Cathy’s Book Chat

I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver Review

I’ve been excited to finally dive into this book for quite some time. The only thing I knew about it before I started reading, was that the main character used they/them pronouns. Personally, that was enough to intrigue me. Until reading I Wish You All the Best, I had never read a book about someone who identifies as non-binary. I think it’s important to educate myself on topics I know very little about, so I felt ready to read on.

The protagonist of this novel is named Ben. The reader first meets Ben when they are about to come out to their parents. Ben ends up getting kicked out of their home, because their parents are shocked and repulsed by this news. Luckily Ben decides to call their sister, Hannah who moved away ten years prior. Hannah and her husband, Thomas are very welcoming and even enroll Ben at the high school Thomas teaches at. The pair also get Ben a psychiatrist to talk through their circumstances with. Ben loves to draw and paint, so they are excited to have a supportive art teacher and impressive art room to work on their projects. They also meet a boy named Nathan who becomes a close friend and helps Ben come out of their shell. In addition, Ben gains support from a YouTuber named Mariam who has gone through a similar situation as Ben. Will Ben and his parents make up? Will Ben continue coming out to people? Take this book for a spin to find out!

I Wish You All the Best focuses on Ben’s coming out experience and working through the trauma of having difficult parents. I think this book would be really helpful for someone who feels different or alone with their identity. I like that the book shows Ben getting professional help, finding a strong friend group, and dealing with issues even when they are a lot to carry. When you are a teenager (or any age really) it is easy to feel alone with whatever is going on in your life, this story shows you that there is always someone out there willing to help. I’m really impressed and inspired by the direction young adult books are going in these days. I Wish You All the Best is a great example of the power of representation and finding your voice.

Love, Cathy from Youth Services

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