Oh, My Heart! : Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

Oh, My Heart! : Autoboyography by Christina LaurenAutoboyography
by Christina Lauren
Release Date: September 12th 2017
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA
Format: eARC
Pages: 288
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Source: ARC received for review purposes

Fangirl meets Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda in this funny and poignant coming-of-age novel from New York Times bestselling author Christina Lauren about two boys who fall in love in a writing class—one from a progressive family and the other from a conservative religious community.

Three years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go, and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah.

But when his best friend Autumn dares him to take Provo High’s prestigious Seminar—where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester—Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgment and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity.

It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him.

ARC received for review purposes in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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Christina Lauren are a wildly popular duo in the romance community, and with Autoboyography, no doubt the YA community will also go wild for this talented pair. Autoboyography is a lovely, heart-felt book about sexual identity, religion, love and family that teens and adults alike will fall in love with.

Tanner and Sebastian could not be more different from each other, but somehow the two meet, and fall in love with each other. The book is predominantly told through the voice of Tanner, a proud bisexual boy who is only out to his family in his new Utah town. He is a total sweetheart, who captured my heart with his easy-going personality and kind soul. He is outgoing, smart, level-headed, and loves like nobody’s business. Sebastian on the other hand is more quiet, and very devoted to his Mormon religion. Tanner and Sebastian meet in Tanner’s seminar class where Sebastian is the teaching assistant. Somehow the book that they have to write in the class turns out to be an autobiographical love declaration for Tanner. The two start a super sweet romance that will absolute charm readers with the shyness, the stolen glances and the blushes. Their relationship had me squealing in happiness, and had my heart swelling because I was filled  with so much joy while reading their interactions. Of course, there are obstacles that abound, largely due to Sebastian’s Mormonism, a religion that’s not accepting of same sex relationships. The secrecy of their relationship will bring about feelings of melancholy occasionally, but the innocence and the absolute pure love between them keep you on cloud nine. When reality does catch up to them, it’s heartbreaking, and Christina Lauren make you feel all the emotions they experience, so much so that I shed a tear here and there.

Autoboyography not only explores sexuality, but it also tackles themes of family, friendship and acceptance. Tanner’s beautifully supportive family will have you sobbing silently. His mom, in particular, a former LDS who left the church after the way they treated her gay sister, was amazing. She is loving, supportive and cares so deeply for her son. Their bond is the sweetest, and I loved watching them interact. Though his parents are wary of the relationship between Tanner and Sebastian, because they fear it will end in heartbreak for Tanner, they are nothing but supportive of him. Their priority is at all times Tanner’s happiness. It’s refreshing to finally see parents who are deeply involved in the lives of their children in YA. Tanner’s relationship with his best friend, Autumn, who also happens to have a crush on her, is also explored with a lot of nuance. It’s not a straightforward friendship, and the authors do a great job at showing all the complexities of that relationship. Christina Lauren also makes Autoboyography a knowledgeable book through the depiction of Mormonism here. Tackling religion is always a hard task for a writer, in my opinion, because it needs to be done with a lot of respect, which is exactly what Christina Lauren did here.  They give you a peek at the lifestyle and beliefs of Mormons, and though the religion is an obvious deterrent to the romance, it’s not portrayed as evil or cultist, which I very much appreciated.

Autoboyography feels like the apple of Christina Lauren’s eyes, and I urge you to check out this sweet book that’s more than just a romance. It will make you laugh, cry and in the end, smile.

 Have you read anything by Christina Lauren? Who are some of your favorite authors who successfully transitioned from one age group to another?
Let me know in the comments below!

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  • Ohhhh I hadn’t heard of this one before now, but it sounds like one that I would really enjoy. I don’t believe I’ve read anything from this author before either, and I’m always looking for new-to-me authors. I’m not a religious person but I don’t enjoy stories that repeatedly bash religion so it’s great to hear that it was handled well in this one. I love that there are supportive parents in this one too. You don’t see too much of that in YA. Great review, Nick!

    • Ahh this is such a Julie book! Yes, it annoys me when books feature religion as overly negative. While there’s no doubt religion has its downs, it has its ups too.

  • Aww, this seems great. I haven’t read Christina Lauren, but they’ve been on my list. Glad their YA debut is great.

    • You should check them out. They have some fun books.

  • sarabara081 @ Forever 17 Books

    I’ve read a couple of their previous novels and do enjoy their writing overall. I’m not always big on stories with any sort of religious aspect thrown in but how you describe its inclusion here seems like I won’t have a problem with it at all. Great review!

    • I’m the same way with religious elements, but it was done so thoughtfully here. Thanks!

  • I have read a few Wild Seasons books, and this was one of my Can’t Wait Wednesday picks, so I am ecstatic that you liked it. I love when the books have awesome families. You totally confirmed all my thoughts about what this would be, and I am so excited to check it out myself. Great review!

    • I hope you end up loving it, Sam! I know how excited you are for it. 🙂

  • I am so excited for this one. I saw this blurb and knew I had to read it. So glad you enjoyed. Great review!

    • Yay, Grace! I can’t wait for you to read it.

  • Write a book in 4 months? I sure hope they do not need to attend classes then

    • Have you not heard of authors writing a book in 1 week? 😉

  • Morgan @ The Bookish Beagle

    I adore this cover and I read my first Christina Lauren recently and enjoyed it so this is perfect timing! Autoboyography sounds suuuper wonderful and you know I trust your romance opinion! This sounds intense but really sweet and cute, and I always like when religion is portrayed respectfully but not in a preachy way. Plus that Fangirl meets Simon comparison is hard to resist! Lovely review 🙂

    • You should definitely check this out. You will love the romance. I love how shy and awkward they were around each other. 🙂

  • kindlemom1

    I’m glad the author handles this so well, especially with the religious side to it. Wonderful review Nick!

  • Yay for present and caring parents. This sounds wonderful Nick!

    • Right? We need more of those!

  • This is one of my most-anticipated fall releases! I can’t wait to read it– even more so after reading your review. Yay for great parent relationships and friendships in YA! I grew up in a heavily Mormon area, so I’m especially excited to see how that is tackled in the book (from everything I’ve heard, it’s done really well). Wonderful review, Nick!

    • I hope you love it, Madalyn! I can’t wait to see what you think of it.

  • This sounds heart wrenching. I never read this author before. I need to research this one. Thanks for sharing.

    • It was! Broke my heart but mended it right back! 🙂

  • Wow, this sounds REALLY good. I must admit, it’s not something I’d ever pick up, because I am super guilty of judging a book by its title, and this title seemed.. Idk, silly? But wow, the book sounds anything BUT silly! I love that the authors did such an amazing job of tackling religion, especially one as strict as the Mormon one can be. And the friendships and family stuff and the sexuality, wow sounds like there is just SO much good stuff happening here! I am going to have to add this one t my list! Great review, Nick!

    • I know what you mean! You should certainly give it a try though. It’s definitely not a silly book! 🙂

  • Ahh, this sounds so good! I haven’t read any of their books yet, but I recently got Roomies. Totally adding this one, though.

    • They write really fun books. You should check them out!

  • Have not read this author, but I am going to see if I can get this one because I want to explore the LDS angle. I grew up in a tight knit Mormon community so I am always interested to read about people who leave it as I did. Thanks for the recommendation, Nick.

    • I didn’t know that, Heidi. You should definitely check it out, and I’ll be curious to hear your thoughts.

  • Whoa, Christina Lauren are writing YA now??? I had no idea! I wouldn’t normally pick this sort of story up, but I do love them and I gotta admit this sounds great. Stories that feature religion in any prominent way can go wrong so easily, but from what you’ve said they pulled this off beautifully!

    • This is their first if I’m not mistaken, but I’m hoping it’s not their last! I think you’d enjoy this! 🙂

  • Wow, this sounds interesting! I’ve not read any Christina Lauren but I know the name (who doesn’t) but this may be the book which convinces me to go ahead and read one of their books. I love that it features religion (for some reason, even though I’m not religious I like when religion features in book and it’s done well) I especially like that it focuses on a different branch of religion and one which I don’t actually know much about.