Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

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“A God worthy of your eternal love wouldn’t judge you for who you love while you’re here.”

Friends, I only picked this book up because it was on sale this month on Audible, even though I can never focus on audiobooks. I only started listening, because I decided to spend last night playing video games with my best friend. I only clicked play because he was telling me about his latest audiobook. I honestly believe with whole heart that the stars aligned to make me read this book, and I will be forever thankful because this is one of the best books I’ve ever read in my entire life.

This is a story about a boy named Tanner, who is bisexual, but not fully out because his parents moved to Utah and are living in a place where almost everyone is Mormon. And Tanner’s best friend, Autumn, convinces (or begs) him to join this writing class, where they have to write, edit, and turn in a book, before the end of the semester. A boy from the previous year, named Sebastian, actually got the book that he turned in published! So, he is back, working as a TA, helping other kids write their books.

“It opens with a boy and a girl, a dare, and crumbs on a bed. But where it really begins is with a double take and the words “His smile ruins me.”

Trigger and content warnings for homophobic slur(s), talk of conversion therapy, and shitty parents that aren’t accepting of their children.

Also, full disclosure and all that, I connected very easily to Tanner. I knew, early in high school, that I wasn’t straight. And my parents aren’t as amazing as Tanners, but they were always supportive and accepting and let me know that they will love me regardless of who I chose to love. Yet, I can connect a tiny bit with Sebastian because God, and the Catholic church, have always been a big part of my life. I have never known a life like Sebastian’s, but I remember how scared I was to come out to certain members of my childhood church. More like, “hey, this is my girlfriend” while letting them deal with the information whatever way pleased them. But I’ve never had anyone from church tell me that my feelings, or wants, or the integral parts of who I am, were wrong. And to this day I still consider myself Catholic, and I still believe that God loves me regardless of who I love. Also, here is your friendly reminder in case you need it: Whatever higher power you believe in loves you regardless of who you choose to love. And you are valid and worthy of love, no matter who you choose to give your heart to.

So, reading Sebastian’s life just broke my heart over and over and over. I’ll also be honest, I don’t have any Mormon/LDS friends. I know all the terrible stereotypes, but this book is the only book I’ve even read that stars a Mormon character. So, even though I didn’t have a lot of knowledge about the Mormon church going into this book, I actually feel like this book actually taught me a bit about their beliefs and values. And I actually really appreciated and liked seeing the glimpses, even if it was hard at times. And I also think the authors wrote this book in a very respectful way towards the religion.

“You have so much space in your heart for your church, but does it have space for you?”

Tanner’s parents are my favorite parents of all literature. Goals, completely goals, in every sense of the word. And just seeing the juxtaposition between Tanner and Sebastian’s parents, it’s heartbreaking. To see how a child can thrive when they are accepted to embrace who they are. Then to see a child feel worthless, and wrong, and to actually pray to be different. You all, I don’t have words. And as much as I want to give a copy of this to every kid that is questioning their feelings, I wish I could put this in the hands of every single person who is even thinking of becoming a parent. But I will say that the only negative thing I can think about in this book is that Tanner’s parents are so amazing and supportive, but they still moved him to a place where he had to go back into the closet. Even if it was just for a few years, it still doesn’t feel too great when you think about that without the other amazing aspects of this story coming in to play.

When people have recommended this book to me they would always use words like “cute” and “sweet”, but I honestly cried while listening to at least half of this book. This book tore me a part, ripped me open, completely broke me, and then somehow put me back together, stitched me up, and completely healed me. Reading this book was a cathartic experience, without question.

But the romance is so good. And you will become so easily invested with these two boys who want nothing more than to love each other unapologetically. And even though I cried through most of this book, some of these tears were from pure happiness. These authors are romances writers, and it really shines throughout the novel and makes you ship these two so damn hard.

I also really loved that Tanner is bisexual (even though I think he could be pansexual, if he wanted that label), and it is constantly talked about how he has had relationships with different genders and emphasized that just because this book is a romance between two boys, Tanner is not gay. I really appreciated it. I also loved how thoughtful Tanner was with not outing Sebastian, and the important spotlight that these authors shined on how you shouldn’t out or discuss anyone’s sexuality, regardless of the relationship you have with them.

“Kissing boys feels good. Kissing girls feels good. But something tells me kissing Sebastian would be like a sparkler falling in the middle of a field of dry grass.”

This book also puts friendship, and how important it is to be open, communicative, and accepting in those friendships, in the spotlight. I loved Autumn so much, and her relationship with Tanner was a joy to read about. Friendships can be so confusing, and even messy at times, but unconditional love will forever and always be the most powerful force on the planet.

Overall, I read this in one day. I couldn’t stop. I couldn’t put it down. I still can’t stop thinking about it. This book is honestly perfection in my eyes. And I wish I could put it in the hands of every single kid who is questioning who they are and who they love. I will cherish this book forever. And I’m sorry if this review is a little all over the place, but this book truly means more to me than I have words for. This is seriously a masterpiece.

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43 thoughts on “Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

  1. I love that this book affected you so much in this way. And I agree about Tanner’s parents.

    Did you listen to the interview between the authors and the audiobook reader? I loved it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It was… even more beautiful! Ahhhh! Yeah, Bree, this book (and interview) was just everything that I didn’t know I wanted! Haha! But I hope whatever you’re currently reading is five star worthy, beautiful! 💜xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review 😀 I love this book with my whole heart. I also really connected with Tanner and his experience of being bi even though I didn’t come out till after high school and Sebastian’s story was heart wrenching. So glad you enjoyed this 💜💜

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am 99% sure you are the reason I bought the audiobook. I think you said how it was on sale in TBR, and I bought it! Hahahah! SO THANK YOU, LOVE! And I hope you enjoy this one too! Happy reading! 💗xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Mel, really good review. Im going to try this one. I had put Christina Lauren in my DNR list (do not read) after those beautiful bastard series of books that I hated. A few months ago on a goodreads challenge, I was forced to read Roomies which I really liked.
    So I will try this one too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my gosh, I only read the first Beautiful Bastard, but I one starred it! Hahaha! I really think you’ll enjoy this one 100 times more, love! I promise! But happy reading, my love! 💗xx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Mel, thanks for this 🙂 I’m also Catholic (tho atm really struggling with believing in a God) and I went through a lot of the things you described. I’m glad your church was so welcoming and you weren’t persecuted for loving someone. I wish mine was the same way. I truly believe that if God loves us as He says, He wouldn’t care who we loved. But then there are those terrifying passages from the NT on homosexuality and how He’ll punish those who love someone of the same sex and it’s hard. I wonder how you got through this.

    Besides that, it’s so nice to hear that there’s a good friendship in this book! It’s so rare to find them and I really am wondering why. Friendships are so important in our lives. Loves come and go, but a true friend is there through it all.

    Wonderful review and I’m so glad you read it because now I can go and experience it ^^

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awh, Mary, thank you so much for this comment! Yeah, I’m always at such a weird spot with religion, but I always think there is something so beautiful about it/going? It’s the Filipina in me, I swear! Lmao! But I’m here if you ever need to talk or anything! And I hope life is treating you well, because you deserve the entire universe and all the stars in it, Mary! 💗xx


    1. Awh, thank you so much! I have only read this (which I loved), Beautiful Bastard (which I didn’t love and read SO long ago), and then Roomies last Christmas (and really liked)! BUT I just got an ARC for Josh and Hazel’s…. thing? Hehe! So hopefully I love it, too! I hope you’re having the happiest of reading, love! 💗xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I WAS HOPING YOU MEANT THAT ONE, BUT I WASN’T SURE! Ahhhh! I’m so happy to hear that! Adding to my wishlist NOW! Thank you, my love! And I can’t wait to read about Josh and Hazel! Even though, I’m looking at the cover and I’m like, “did we meet them in Roomies and I’m forgetting?” Hahaha! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s sweet… and so damn heartbreaking! Like, I cried while reading most of this! But… I’m super emotional, too? But if you pick it up, you’ll have to let me know! I fell so hard in love with this one, Sue! Happy reading, beautiful! 💗xx


  5. I love you, this book and this review with all my heart 💞 amazing job, babe! I couldn’t even begin to write my thoughts down after finishing this. Whenever I had to stop reading I would be in physical pain and keep thinking about the book, and your review brought back all the feelings! I love you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So much feels for this review and the book itself. We have a lot in common when it comes to personally relating to this book!! 💕📖

    Liked by 1 person

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