When I picked up Autoboyography by Christina Lauren, I had high expectations. I’ve never read a novel by them before, but they’d caught my attention during Book Con 2017 over the summer at a romance panel. It sounded like a beautiful story, but let me tell you, that is an understatement.
I was immediately drawn in by Tanner and his hysterical wit. Then, there’s the first real moment when I feel as if Tanner and I are one. When he first sees Sebastian Brother, who happens to be Tanner’s TA during an English seminar in his senior year of high school, his entire nervous system goes haywire. Do you know that moment when you first spot someone and your heart starts to overreact and turn you into a heap of useless limbs? Well, Christina Lauren capture that perfectly. In that moment, you’re drawn right into Tanner’s head and if you don’t squeal over how simply adorable it is, you should have your emotional capacity checked.
“It is a big deal. I’m describing how my heart beats.”
As their love story unfolds, there are myriad moments like this–when my heart skips a beat along with Tanner’s while he falls head over heels for Sebastian. There’s something so lovely and pure about it (well, Tanner doesn’t always have the purest thoughts, but hey, he’s only human).
Of course, it’s not all idyllic. Tanner is a proud bisexual, but the Mormon town that he lives in makes it very difficult to come out to anyone except for his family. Tanner’s family is awesomely supportive, but Sebastian’s side of things is a lot more complex. He’s in an odd, confusing place inside his head–he knows that Tanner is who he wants and expresses that in every way, but he can’t untangle himself from his Mormon religion. There are some really heartbreaking scenes when they start to address the conservative elephant in the room, and it’s awful to think that there are thousands of people out there who still have this conflict to contend with when all they want is to love.
If you’re looking for a well-written young adult romance with wit, charm, and a beautiful message about acceptance and love, this is it.