Title: I Wish You All The Best
Author: Mason Deaver
Release Date: May 14, 2019
Age Range: Young Adult
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.
This book means so much to me for several different reasons and I'm just so happy that it's so relatable for me. It's almost like a validation that I'm not by myself in feelings these things. And it leaves me thinking about some things I try to avoid confronting, things that could help better my life. Slight spoilers for content that's in the book? (scroll down to next bold italics for the end of content spoilers.) A nonbinary character with anxiety who struggles with how they see themselves in the mirror? Hi, yes, that's me. And the struggle to actually start going to therapy? I'm still dealing with that. Complicated sibling relationships that you're trying to navigate to make it work? Ding, ding. Me and my sister have a lot that we need to/ have discussed. Family who doesn't understand about being nonbinary? Really felt that one. End of slight spoilers for content I know not everyone will love this story, that's just how it is, but I love it so much because it felt like me. Down to small details and internal dialogue that I have all the time. I cried because it was like listening to myself and it was rough, but I couldn't put it down. I struggle with accepting and telling people my gender identity because of commentary I've heard from people and how I see myself in the mirror and to read about a character who goes through the same thing is nice. It's nice to see myself in one of my favorite things, books, stories. I don't remember a book that confronted the main character having anxiety and dealing with it where I could read it or read it fairly quickly, but I Wish You All The Best? I read that in no time. It wasn't hard for me to read at all but for me it was great anxiety rep. It felt real because it's real for me, it's what my anxiety is like. And all the other characters that were there for Ben? I love them all. Each one of them is a precious person that deserves the world, especially Nathan. Give Nathan all the waffles. (P.S. I love that Mason showed him crying. I feel like we don't see guys cry a lot in any type of media. And it just made him seem like a real person.) It has so many highlight and sticky tab-able parts, I can't wait to get a finished copy so I can sticky tab and highlight it up. I hope others read this and feel the same way I did, because it's an amazing feeling. I hope I'm not the only one who finds it so relatable. from the plots and characters to the writing style, this is an unforgettable story that I'll cherish forever.
Content and Trigger Warnings: Anxiety, panic attacks, depression, misgendering, being kicked out Let me know if I missed any, I'm still learning on what to put here, or I forget because I suck at marking them.