Cover Image: Imogen, Obviously

Imogen, Obviously

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Member Reviews

This is the type of YA book that makes me love YA. Imogen is the straight friend in all her friend groups. She’s a high school senior but visits her best friend Lili at college and becomes close with Lili’s queer friend group, but they think Imogen is also queer. Is the plot predictable? Yes, especially if you know Becky Albertalli’s personal story. Is it still adorable? 100% yes. 
Also.. points for it being set in the finger lakes region of NY, which is not far from where I live! I am not close enough to be a local but it seemed to hit all the landmarks (including the thinly veiled actual college ) really well! Didn’t expect that after all of the Atlanta books!!
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Imogen, Obviously by Becky Albertalli is an LGBTQIA book about questioning sexuality after being an ally to friends and family. Imogen visits her best friend during a college tour, trying to enjoy herself while spending time with her best friend's college friends. After her best friend reveals that she's told her friends that Imogen is her ex-girlfriend, Imogen begins to question her sexuality: is she hetero or bi? When she's attracted to Tessa, a friend in the LGBTQIA friend group. Once this starts to unfold, Imogen incessantly questions her attraction and identification. And when I say incessantly, it becomes a repetitive inner monologue that becomes redundant. While I believe the "questioning" aspect of this is important, it overrode what could have been a dynamic story. There was conflict between Imogen and her friend Gretchen, who spend most of the novel texting about their tour experience. I would have preferred reading more about Imogen and Tessa's attraction and connection develop. Even the times when the group was playing pranks on each other were a nice distraction from Imogen's back and forth. Yet, despite the feeling gymnastics and guilt over potentially not being enough of an ally, Imogen, Obviously gave a satisfactory happy ever after.
Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Becky Albertalli has done it again! I felt so seen reading a book about capital A Allyship that had something bigger at play. I can see so many teens also feeling seen and needing this kind of story, especially in today’s terrifying climate. All identities matter and are valid!
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I wanted to love this book considering how much Imogene’s journey paralleled my own (we even have the same birthday oddly enough) but unfortunately the novel fell flat and didn’t grab my attention like I hoped it would. At one point, I looked at my reading progress expecting it to be at least 60% done but I was only about 30% done.

I felt like I was being beat over the head with the overall theme. Like, I get it, Imogen is straight but she’s having butterflies when around this new queer friend, oh but wait no she’s queerbaiting, or is she? It was so repetitive I honestly almost DNFed about 40% in.

I do believe there are some important points & conversations that occur throughout the book about who gets to decide who is welcome in queer spaces and how no one is owed an explanation for another person’s queer identity. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone in the beginning of their queer journey who might be unsure of their feelings. I could see myself needing this book 10-15 years ago when I had no idea who I was.

Thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollins - Balzer + Bray for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Imogen, Obviously is incredibly precious and Imogen is a cinnamon roll. This coming-of-age queer awakening story shows how compulsory heterosexuality can mess with how someone explores their own sexuality. As a person who did think they were "just an ally" for 27 years too long, I can't even express how much I LOVED this book. The passion and care Becky Albertalli put into the pages of Imogen, Obviously is crystal clear.

Where do I sign up for my own Tessa? I've been looking for a Jewish lesbian love interest myself (so if you know anyone *hint* *hint*). She is chaotic, quirky and full of flirty banter. Reading through her texts with Imogen is one of the best parts of the story. Whenever they interact, you can't help but cheer for their success and for Imogen to realize this IS what a crush feels like. 

Lili's friends at college is one of the best examples of found family. They're welcoming, extremely sweet and comforting. Seeing the community they've build is heartwarming. Also, the scenes related to the tiny German sausage are hilarious. Having comedic breaks was important.

I didn't expect to hate Gretchen as much as I did. She was exhausting. The way she disagreed with anyone who didn't conform to her definition of queerness was upsetting. Not everyone comes to the realization that their gay at a young age. Some, like me, and Imogen, learn it later in life–we're late bloomers. I'm thankful none of my friends ever invalidated my questioning period. That said, Gretchen's character is a true portrayal and based on her lived queer experience–it's just not the only queer experience out there.

It's important to note how Imogen, Obviously explores events and actions that may be triggering to some readers including biphobia (internalized and externalized), gatekeeping, gaslighting, forced outing, homophobia, underage drinking and discussions surrounding queerbaiting. But, at the same time it also shines a light on found family, acceptance and queer joy.

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YA LGBT contemporary romance/realistic fiction. Having read Simon vs the Homosapians, Becky Albertalli is a go-to voice for me in the YA LGBT romancelandia.  In Imogen, Obviously, Albertalli destroys the queer baiting, gatekeeping discourse in the queer community to perfection. This story was a genuine and unique approach about a girl’s search for her true identity. Behind that beautiful cover is a serious tale. Heavier moments are  effortlessly balanced out by so many cute, wholesome, and really funny moments  This may be one of Becky Albertalli's best works yet.
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I adored Imogen, Obviously. The book features fantastic representation for the LGBQIA+ community that you do not see everywhere. A fantastic book about the journey of self discovery and learning to accept and love yourself. This is a beautiful book that every library should definitely have on hand.
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I really enjoyed reading this book! Imogen is the quintessential bisexual questioning their feelings and sexuality after being told forever that she is straighter than a ruler. There is great character growth throughout the book and you can’t help to just root for Imogen.
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I don't really know what I expected when I picked this book up, but what I got was not it. I have never seen a book pander to a Gen Z audience so hard in my entire life. To describe the dialogue as cringey is an understatement. I have never heard ANYONE describe an in person argument as discourse, or refer to someone's opinion as discourse. It's a term that is pretty universally acknowledged as being an online term.

The main character had 2 personality traits: over thinking everything, and worrying about wether or not she acted/looked too "straight" to be part of the queer community. At a certain point it does become exhausting. So, I guess the lesson there would be to just be yourself? There were some cute moments but overall this book is a borrow not a buy.
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• Love the new revelations and character growth for Imogen in one weekend
• Imogen's anxiety felt real and raw as she goes through new discoveries
• I loved how personal the story got!
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**Thank you to NetGalley and Balzer+Bray for this e-copy. I was approved for this book after the publication date, by which point I had already bought it, so any quotes are from the final published version**

Imogen is surrounded by queer people: her best friends are bisexual (Gretchen Patterson) and pansexual (Emilia "Lili" Cardoso - initially pansexual,  but by the end possibly panromantic asexual or demisexual), and her sister is a lesbian (Edith "Edie" Scott). She also thinks she is a great ally, one who attends all the Pride Alliance meetings.

We meet Imogen as she is being dropped off to spend the weekend at her best friend Lili's dorm at Blackwell College. Lili is kind of upset that despite having inviting Imogen many times, she never came until now. Imogen admits that she was intimated by Lili's "queer friends" and that she was concerned about her right to even be there in their queer space, since she has never seen herself as anything other then straight and was concerned about their comfort. Little does Imogen know that Lili has told her friends a lie: that she and Imogen used to date, and Imogen is bisexual. This make her feel a lot of things, as you can imagine.

As the weekend goes on, Lili's friends fully accept Imogen without questioning her at all, despite her being worried they will sense her straightness. She even attracts the attention of Tessa, Lili's lesbian friend. Imogen starts to develop a crush on Tessa, and begins questioning herself, looking back at her whole life and the things that have happened. Then she realizes: she might not have been straight after all, as the pieces come together.

This book is about finding yourself, your community, and understanding that no one has the authority to decide what is considered "queer" or "queer enough," and we should all just respect each other and our journeys.
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I LOVED IT! Becky Albertalli is an auto-buy author for me, and Imogen, Obviously just confirms why I love Becky's books so much. I think this is such a relevant book. I loved the LGBTQ+ rep and how Becky handled such important topics like identity, labels, and so much more. The characters were so realistic and lovable. I binged this one, and you should too.
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I purchased a copy of this for my classroom library before reading it because, it's Becky Albertalli so of course I did! I finally carved out time to read this over the weekend and I absolutely loved it! Imogen is a likable, relatable, and fantastic character and I think many teens will relate to the experience of finding out more about yourself when you step into a new environment. This is the perfect story for any young person (or old!) who is still figuring out exactly who they are and for anyone just trying to be supportive of the people in their lives who are figuring things out. 10/10, no notes!
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I thoroughly enjoyed this! It spoke to Becky’s traumatic experience of being forcibly outed and having her personhood questioned. Imogen was relatable and kind and trying and that’s more than anyone can ask of a person. I loved the romance, the self discovery , the friendships and more.
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This was such a fantastic read! It hit so close to home for me. Today's teens are so lucky to have books like this and I couldn't be happier for them.
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There’s few contemporary YA authors I’ll read anything they put out, but Becky Albertalli is one. And I’m so glad I read this. From the author’s note at the beginning, you know this story is deeply personal for Becky, and that connection to the plot is felt throughout. One thing that keeps me coming back to her books is how readable they are, and this is no exception. I devoured the entire thing in one day, unable to put it down once I got started. Imogen and her family/friends are written so well and in such a realistic way (again, a Becky Albertalli staple to me is that all characters and dialogue feel true to life). She really captured the emotions of the end of high school/beginning of college experience, and Imogen is a great lens to view the changes through. Seeing her character spend most of the book in a web of self-doubt, only to come out at the end with a stronger sense of who she is was perfect. I think this story is going to resonate with a lot of people who read it, not just teens. I would 100% recommend.
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Great book for young adults. The characters are very relatable. Many young adults (especially females) will love this book and relate to it.
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Oh my goodness this book! I loved it. I found the characters relatable and fun. It had a little bit of everything and I devoured it
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I think I'm landing on 4-stars with Imogen, Obviously, mostly because I had a very hard time putting it down and read it in pretty much one day, which is impressive since I've been struggling with reading attention lately. However, despite that dreamy cover and a lovely romance plotline, it's not without it's flaws.

I feel a lot of big Ways about Imogen, Obviously, and it's abundantly clear that Becky Albertalli feels strongly, passionately, about this story. I'm very much aware of the author's coming out story, and I imagine that this book is a very personal one to Becky Albertalli. It feels like a big story, and the character's emotions feel extremely raw and close to the surface.

Things I enjoyed were the romance (dreamy!), Tessa (and actually the whole group of college friends), and the discovering-yourself plotline. Sexuality discovery stories will always hold a special place in my heart, and I adored that part of the story. Also, the chemistry between Imogen and Tessa was pretty electric, and I adored Tessa's flirting style and banter. A+ character development. The friends were pretty much the dream cast of accepting college friends, and it made me nostalgic for my college days. Just a cute dynamic between the friends all around. Honestly, there was a lot to love about the story, including a very well done writing style that kept me wanting more. There is a reason I keep coming back to this author.

There were a few things I struggled with in the story, however. For one, I think the big baddie gatekeeper did have a few valid points. There is no right or wrong way to be queer, and you should NEVER invalidate someone's sexuality, but there is something to be said for queer people getting to tell their stories or have their opinions heard in queer spaces. I think it's very true that you shouldn't make assumptions about people or their sexuality/gender identity, but I think that to frame the gatekeeper character (I won't say names to avoid spoilers, but it's pretty obvious) as sort of the villain isn't fully okay either.

To take a tangent into very personal territory, I had a lesbian, very out housemate in college when my best friends all went abroad, and her friends were ALL queer. For a full year, I spent every week watching new episodes of "The L Word," going to queer comedy shows and queer clubs, and being a part of that world. I was the Imogen, but straighter and with much less self awareness at the time. Reflecting back, I always debate if I was infringing on their queer spaces too much or getting too immersed in the community without being a member of it, and the fact that I am an avid consumer of LGBTQIA+ books has made my internal debate continue to this day. My conclusion is that I really don't know the right answers, but I think what I'm trying to say is that raising some concerns can be valid. Does that make sense?

I think this book veered a bit into being preachy about acceptance, mostly because the author personally feels so strongly about it, but I aside from that, I think it was a really well done story. I don't read enough sapphic romances, so when I read a story with a couple that really makes my heart sing, I latch on. I wish we got more of Tessa and Imogen's story from after they got together, or maybe this author could write more lesfic romances, because I thought she slayed that part of the story.

All in all, I love Becky Albertalli's writing style, and this book really lived up to my expectations. Though it wasn't perfect, I had the hardest time putting it down (I almost read my Kindle in the shower), so that makes it at least a 4-star read in my book.

*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*
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This was such a nuanced, thoughtful, inclusive, hopeful book. I loved Imogen and the cast of characters, and Albertalli's exploration of queer community was thought-provoking and necessary.
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