Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Review: Whatever. - S.J. Goslee

Whatever.: or how junior year became totally f$@ked
S.J. Goslee
Series: N/A
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Thanks to Roaring Brook Press for the ARC won through a Goodreads giveaway!

I must admit that Whatever is the first book focused on coming out that I've read - it's not because I'm opposed to reading this kind of book, I just seem to gravitate more towards dystopian and fantasy, which usually doesn't focus on this topic. Though I can't compare it to other books on the topic, I thought Whatever was awesome!

Mike Tate is such a teenage boy. I'm serious. I swear I was friends with Mike Tate in high school. He doesn't (externally, at least) care about much - he just wants to be cool, hang out with his friends, live his life, and all that. Unfortunately, one of his best friends has other plans for him: student council! On top of this, apparently he drunkenly made out with a boy at a party. Basically, things are getting Confusing for Mike.

I absolutely loved Mike and the other characters in Whatever. Mike kind of reminded me of Scott Pilgrim in the way he was super casual and low key, but also internally freaking out. He kind of just went with the flow, figuring things out when he needed to. And his inner monologue was so fun to read.

All the guys in Mike's friend group had distinctly different personalities, but they were still teenage boys through and through. Cam was my favorite of these friends - he wore Hawaiian shirts, wanted to bring back the fanny pack, and frequently injured himself while attempting death-defying stunts. Basically, he was hilarious.

Lisa was such a great female character to compliment Mike - she was definitely a spitfire, and wouldn't take no for an answer. It was also nice to see college as something Lisa was thinking about as a junior. The reason Mike gets involved in student council is because Lisa wants to be president for her college applications. I recently read a thread on Twitter about how college is a Big Deal for high school students (which it is), so seeing it in this book made me like !!!!this!!!!

As for the plot of the book itself, I really enjoyed how it had a sort of meandering quality. It wasn't fast paced, at a full spring towards a specific journey - it helped support how Mike didn't really have a destination in mind, because life doesn't really work like that. In terms of the coming out aspect, I liked how S.J. Goslee mixed the reactions of the people in Mike's life. Sometimes people have trouble adjusting to changes, but the main point that Mike made was that him being gay or bisexual (not entirely sure what he landed on in the end) didn't change his friendships, it just changed him.

All in all, Whatever is definitely a must read! It reads so natural, and it's honestly so funny. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Mike's journey, especially since he's so different from any character I've ever read before. I can't wait to read more from S.J. Goslee in the future!

Also, I posted a pretty ~rad~ (in my obviously objective opinion) photo of this book on Instagram (@wlabb), so you should check it out :)

- Kiersten

What are some of your favorite LGBT+ reads?
Let us know in the comments!

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