Autoboyography

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 12 Sep 2017

Member Reviews

I loved this book! The full review will be posted soon at kaitgoodwin.com/books! Thank you very much for this wonderful opportunity to connect books to their readers!
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My heart has been stolen by this book!  From the moment I read the description, I knew I was going to love it.  The journey between Sebastian & Tanner was one filled with soo much emotion and had my emotions all over the place.
This book made me love, cry, my heart race and my heart break for these characters.  Their journey of wanting to feel and be accepted by each other as well as themselves and those around them was beautifully executed in this story.
A Must read!
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Imagine when a book touches on something that is personal to you. A character in which you can relate to. A story line that has a lasting impression on you Imagine a book that makes you feel like you are seeing your life told through the words on the page. Has that ever happened for you. For me, it has. In this case Autoboyography is the story that has a left a mark on me.

Following Tanner, dared by his best friend, Autumn, to take a seminar class where you write a book in four months, he does it in hopes of coming out with a book. However, after his first class and seeing Sebastian Brother, his mentor, he knows he might be coming out with a lot more. Over the next four months, Tanner must mask his feelings for the Mormon prodigy while trying to write a book that is a lot harder than he thought, especially since it follows his life and he doesn’t know the ending.

I connected really well with Tanner. Not just because he is gay but more so because of his personality. At first he realizes what can be at stake if he were to come out and profess his feelings for Sebastian the community could respond in a negative way. However, when feelings are not just one sided, let’s talk about complicated.

What was so great about this book was how raw the story was. This is someone’s actual story. The characters remind of actual people, the feelings, the confusion, the overall love for each other, all of these are someone’s and this is why this story is perfect. Christina Lauren tackle a book that can get complicated but do it with such ease that writing a book seems effortless.

If there is a book that can get you out of any reading slump, it’s this one. Am I wanting a novella that takes place a few months later, uggghhh YES! I am so happy I read this book and I am excited to see what else this writing duo has. Have you heard of this book? Have you read it? If not, I have found your next read.
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http://www.wesonerdy.com/2017/09/16/spotlightreview-autoboyography-christina-lauren/
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Autoboyography is the newest work from the dynamic writing duo of Christina Lauren and it’s pretty much a given that I will read anything these ladies put out.  This, of course, was no exception.  I was so happy and so lucky to have gotten an early copy of a book that truly is a book everyone should read.  For so many reasons this book is hugely important and is so relevant in today’s world.  Touching on many important things including sexual identity, religion, societal issues, family dynamic, and so many more, this book touched me on a level that will stay with me forever.
Tanner and Sebastian’s relationship starts out as an innocent mentor situation in a senior year advance writing class.  From that start, however, the glimmer of attraction between them was apparent.  We begin with Tanner pining for Sebastian from afar, knowing, for many reason, Sebastian would never be anything more than a crush. Sebastian, you see, even if he was gay, is a Mormon, and in that religion, having a romantic relationship with someone of the same sex was simply not done.  Ever.  Knowing how life is in a Mormon town, Tanner accepts that and continues his secret crush and is just thankful to be in Sebastian’s presence, even if it’s  in this way.   But each time they spend time together, Tanner can’t help but feel the attraction is mutual and is growing stronger every day.  He wasn’t wrong.  What follows, once Sebastian speaks his feelings out loud, is a beautiful and emotional journey of self-discovery, love and loss, and moments that will change both Sebastian and Tanner (and, I suspect readers) irrevocably.
I felt so many emotions while I was reading this story.  In fact, I’m getting all teary-eyed again as I type this. Looking at my young adult life, I have to say I was pretty lucky.  I lived in a small town but the people I surrounded myself with were mostly open-minded. I was raised to accept everyone regardless of sexual orientation and now that I have a 14 year old I have to say I’m so thankful for that upbringing.  I’m raising my son to know the same values and also, no matter who he choses to love, we support him. I know that there are so many young people struggling for acceptance after discovering who they are in their true self.  And man, does it break my heart.  Sebastian and Tanner are fictional but I know they represent so many real people just like them.
Tanner’s family loved him for him but were worried because, for obvious reasons, Sebastian choosing to have a relationship with him would be nearly impossible.  Of course they wanted to protect him from a broken heart.  Unfortunately, the heart wants who it wants. Sebastian’s family, because of their religion, know only one way and that’s for a man to love a woman.  Period.  So you can imagine the emotional journey that unfolds on these pages.  And yes, it was emotional, but it was also beautiful in the most important of ways.
The hopeless hopefulness Sebastian and Tanner have in their quiet moments together both broke my heart and mended it at the same time.  It was incredible.  I don’t want to go through and tell too many specific moments because this is a story you really need to experience for yourself and I don’t want to spoil even one moment for you.
Christina and Lauren, thank you for this book.  Thank you for bringing us Sebastian and Tanner’s story.  They will live in my heart forever.
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4.5 beautiful stars

‘I’m just a bisexual half-Jewish kid who’s falling in love with an LDS guy. The path for me isn’t as clear.’

This is our first book by Christina Lauren and we loved their flawless and stunning writing style. We were captivated by the storyline which was written with such intelligence and passion whilst having incredible depth. The struggles our characters face are quite apt in a society that has progressed immensely yet still has pockets of societal beliefs -be they religion based or not as the case may be- where acceptance comes with conditions and is dependent of a will bent to shape or fit a mould.  For us it was difficult to come to terms with the fundamental ideologies that shaped the idiosyncrasies of a religion with which we just couldn’t relate.

‘In summary: love and respect, but only if you’re willing to live by their rules…then exclusion is the only answer.’

Tanner is blessed with a family who are nothing but supportive and protective of their son; the protectiveness increasing when the family moves to a Mormon town where they know he will not be looked at with kind eyes. Tanner is a laid-back boy who loves life yet cannot wait to leave the confines of Mormon scrutiny and be free to love without repercussions, be open with those he cares for and not have to hide who he is, outside his front door.

“Are you willing to be a secret? Maybe you are for now. But this is your life, and it will stretch out before you, and you are the only person who can make it whatever you want it to be.”

Everything changes when he meets Sebastian; the son of a prominent Mormon family who is assisting in a prestigious writing class which saw Sebastian’s book being picked up by a publisher. Tanner immediately knows that Sebastian is someone special who he has to know and get close to. What begins as a crush soon turns into so much more as tension ensues with Tanner unable to stop writing their story day by day – moment by moment, wishing for his love to be returned.

“I don’t know what to do about how I feel or how to stop feeling this way about you…..Also why my book is basically about how it feels to fall for you.”

Sebastian’s life is planned and is meticulously following the Mormon way of life, ritual and tradition. He did not plan for Tanner nor did his family and his community. He is the quieter and more resigned of the two, leading a life that belies his heart. How long can he live a life that’s not what‘s meant to be? Two boys leading two very different lives under completely different circumstances. At what point and at what personal cost do you decide if your love and heart can withstand the weight of society’s pressure and family religion which may ultimately tear you apart?

‘He wants to read my book, the book about falling in love with him. But how can I send my heart to him when he’s just said, in no uncertain terms, that he doesn’t speak its language?’

Poignant, heart-breaking, inspirational, beautiful, funny and extremely relevant; Tanner and Sebastian’s story will move you to tears as well as smile whilst wanting to throw your kindle at other times at the nonsensical struggle people still face –to just be– and live their lives free from ramifications and ill judgements. Some find acceptance, support and loyalty; some are not so lucky. Where one struggles another does not. However, the world we live in is not an easy one –still- no matter the progress we seem to make. Love is love and love is fundamentally what we all want the world to run on.

‘This moment, and the quieter moments afterward, can’t be edited. They can’t be rewritten. They can’t be erased.’
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This was just absolutely AMAZING. SUCH a great narrative on queer issues as well as the Mormon culture. Loved the author's writing and just can't say enough great things about this novels.
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“Are you willing to be a secret?”

One of the most outstanding and truly unforgettable books I’ve ever read, this tender coming of age tale took my breath away, and to say I loved it would be a gross understatement. Exquisitely written, and laced with immeasurable amounts of heart and truth, this book perfectly captures the intensity and angst of teenage love, while relaying a message that is so powerful and relevant, it moved me to tears too many times to count. A genuine masterpiece that should be read by absolutely everyone.

“My family is very adamant that I don’t come out to anyone here, not unless I really trust the person.”

When eighteen-year-old Tanner Scott and his family moved from California to Provo—a predominantly Mormon town in the middle of Utah—his overly supportive parents had decided that it was in his best interest to keep his sexuality hidden from his peers and the deeply conservative religious community surrounding them. Encouraged all his life to be confortable in his own skin and proud of the person he is, Tanner cannot wait to move away for college, and with high school graduation only a semester away, he knows his closeted days are numbered.

The second my wheels hit the state line, I am going to roll down my window and wave my flag.

But when on the first day of a highly coveted book-writing course he meets Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who took that course the year before and then ended up selling his novel to a big publishing house, Tanner’s life tilts on its axis the moments he lays eyes on their new teacher’s aide. Across a busy classroom, their eyes meet and a half-Jewish queer boy falls irrevocably in love with the very devout son of a Mormon bishop.

As he faces the class from the front now, his eyes flash when they meet mine—for a tiny flicker of a second, and then again, like a prism catching light, because he does a double take. That fraction of a heartbeat is long enough for him to register my immediate infatuation. Holy shit, how quickly he recognizes it.

As inspiration continues to evade him and Tanner begins to battle the blank pages of his book, Sebastian offers to help him through his writer’s block, but the more time they spend together, in and out of the school setting, the more Tanner’s infatuation grows. And, to his surprise, it would appear that his feelings are very much returned.

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.

A secret romance between them begins to blossom, and we watch two young men from two very different worlds fall hopelessly in love with one another despite the very real risk of heartbreak. We watch Sebastian struggle to reconcile all he’s been taught to believe with all he knows to be true about himself, we watch him repeatedly deny his heart what it wants the most in the world, and fail at it time and time again.

“I tried to change. And to not even let myself imagine how it would feel . . . being with . . . But then I met you.”

And in the midst of it all, Tanner’s book begins to take shape, becoming a candid, personal account of a young love that refuses to be dismissed or condemned as sin, even if no one ever gets to read it at all.

He wants to read my book, the book about falling in love with him. But how can I send my heart to him when he’s just said, in no uncertain terms, that he doesn’t speak its language?

With the unyielding dogmas of Sebastian’s faith constantly making him question himself and the consequences of his choices, it becomes increasingly clear to them both that loving one another would inevitably lead to great sacrifice, and they must decide whether what they’ve found in each other is worth it.

“When I kiss you, it feels right, even if everything I read says it shouldn’t.”

Christina Lauren pens a remarkable tale of love and hope, speckled with gems of wisdom and insight into a world that up to now was entirely foreign to me. I am overcome with emotion every time I think of these characters, my heart wanting to burst out of my chest at the mere thought of this story, its importance, and the undeniable magnitude of its message. I feel my soul was enriched by this splendid book, and I cannot but sing its highest praises. A must-read.

“Did you ever look inside yourself while you prayed and try to find the seed of who you are in there, instead of just asking God over and over for permission to look?”
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Review by DMAC

(You don’t know how many times I typed the title as Auyobotography. The struggle is real….)

I know this is about the fifth book in a row I rated fives stars but it’s only because I lucked out picking five great books. I’m incredibly picky about what I give five star books to because it has to pass the threshold of “oh hey this book is great” to “I would read this 80 more times and yell at people about it.” Does that make sense?

This book was an emotional yo-yo because of teenagers, but mostly because of someone’s religion not being into the whole homosexuality thing. Which stressed me out a lot, but the book was really well written and I think that it gives a realistic portrayal of what trying to figure yourself out in high school (what love means, being bi, being gay). I think that the next time I read it I will enjoy it a lot more because I know what happens etc etc (no spoilers!)

Fair warning this has A LOT about the mormon religion in it because one of the MCs is Mormon. Personally, I was 100% bored out of my mind when the characters started going into detail about it. However, it fit in with the narrative and actually had a point within the novel so it wasn’t preachy or anything. It was just giving us perspective on a character.

This book was stunning in it’s portrayal of the ups and downs of being in a complicated relationship. Yeah they are teenagers, but it doesn’t dumb down their experiences or the language used to talk about them. This is always something I appreciate when reading YA because it shows that the writer has the maturity to recognize and write teenagers as young adults.

I loved Tanner a lot. Teenage boys can sometimes be the worst but he was fascinating. He’s kind of oblivious until he realizes something is going on and then goes at it 100%. Not quite a nerd, not a jock, but a regular kid who just wants to GTFO of his majority mormon school and town so he can go back to being out of the closet. He also had an interesting lady best friend and I was worried she was going to turn into a trope (girl in love with her best friend). Man, they really messed with a lot of stereotypes and tropes in this without making it seem like they were trying to do an anti-trope (is that a thing?).

Sebastian. I literally cannot tell you much of anything about Sebastian without it spoiling a lot of stuff. He’s one complex dude with one complex storyline. I wanted to straight up punch him in the face for most of the book but I also understood his perspective. I hope this lures you into reading the book instead of putting you off!!!!!! I promise he’s a good guy just really dumb about some stuff.

The only weird thing that made me annoyed was that most of the book is written from Tanner’s POV but in the last chapter it switches between their perspectives all of a sudden. I understood why they did it but it was also confusing at the time. Not a huge deal but I was like WAIT WHAT and had to reread some stuff even though it was labeled (Don’t @ me!).

EUGH THIS BOOK IS SO GOOD AND I CAN’T TELL YOU EXACTLY WHY AND I’M SO ANNOYED. I promise it’s good so go read it and come flail at me!
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Erica – ☆☆☆☆
4.5 Stars.

I need to preface this review with how I struggled at the beginning of Autoboyography. I also need to add I received an advanced copy, so I cannot comment on whether or not this is present in the published version.

I was close to DNFing the novel several times over during the beginning, which would have been a shame. The premise kept me reading – a bisexual writer in this coming-of-age tale. Truly, I’m thankful I kept reading, as I enjoyed the story immensely. To be honest, there was a different feel to the first three chapters versus chapter four and beyond. The pacing, flow of information, and scene structure, the majority of the first three chapters were rambling monologue, giving info the reader needed, but in a storytelling fashion. All tell, no show. There was little to no dialogue. But my biggest issue was how the narrator dropped readers into scenes in the middle of it, only for a few paragraphs, then would teleport the reader into another time and place without a transition.

Explanation: paragraphs of a classroom scene. One word later, the reader would be thrust into the mall. Classroom, then arcade. Classroom, then home. All partial scenes, in the middle, with no beginning or end. While this promotes fast pacing, cutting out any unnecessary info, it was beyond jarring and confusing. I'd flip back pages, wondering if I'd somehow missed the end of one scene, a mark denoting a passage of time, and the beginning of the next. Days could go by from the end of one sentence to the beginning of the next.

If you are reading this review, like I went searching due to my struggles, hang in there. It's worth it. The scenes become full-length at the start of Chapter 4. The authors begin showing, instead of telling.

Tanner is a well-rounded boy from a supportive family, with an equally supportive best friend. It was a breath of fresh air to have a narrator who wasn’t abandoned, or bleeding angst on every page. Dry wit and self-depreciating humor, Tanner knows who he is, what he wants, and where he wants to be in the future. He’s a non-religious bisexual boy living in an LDS community, raised by a Jewish parent and one who holds deep-seated resentment toward the Mormon church.

Tanner’s family is intelligent, open-minded, empathetic, supportive, and gives true-to-life, realistic advice by emotionally mature individuals. It was refreshing.

While Autoboyography does show different sides to LDS, instead of besmirching it, it’s written in a gray area, where it’s decisions made, left up to the individual.

Tanner falls deeply into infatuation with the TA in the Seminar, a class where students write a full novel during the semester. Color me jealous, but I wish this existed when I was in high school. The only issue, the boy Tanner falls for happens to be the son of a bishop in the LDS church.

On the pages, the reader follows Tanner’s coming-of-age journey, as the boy he loves has a conflict of conscience but never of faith. The comfort and clarity Sebastian found in his faith was inspiring, even during his deep struggles with the followers of said faith. The evolution mirrors the book Tanner’s writing. Cute. Sweet. Mortifying. Several times over, I dropped my Kindle into my lap, only to cover my face with my upraised palms. I was embarrassed for Tanner – blushing, laughing, and smiling. Shaking my head at the dang kid. Mortified.

Tanner and Sebastian had chemistry, tension, and a push-pull banter that was as humorous as it was seductive. A true connection was felt from the pages, causing the reader to become emotionally invested in the story.

I thoroughly enjoyed Autoboyography, and am so thankful I continued forth after struggling with the beginning. I recommend it to fans of the authors, as well as fans of the MM romance and Young Adult genres. But my recommendation goes deeper – young adults, especially those struggling with their sexuality while having faith, to experience the comfort of knowing they aren't alone. I also recommend reading by parents of these same children, to get a grasp on what they may be going through.


Sarah – ☆☆☆☆
Like all the best Young Adult writing, this story made me laugh and smile and cry and reflect. It is the story of a bisexual boy from an affluent liberal family who finds himself one of only a handful of non-Mormon kids in his new Utah small town. And he finds himself falling hard for his very Mormon writing mentor.

I was able to overlook the erratic pacing and the sometimes confusing plot structure because I fell hard and fast for Tanner. Most of the story is told from Tanner’s perspective and his experiences and observations are wonderful. I loved his friendship with Autumn and I wanted so badly to protect him from Sebastian.

Tanner’s experience as an outsider in a Mormon town is only compounded by his mother’s experiences growing up LDS and her adult resentment towards the church. Similarly, Tanner’s ‘coming out’ is tainted by his aunt’s very negative experience a generation earlier. I loved that the kids and the adults in this story are all multi-dimensional. We don’t get good and evil, we get people trying to do what’s right for them. Even when I wanted to hate Sebastian’s family, I was forced to understand their emotional and spiritual struggles.

Together, Sebastian and Tanner are wonderful. They are sweet and sometimes beautifully innocent. I wanted so desperately to protect their hearts – but this story is too honest for that.

While I loved the story, I did struggle with the writing. At times, scenes ramble on and on but in other places, readers are jolted from aborted scene to aborted scene quite erratically. But these characters are special and I had a powerful emotional reaction to their story.


Kris – ☆☆☆☆☆
A really new and different take on a coming of age/forbidden love story. Tanner's family moves to Utah, the land of Mormons and the LDS (Latter Day Saints church) where his mother grew up but left after the church shunned her gay sister. Tanner is bisexual and moving from open and out California to closed and closeted Utah is an adjustment, for sure. Of course, the one person Tanner finds a spark for is the LDS Church's, bishop's son!! Couldn't even be a girl he found completely intriguing. Sebastian is the poster boy for the LDS church. He's lived his entire life with a smile that covers a lie. Tanner brings out everything Sebastian is fighting to keep hidden. The two take on a forbidden romance and all the angst that comes with the fight against Sebastian's bishop father, the closed minded church town, and the intensity of first love. The beginning of the book threw me off a bit at first. Slightly disjointed and halting with quite a bit of over description. I was unsure where this story would go, but boy did my perseverance pay off and I implore you to do the same, KEEP READING! This book was a "can’t put it down, stayed up till 2am reading" story! Although I did find the ending a bit lackluster, although it was sweet and the way I wanted, I guess I just wasn't finished reading and wanted more. The book is very Young Adult with great descriptions that don’t go into much real detail but written extremely well.


Ruthie – ☆☆☆☆
I don't often read coming of age novels, but I am very glad that I read this one. The blurb absolutely captured my imagination, and did not disappoint.

I found that Tanner was beautifully written as a boy who is right on the cusp of manhood, but can fall either side of the line, just depending on what is happening to him at that time. He was such a fabulous romantic writer – even though we don't get to read his book, anyone who ever wrote pages of their feelings of unrequited love, can imagine just what he has expressed in it.

And the whole LDS element was fascinating to me, as someone who lives in the UK, where there really aren't such large groups of Mormons. I met a young man going on his mission a few years ago on a flight to Ghana – so I remembered his nervousness, his earnest desire to do well, and yet he had never been away before and had very limited expectations of being able to talk to his family over the next two years. So, I could feel for Sebastian, and the prospects of his next few years.

The idea of basing the story around a book writing class is inspired, as it provides so many opportunities for the two guys to meet, which would have not happened otherwise. There are also some fabulously important people that get to join the cast; Autumn without a doubt being the most noteworthy. Whilst at the beginning of the book she dips in and out of sight, her contribution later is at times essential, and also, she holds a twist or two in her hands!

Really, my advice is that you should get yourself a copy and enjoy a wonderful love story, with some unexpected twists and turns. And do it as soon as you can. This book is on my re-read list, because I know I will enjoy it even more second time around. Thank you, Ms. Lauren.
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I'm attaching a link to my complete review but I will say, this book is beautiful and honestly, should be required reading for all humans! The tone and style make for easy reading for such a deep and profoundly important topic.
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LGBT romance is not usually by cup of tea but the synopsis as well as the author captured my attention. I am a big fan of YA romance and am the mother of two teenagers. I felt like I had an understanding of the maturity level as well as thought process in the teenage world.  What I didn’t know much about was the religious aspect of this book.

This book was an eye opener because it gave me a better understanding of what many gay young people deal with on a daily basis within their families, among their peers, and society as a whole.  Geographical locations do make a difference in how society accepts the gay community.  In this case it was in Utah where the Mormon religion dominates the area.  The Mormon religion is more than a religious practice, it has a strict moral code in which the practitioners follow in every aspect of life.

This book became more than two teenage boys struggling to find their place in life as gay men, it was a case of religion verses sexuality, family relationships verses religion.

Christina Lauren did an impeccable job delivering a honest portrayal of all these issues.  They created an honest insight without delving into too much religion or too much gay rights issues.  They created two dynamic interesting young men finding love in a very difficult time of their lives with very difficult life circumstances.  They were sensitive with such matters and made the boys the most important part of this book.

I commend them for writing this book!
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4.5 Stars

“I’m curious whether you could ever like me, whether someone like you could be friends with someone like me.”

Sweet and lovely and important and fresh. Love the message of this book!

Autoboyography is a beautifully written and very poignant M/M story with a MESSAGE. On the one hand is Tanner, a bisexual teen whose family accepts him and loves him for who he is, On the other hand is Sebastian, a devoted member of the Church of LDS whose rigid and intensely religious family strictly follows the doctrines of the church. Where homosexuality is forbidden.

Tanner moved from California to Provo, Utah with his family when his mother accepted a wonderful job there. Although “out” to his family, he cannot be openly bisexual due to the overwhelmingly Mormon majority of his classmates, friends and the town. He falls hard for Sebastian, when he meets Seb in a writing class. Sebastian is about to have his first book published and is something of a celebrity around school and in town. He is also the teaching assistant for the writing class. The goal of the class is to write a book by the end of the course.

“Come on. I moved here when I was fifteen—which I think we can agree is the worst time to move from Palo Alto, California, to Provo, Utah—with a mouth full of metal and no friends. I have stories.” Not to mention I’m a half-Jewish queer kid in a straight and Mormon town.”

Tanner becomes infatuated with Sebastian, but has no clue if his feelings are reciprocated. He is unsure if he is reading the signals wrong, or if Sebastian is just deeply closeted. Sebastian helps Tanner with his book. Could it be even remotely possible that Sebastian is gay?

“But how can I send my heart to him when he’s just said, in no uncertain terms, that he doesn’t speak its language?”

My heart ached for Sebastian and Tanner. Yes they did fall in love. And Sebastian’s religion made him feel worthless and unloved by God and rejected by his family. He struggled with his feelings but knew that his family would never, ever accept his sexual orientation. So perfect from the outside, his family was actually intensely judgmental.

I adored Tanner and the sweet romance that developed between these two. This is not a steamy romance at all but it was very passionate and sweet and believable and REAL. While the beliefs of the Mormon church sometimes felt like they were being recited from a textbook, I understood how Sebastian could be so torn between his service to the Church, and his desire to live an authentic life. How beautiful it was that he finally found someone to love.

There are no evil characters here. Sebastian’s parents simply see no other path for their son other than his upcoming missionary work for three years. That is what they did, and that is what is expected of Sebastian. This book is about having the courage to stand up for your principles and for who you are. When Sebastian finally realizes that, he has already broken Tanner’s heart. This book is a journey that asks some tough and heartbreaking questions along the way.

Seb and Tanner were hot for each other. It was a healthy exploration of their sexuality, but Seb’s parents got to him and influenced him break up with Tanner.

These are two sweet, loyal, kind and funny boys. They deserve happiness! I think it is hard for most people to accept a church that basically cuts parents off from their own children based on who they love.

Overall I enjoyed the book because Tanner and Seb were so endearing and brave. I felt that the constant reminder that Tanner was a “half-Jew in a Mormon town” was overused, I got it the first 3 times it was mentioned . (Also not a fan of the new trend of placing a Nordstrom in virtually town in books. That takes me out of the book. If that part is fictional, what else about the LDS is made up? That’s my dilemma.)

Hopefully the LDS Church will have a “revelation” soon about coming out as gay or bi so that all of the wonderful young people can lead a full life with the love and acceptance of their families, friends and church.

“To think that God loves the trees, but condemns that blossoming thing they do in the spring.”
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Oh boy! This book has sneaked its way to my heart. I knew I’d like it (or I was hoping I would) but, oh my god, I wasn’t ready for this much perfection, Christina Lauren has written a true masterpiece. I’m still on the hype of this book and I just have no words, it’s incredibly cute, funny and relatable and I know a lot of kids out there might need a book like this for a little support.

 

Autoboyography is the story of, our very cute, full of hormones, and high school senior, Tanner, who moved from California to Utah three years ago which pushed him to wiggle his bi-sexuality back into the darkness… until he meets Sebastian Brother, the cutest, most untouchable, Mormon kid in town, but that doesn’t really matter to Tanner, or his heart, he finds himself falling head over heels for Sebastian, but that can’t really be the greatest idea.

If I had to choose a favorite character it would probably be Tanner, I think the fact that this book is written in his point of view was very special to me and him my #1. Since I was literally in his head reading his thoughts and seeing how nervous he felt or how giddy or pornographic his thoughts got… I loved every single word. I am a sucker for cute words, the way to my heart is pretty words and Christina Lauren wrote her way to my heart with Tanner’s thoughts.

This book also has a very big religious impact, Provo being a very Mormon town and Tanner being surrounded by a religion that doesn’t really accept his sexuality and Sebastian being such a Mormon prodigy, it causes him a bit of conflict throughout the book. I’m not truly a very religious person, I wasn’t raised going to church every week, my family is not really big on religion and I still enjoyed this book a lot and I think it can really teach us a little more about LDS and how it can have an impact on kids who might not be LDS kids but might be surrounded by the ideology a lot. I think it was a very fresh and light yet firm and informative take on religion.

I LOVE TANNER AND SEBASTIAN SO MUCH I CAN’T. Their story is just so… cute (please note the overused word cute on this review #sorrynotsorry, I need a thesaurus), as I said, it has a nice take on religion and I just… love their love so much it’s absolutely crazy. I did cry with this book (but then again when do I not), I physically felt it pull on my heartstrings and I loved it. 100%. I need to boy this book ASAP and you, reading this, need to as well. It’s just such a freaking good book! Definitely one of my all time favorites.
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Pro: Tanner had the most awesome family ever. They were able to be open and honest and it was quite a lovely thing to see. #FamilyGoals

Pro: Tanner is awesome. I totally fell in love with him myself. He was funny, witty, and intelligent. This made for some great banter in this book, and also made the time spent inside his head quite enjoyable. 

Pro: This book is not just about sexual identity. It's about identity in general, being your true self and doing things that are fulfilling and make you happy. I think a wide audience would be able to relate to this story on that level. 

Pro: The authors did such a fantastic job making me understand Sebastian's inner struggle. My heart physically ached for him. Shoot! I am getting a little misty just thinking about it right now. 

Con: I could have done without the Autumn-Tanner thing. It wasn't the worst, but it frustrated me. Obviously, it wasn't a deal breaker, as I still gave this book 5-stars, but I just didn't care for it. 

Pro: I am always a little scared to read books that feature religion, because religious people are often demonized in books, but Christina Lauren presented the LDS church from many sides. They showed good things about the church, and how some progress has been made regarding homosexuality, but they also acknowledged that more progress is necessary. They had characters who had left the church, and present their grievances with the church, but they also showed current members, who were more progressive and did not follow every last tenant to the T. It was a fair and balanced treatment of the church and I appreciated getting the various viewpoints. 

Pro: I adored watching the romance between Tanner and Sebastian blossom. It totally put a stupid grin on my face. 

Pro: To all those authors out there, who have disappointed me with their endings - listen up! This is how you do an epilogue. I got closure, and that is all I ever ask for. 

Overall: A beautiful and poignant love story packed with feels, which left me so warm, happy, and hopeful.
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‘I’m just a bisexual half-Jewish kid who’s falling in love with an LDS guy. The path for me isn’t as clear.’

This is our first book by Christina Lauren and we loved their flawless and stunning writing style. We were captivated by the storyline which was written with such intelligence and passion whilst having incredible depth. The struggles our characters face are quite apt in a society that has progressed immensely yet still has pockets of societal beliefs -be they religion based or not as the case may be- where acceptance comes with conditions and is dependent of a will bent to shape or fit a mould.  For us it was difficult to come to terms with the fundamental ideologies that shaped the idiosyncrasies of a religion with which we just couldn’t relate.

‘In summary: love and respect, but only if you’re willing to live by their rules…then exclusion is the only answer.’

Tanner is blessed with a family who are nothing but supportive and protective of their son; the protectiveness increasing when the family moves to a Mormon town where they know he will not be looked at with kind eyes. Tanner is a laid-back boy who loves life yet cannot wait to leave the confines of Mormon scrutiny and be free to love without repercussions, be open with those he cares for and not have to hide who he is, outside his front door.

“Are you willing to be a secret? Maybe you are for now. But this is your life, and it will stretch out before you, and you are the only person who can make it whatever you want it to be.”

Everything changes when he meets Sebastian; the son of a prominent Mormon family who is assisting in a prestigious writing class which saw Sebastian’s book being picked up by a publisher. Tanner immediately knows that Sebastian is someone special who he has to know and get close to. What begins as a crush soon turns into so much more as tension ensues with Tanner unable to stop writing their story day by day – moment by moment, wishing for his love to be returned.

“I don’t know what to do about how I feel or how to stop feeling this way about you…..Also why my book is basically about how it feels to fall for you.”

Sebastian’s life is planned and is meticulously following the Mormon way of life, ritual and tradition. He did not plan for Tanner nor did his family and his community. He is the quieter and more resigned of the two, leading a life that belies his heart. How long can he live a life that’s not what‘s meant to be? Two boys leading two very different lives under completely different circumstances. At what point and at what personal cost do you decide if your love and heart can withstand the weight of society’s pressure and family religion which may ultimately tear you apart?

‘He wants to read my book, the book about falling in love with him. But how can I send my heart to him when he’s just said, in no uncertain terms, that he doesn’t speak its language?’

Poignant, heart-breaking, inspirational, beautiful, funny and extremely relevant; Tanner and Sebastian’s story will move you to tears as well as smile whilst wanting to throw your kindle at other times at the nonsensical struggle people still face –to just be– and live their lives free from ramifications and ill judgements. Some find acceptance, support and loyalty; some are not so lucky. Where one struggles another does not. However, the world we live in is not an easy one –still- no matter the progress we seem to make. Love is love and love is fundamentally what we all want the world to run on.

‘This moment, and the quieter moments afterward, can’t be edited. They can’t be rewritten. They can’t be erased.’
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A beautiful love story you will want to read over and over again!

Do you have tissues? No? Then put this book down and get some, you are going to need them! This book tore out my heart, then healed it, then broke it again. Honestly it’s just one viscous cycle of emotions, I felt so much! Two boys, two wildly different backgrounds and a love that can never be allowed to happen? Like I said, grab those tissues! 

Autoboyography is about Tanner Scott and how his life is turned upside down and inside out in the space of a few weeks. In his final year of college he decides to take a seminar class were he’s expected to write a book in four months. It’s in his seminar class that he meets Sebastian Brother, a Mormon and honor roll student who sold the rights to his own novel the year before in the same class. While still at college and preparing for his book launch Sebastian is this year's seminar TA. 

"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."

So by now it’s obvious that Tanner falls head over heels in love with Sebastain and I know it’s not possible but it honestly feels like the phrase ‘head over heels’ was created for Tan and Seb. This is an actual love story and brilliant one at that.

"But if a tree falls in the woods, maybe in makes no sound.”

And if a boy falls for the closeted bishop’s son, maybe it makes no story.”

This book is funny, awkward and so painfully real that it’s impossible to read this book with any type of emotional distance, you are transported into the lives of Tanner and Sebastian; when they’re happy, you’re elated, when they’re sad you’re downright devastated. I know with absolute certainly that I will be coming back to reread this book time and time again.

Autoboyography tackles sexuality and religion with such care but also explores how one person can’t be defined by these factors. There was also really interesting family dynamics with both characters. One of my favourite characters was Tanner’s parents especially his mother, she left the Mormon community when she was a teenager and fears for her son being involved with Sebastian. Her relationship with Tanner was truly heart-warming, she’s so supportive and proud of him and goes above and beyond to show him.

“I forget not everyone lives in a household where a parent sleeps in a MY QUEER KID RULES nightgown.”

Overall this book was everything!! I fell in love from the opening pages. Autoboyography will break you and put you back together again, it’s a beautiful love story about finding yourself, being exactly who you are and of course falling desperately in love.
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Such a great story! A MUST read for EVERYONE. Even if you don't read contemporary YA you still NEED to read this one. This should be added to reading lists for high schools across the country!



I was so blown away by Christina Lauren’s Autoboyography that I emailed two of my former English professors to recommend the book to them for their YA Lit classes they have for teaching majors. I believe this book should be added to all high school reading lists across the world!!

Why was I blown away?

Book Hangover: Autoboyography is one of those novels I will be thinking about weeks after listening to it. This rarely happens to me. Sure I stay stuck on a book for a day or two maybe but weeks?! I can count on one hand how many books have stayed with me that long.

This novel is so beautifully written. They layers to the story, romance and characters can be broken down into other stories or possibilities. Yes the core of the story is a romance between two teenagers. That in of itself has heighten emotions. That first crush or love is special, scary and in some case forbidden. We’ve all ready novels with a Romeo and Juliet, star-crossed lover thing. Maybe one person is from a wealthy family and the other isn’t so they are divided by their classes. Others are forbidden (not to the level as a few decades ago) because they are not of the same race. Maybe the couple is from different religious beliefs. Then there’s the issue of gender or sexual orientation. The latter two are the big issues Tanner and Sebastian face.

Tanner is bi-sexual and his family is supportive of it. His parents had their own issues when they were dating (different religious backgrounds) so they know some of the issues that can tear a family apart. Sebastian is a ‘straight’ LDS (Latter-Day Saints, aka Mormon) guy who is heavy into his church and family. So these two young men have many issues to deal with internally and externally if they are going to be together.

I know little to nothing about LDS, just the typical stereo-types and I feel like I learned a lot by listening to Autoboyography (yes it’s fiction but the authors did their research to get the details right and I love that they didn’t demonize the church. Which if you listen to the authors/narrator interview at the end of the audio book which I highly recommend (the audio version and the interview) then you will know that was one of their main goals.)

If you’re not into audiobooks but can get your hands on a copy from the library you really should listen to the bonus interview at the end. In any case you NEED to read and/or listen to the masterpiece by Christina Lauren. I don’t care if Contemporary, YA and/or GLBT is not your “thing”. You will enjoy this book on a human level. This romance, much like Tanner’s story he writes in the novel, could be edited to be set on the moon with two other characters falling in love, it wouldn’t matter. The love and heart the author duo put into their writing and characters would still shine through and WOW you all the same.
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"It’s just one guy’s story, the lamest autobiography ever of falling in love. Love fails for a million reasons— distance, infidelity, pride, religion, money, illness. Why is this story any more worthy?"

Autoboyography is more worthy. Christina Lauren delivers a beautifully poignant story of two teenage boys, brought together by the written word, facing all that lies between them in a community where everything is stacked against them. I absolutely love a good Christina Lauren romance but there's something especially captivating about young love, something profoundly important about THIS love. This YA love story is as thought-provoking and hopeful as it is emotional and sobering and I enjoyed every single moment. A wholly refreshing change for Christina Lauren, Sebastian and Tanner's story is one I couldn't get enough of, one I won't soon forget, one I hope every human reads. 

This is such a smart story, an eye opening coming-of-age account of letting go of prejudices, of seeing beyond what we think we know. It's a story of love and attraction and religion and sexuality and family and friendship. It's a story about truth. It's a story about the boxes we let ourselves be placed in and the labels we refuse to wear. It's about Sebastian and Tanner's beautifully turbulent journey of stepping outside of the safe little boxes they're kept in and finding a soft place to fall when everything else falls apart.

"But we’ve both been raised to care greatly what our family thinks about us— their esteem is everything . On top of that, Sebastian has the looming judgment of the Church, telling him wherever he looks that the God he loves thinks he’s a pretty foul human being. It’s impossible to know how to undo the damage they’re doing to him."

I love a book that can make me look at the world in a new way and this story is truly eye opening on so many levels. Sebastian and Tanner represent two drastically different circumstances for a young gay teenager in America. Both have a solid foundation that has shaped who they'll become. Tanner has his family. Sebastian has his faith. One is staunchly supported and protected by his family, the other lives in fear of them finding out his truth. Their relationship couldn't be more complex, their circumstances couldn't be more impossible. Truly, this is a forbidden, taboo relationship, not because it's wrong, but because it's been deemed wrong by religion and culture and public opinion. Watching them fall in love is blissfully romantic and so exciting. But they exist on this harrowing precipice of impending heartbreak, in a constant state of fear that the bottom will soon drop out. Their fierce attraction collides with the all too real risk of being found out making for such an overwhelmingly emotional reading experience. 

This is SUCH A PHENOMENAL story. This is Christina Lauren at their most brilliant, their writing absolutely stunning on these pages. I absolutely love their love stories, love their characters, love to get lost in the decadent world they create with their words. But this book isn't just a romance. This book is important. Eye-opening. Unforgettable. This book sends a profound message that every young person needs to hear no matter their circumstance. Autoboyography is about love and acceptance, and seeking to understand the things we're afraid of. Every facet of this richly layered plot demands we remove our preconceived notions and biases and stereotypes and find understanding. I hope every young person reads this story and realizes their worth, that they come to understand that the purest form of love has no strings or conditions and that they believe they are worthy of it. I hope every parent reads it and becomes inspired to be better, to be more protective, to be a staunch advocate for whatever their child faces. This story WILL inspire you to be better, to love harder, to seek understanding, to judge less. Autoboyography is a masterful, powerful read, a story that is as adorably sweet as it is profoundly important, and the more I think on it, the more impressed I am with just how brilliantly this book was crafted. This is one of the most well written books I've read this year, unequivocally one of the most important. It's beautiful and tragic and so real and I absolutely adored it.
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