Julián Luna has a plan for his life: Graduate. Get into UCLA. And have the chance to move away from Corpus Christi, Texas, and the suffocating expectations of others that have forced Jules into an inauthentic life. Then in one reckless moment, with one impulsive tweet, his plans for a low-key nine months are thrown—literally—out the closet. The downside: the whole world knows, and Jules has to prepare for rejection. The upside: Jules now has the opportunity to be his real self. Then Mat, a cute, empathetic Twitter crush from Los Angeles, slides into Jules’s DMs. Jules can tell him anything. Mat makes the world seem conquerable. But when Jules’s fears about coming out come true, the person he needs most is fifteen hundred miles away. Jules has to face them alone. Jules accidentally propelled himself into the life he’s always dreamed of. And now that he’s in control of it, what he does next is up to him.
I mean, a closeted teen drunkenly outs himself over Twitter. Truly, that’s all I needed to know to want to read this book. I also knew it would be a coming of age story and soccer would be involved. I mean, all those things sound like they’d make a great combination! Plus, there has been so much love for this book online, so I was super pumped to see what I would think of it! Trigger warnings: emotional and physical abuse, suicidal ideation, homophobia
This needs to become of the THE gay coming of age books. It is simply packed full of potential to become that big and beloved.
There were a few things about this book that I did not personally love completely, but my overall feelings towards it are very positive!
First off, it felt like it was completely immersed in actual teenagerhood. It felt like the characters acted like teens, spoke like teens, and were just simply teens. I always appreciate that in YA books, and it really stood out for me here. It’s about a Lantix gay teen struggling with his identity, his place in the world, and where he fits in. Sometimes this is painful, and sometimes it’s messy, and that’s alright, and the emotions that come along with this are completely alright as well. It felt like a book that teens need, and I really, really hope it finds them.
Along the same lines, pretty much the complete coming of age aspect of this book was amazing. It’s messy and it hurts and it’s angry and it’s painful, but it’s also full of love and hope and friendships and a ton of kissing as well. Just, I want to give Jules a hug and tell him he’s doing great and his future is so bright.
This book also features a long distance relationship, and I loved how it felt so realistic. The whole romantic relationship felt so realistic really. There were times when there was strife and anger simply because it was a low point. There were times when the distance felt longer and wider than ever. But both of them wanted it to work, and they made it work. There were was so much happy along with the hard, and it made it so fantastic.
And wow, the food descriptions were freaking top notch. And coming from a picky, PICKY eater, this is a huge compliment.
While I loved Jules, and I loved all the side characters, I felt like the side characters were too much on the side. Stick with me, because I know that sounds totally weird. I felt like side characters could have been more developed, and it could’ve given the overall book a more rounded feel. Personally, I would have liked to see their stories just a little bit more!
And I’m closing this off with the title. BECAUSE THE FREAKING TITLE. It ripped my heart out.
Overall, this was book was amazing. It was heartfelt, gut wrenching, and amazing. I truly did really like it.