Title: I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver
Publication date: 14 May 2019
Genre: Contemporary| Young adult
Page count: 336 pages
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Synopsis: 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.
This book is an absolutely stunning story about a nonbinary teen who comes out to their parents and is kicked out of home. It is at times beautiful but heartbreaking, distressing and uplifting.
Ben De Backer is nonbinary, and they want to stop hiding. So they decide to come out to their parents, over the Christmas break. But, despite their hope, they are kicked out of home immediately, into the cold winter night with no shoes or phone. Ben calls their estranged sister Hannah, who finds them and picks them up.
Hannah takes Ben in, enrolling Ben in a new school where they meet Nathan, an outgoing boy who befriends Ben on their first day. I Wish You All the Best tells the story of Ben as they try to come to terms with their identity all whilst falling in love.
This is the first book I’ve really struggled to write a review for, because I just don’t know what to say other than IT IS BEAUTIFUL. The writing is phenomenal, I felt everything Ben was feeling throughout the story. I got so anxious in the first few pages as Ben tried to come out to their parents, I knew what was going to happen (as it’s in the blurb) but my entire being was just fighting against the invetiability so much because it is just so awful and I just can’t understand why anyone would ever do that to someone. But it happens, and my anxiety calmed as Ben’s did, as their sister accepts them and they begin to find their footing.
I watched in delight as their friendship with Nathan developed, as their feelings grew, and as their anxiety and depression was diagnosed and supported. I didn’t want the book to the end, it is both so heartrenching and yet uplifting and I felt all the feels I can’t quite describe.
Just read the book, is all I have to say. It’ll change your life.
Also how f**king STUNNING is that cover?!?! It has pride of place on my favourites shelf because it is beautiful.
Rach + Draco