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FREE ⚟ I Wish You All the Best è 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 SchoolBut 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 LifeAt Turns Heartbreaking And Joyous, I Wish You All The Best Is Both A Celebration Of Life, Friendship, And Love, And A Shining Example Of Hope In The Face Of Adversity The beginning of I Wish You All the Best jarred me It kicked up a riot of emotions each word a lash, wrenching out your breath and dealing blows to your insides Benjamin De Backer, buoyant with hopes of swift acceptance, is planning on coming out as non binary to their parents The reader is spared the immediate fallout but the imagination conjures up enough horrors What we see is Benjamin s life as if held aloft by their own hand, and in an instant, it spun away from them Benjamin, barefoot, feeling like a stray helium balloon drifting on the currents as they walked to a payphone to call an estranged sister they haven t seen, or spoken to, in a decade.Hope roots faintly in Benjamin s heart when their sister and her husband welcome them to their home But every hour some new bruise was upon Benjamin, some new ache, always weary, always burdened The ground beneath them has never feltprecarious, and their life has become a cold sinking tangle of fear and anger and doubt Their parents rejection scratched at them, and they were wearying under the burden of constantly coming out to everyone, and then dreading their reaction Benjamin seemed to be in a lull, a strange pocket of emptiness into which no one came, and they were never threatened But with the support of their best friend, who is a non binary Muslim immigrant, and a burgeoning friendship with their classmate Nathan who was like cheer in a bottle, Benjamin feels the shiver of a new hope forming, a new space opening up wide enough for them to stand in Maybe some renewed vestige of life was in them yet the last tatters of Benjamin s hopes blooming afresh.Mason Deaver, the debut author of this book, is nonbinary themself and Benjamin s story had come crawling out of their own heart The author s voice is simultaneously tender and reverent but it also falls like an axe blade, sharp and severing The novel s cold touch is like fingertips slipping beneath your clothes and wrapping around your heart, making turmoil bubble up through the tightness in your chest before it catches you up in a soft, opened warmth I do not doubt that this story is going to be cathartic for a lot of readers and I m glad it exists.With that being said, my primary critique of Deaver s single minded coming of age novel is a longing forthis unnameable thing that slips from my brain like sand held in an open palm The book s heart and dazzle does not always help it overcome much of its dryness I was often threatened by a sense of ennui as, for most of the novel, the plot just plods along, and it isn t long before Benjamin s voice grows distant, like far off waves Deaver builds believable secondary characters, but they beg forpage time The development of familial attachments alongside romantic and platonic ones could have carried a lotvivacity, but the author plays it close to the chest I found myself many times wishing this scene or that conversationfully played out, because instead of parlaying them, the author often only gives you just a glimpse, and then they re off, running to the next thing Again, I wanted , but some moments never come to fruition.That is not to say of course that there s nothing lovely in I Wish You All the Best The story, which is a gentle but unyielding reminder that the body s need to speak its truth is primal and profound, and that compassion and love can overcome intolerance, warmed the cockles of my heart Benjamin s journey put so much hope in me and I m glad I picked up this book I hope many readers find their way to Deaver s novel for it will doubtless change a lot of lives.BLOG TWITTER INSTAGRAM TUMBLR Well I wrote this book, so my review is probably biased Either way this is the book of my heart, I never thought people would believe in this story, but I ve never been happier to be so, so, so wrong This book may be the closest I get to writing myself It deals with anxiety, depression, coming out and identity, and first love, and it s absolutely so important to me.I hope you all enjoy it when you get the chance to read it. Don t ignore the problems Learn from them But also don t knock what you get right Every success deserves a celebration Oh the feeling of mile high expectations actually being fulfilled pure bliss I have waited so long for this book to be released and it checks every single box A wonderful, emotional, important and romantic read I Wish You All the Best tells the story of Ben, who is nonbinary, who prefers the pronouns they them, who, after coming out to their parents, is kicked out of the house and has to take refuge at their sister s, whom they haven t seen in 10 years At their new school, they meet Nathan, a captivating boy who may or may not be the cutest human the world has ever seen chances are high, though But Ben struggles with anxiety, panic attacks and depression This definitely translated onto the pages of the book I often felt hopeless, was frustrated with the absence of feelings, with Ben not being able to say anything but Yeah , with the plot not going anywhere because the world stops moving when anxiety overwhelms you At least that s what I felt like reading it Luckily, Ben slowly opened up to the people around them, to their therapist and eventually to Nathan and their sister It was a heartfelt book with an easygoing writing style and a slow burning romance The kind of romance where it couldn t beobvious that the attraction is mutual but still these stupid dorks wait till the very last minute to confess their feelings.The only criticism I have is that I wished the side characters had receivedof a backstory They all had depth and felt real enough, but I was curious about them About Ben s sister and their brother in law, about Maleika and Sophie, about Nathan I wouldn t have minded an additional 100 pages if this meant that we d get to seeof them.I want to stress how important it is that queer writers write queer stories No cis or straight person would have been able to write such a complex and truthful book about life, coming out, falling in love as a nonbinary person I always say that representation and inclusion matter, not only because people might recognise parts of themselves in the characters, but also because it teaches kids and teenagers compassion, acceptance, and empathy early on If every teenager read this book, the world would be much kinder and tolerant Stories have so much power and influence, and that s why it s important to promote and support queer voices that have mostly gone unheard until now I Wish You All the Best was my first novel with a nonbinary character that was at the centre of the story instead of the sidelines I hope we will get to seeof that in the future.Findof my books on Instagram