Autoboyography is a young adult novel written by Christina Lauren (Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings). I picked up this book during an Audible sale; based on the description, it seemed like something I would like.
Tanner Scott is a bit of an outsider at his high school in Provo; not only did he not grow up in Utah, but his family is not LDS (Mormon). He’s also bisexual, although he has not been “out” since moving from California to Utah a couple of years ago. Tanner’s friend Autumn persuades him to participate in a unique class called “The Seminar”, wherein kids write a full-length book in one semester. It’s kind of a big deal around town because last year, a boy named Sebastian Brother managed to get a publishing deal for his fantasy novel.
As it turns out, Sebastian is serving as a TA for the class this year, and Tanner is instantly smitten. His initial idea is a semiautobiographical story about falling in love with the TA for his class- very meta- haha! But Sebastian comes from a prominent LDS family, so there’s no possibility of anything ever happening between them, is there?
This book was absolutely amazing. It’s been longer than I’d like to admit that I’d like to admit since I was in high school, but some truths are universal. This book captures the angst and uncertainty so perfectly. Sebastian’s inner turmoil is very well done, as he attempts to reconcile his feelings for Tanner with his familial expectations and who he is supposed to do.
Most of the book is told from Tanner’s first person perspective; he’s a reliable narrator with a good sense of humor, and I enjoyed his thought process and insight. There’s one part that I found odd, however. The last 20% of so (I listened to the audio, so I don’t know for sure) was told from a third person perspective. Part of the narrative shift showed the reader Sebastian’s perspective, but then Tanner’s portion was also third person as well.
I would absolutely recommend Autoboyography. This book will appeal to its target demographic as well as fans of young adult fiction, but I do think it transcends the genre and will appeal to a wider audience. This story was just so sweet- I know it’s trite, but I really did laugh and cry at different points throughout the story. This is my first experience with Christina Lauren, but I am definitely going to read more of their books in the future!