Name: I Wish You All the Best
Author: Mason Deaver
When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they’re thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents’ rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school.
But Ben’s attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan’s friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life.
Everyone should read this book. I mean this so badly. It covers topics like gender dysphoria, sexuality and gender identity amongst others in such a brilliant way, especially for a YA novel. It’s one of those books that actually impacts your life – and that’s pretty cool. Whatever your sexuality or gender, the subjects handled in I Wish You All the Best applies to everyone, and reading a book like this helps you to understand that they really do apply to everyone.
So. I’d heard mentions of it here and there, and was interested to read from a viewpoint I’d never really seen before in YA books. After trawling through numerous bookshops, it was finally pointed out to me that I Wish You All the Best is only stocked in American bookshops 🙄. But, thanks to some googling and quick delivery (you gotta love the book depository), I eventually got my hands on a copy. And it did not disappoint.
This is the story of Ben, a non-binary teen who is thrown out of their house after they come out to their parents. Ben moves in with their estranged sister, switching to a new school where they (meet Nathannnnn) come to terms with who they are to themselves and the people around them. Heartfelt and moving, it was powerful in the little ways – Becky Albertalli
‘s review on the front is perfect. I loved Mason Deaver’s writing style, they wrote about difficult subjects in, not quite a relatable but certainly an empathetic way – I’d love to read their next book. I could read entire chapters of Deaver’s descriptions of them holding hands 🥺 .
Don’t ignore the problems,” he says. “Learn from them. But also, don’t knock what you get right. Every success deserves a celebration.”– I WISH YOU ALL THE BEST
Not quite a flaw, but the book focused more around Ben’s platonic relationships rather than romantic. And whilst it was great to watch these develop, I just wanted MORE from Ben and Nathan. It was an incredibly long build up (Ben was the most opaque person ever) that went straight to an epilogue. I’d have preferred more time in-between.
However, everything else is very very good. I loved Nathan, he was a humanised love interest, which we always love. Ben was extremely well written as well. And, for the sequel (which I will make happen) I really do wish them all the best.
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