration of life, friendship, and love, and a shining example of hope in the face of adversity.
 

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Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 18, 2019
    In an emotionally complex story about finding acceptance and redefining family, 18-year-old Ben is rejected by their parents when they come out as nonbinary. They’re taken in by their older sister, Hannah, who was also driven out by their conservative and judgmental parents 10 years earlier. Together they have to learn how to advance from estranged siblings to a true, caring family while Ben works to complete senior year at a new high school. And as Ben cultivates an art practice and receives the love and support of rediscovered family and of new friends, including handsome neighbor Nathan, they begin to come to terms with their trauma. Debut author Deaver portrays Ben’s reaction to the difficult situation, including panic attacks and anxiety, with care and empathy, and readers will be filled with joy and hope as Ben begins to grow toward self-acceptance. Ben’s voice shines through with courage and vulnerability as they learn, slowly, to feel valued and deserving of respect. A powerful illustration of the ways that compassion and love can overcome intolerance. Ages 14–up. Agent: Lauren Abramo, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret.

  • School Library Journal

    May 1, 2019

    Gr 8 Up-A nonbinary teen is forced out of their house and finds love while starting over. Ben didn't expect their parents to be thrilled when they came out as nonbinary, but neither did they expect to be immediately kicked out of their home. They move in with their older sister whom they have not seen in a decade, begin attending a new school for the last semester of senior year, and choose not to come out to their teachers or classmates. Ben's plan to keep a low profile backfires when they are befriended by Nathan, a fellow student who may like them as more than just a friend. Written by an author who is nonbinary, this book stands out among current young adult offerings for its depiction of a nonbinary protagonist. Ben's anxiety after being kicked out of their parents' house will resonate with readers who have suffered trauma, as will their struggle in both loving their parents while also not trusting them after their reaction. The measured pace and conversational style of this book work well with its focus on Ben and their healing and growth during their final semester of high school. The romance that develops between Ben and Nathan is sweet, and readers will be rooting for the couple to have their happily ever after. Give to fans of Bill Konigsberg's The Music of What Happens or Adib Khorram's Darius the Great Is Not Okay. VERDICT A first purchase for most libraries.-Jenni Frencham, Indiana University, Bloomington

    Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    March 15, 2019
    Deaver's debut delivers an honest coming-of-age and coming-out story about 18-year-old queer, nonbinary Ben De Backer.The novel centers on conflicts within a North Carolina family that drive the narrative after Ben comes out to their parents and is kicked out of the house. Welcomed by their older sister, Hannah, who they haven't spoken to in more than a decade, and her husband, Thomas, they begin a new life, enter therapy, and begin to find peace as they finish their senior year. Ben finds comfort in art classes, which become a safe haven as the art teacher takes them under her wing. Ben's loneliness abates thanks to budding friendships, but when their connection with another student, Nathan, hints at something more, Ben struggles to find the confidence to risk sharing their truth again. Dealing with new friendships, family rejection, first love, anxiety, and personal growth, this novel is grounded in familiar YA terrain while exploring themes of gender identity. Deaver's treatment of Ben's nonbinary identity creates a realistic portrayal of their journey toward self-acceptance. Ben and their family are white, Nathan is brown-skinned (ethnicity unspecified), and a few secondary characters are ethnically diverse, including a nonbinary character who is a Muslim immigrant and hijabi.Holds appeal for readers of all genders and sexualities through sympathetic characters and a hopeful narrative of empowerment. (Fiction. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    February 15, 2019
    Grades 9-12 When 18-year-old Ben comes out as nonbinary, their parents heartlessly throw them out of the house. With nowhere else to go, Ben calls their older sister, Hannah, whom they haven't seen in 10 years, and she mercifully agrees to give them a new home. Hannah's husband, Thomas, is a teacher and arranges for Ben to enroll at his school, where Ben quickly meets Nathan, who has been assigned to help orient them. Extroverted, ebullient, and always smiling, Nathan is a bit overwhelming at first, but gradually Ben accepts Nathan's overtures of friendship?and is it possible that their friendship might blossom into something more deeply felt? First, however, Ben must find the courage to come out to Nathan. The question is, can they? Deaver's first novel deals with a complexity of serious issues that are, generally, well handled. Yes, Ben can sometimes be annoyingly self-pitying but gradually grows out of that habit, while Nathan remains a wonderfully sympathetic character throughout. Withal, Deaver's novel is a welcome addition to the growing body of LGBTQ literature.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2019, American Library Association.)

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