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Jun 24, 2021penelopegomez rated this title 5 out of 5 stars
I really found this book astonishing for a young adult novel. This book does deal with a lot of heavier themes throughout the novel for example, bullying, homophobia, abuse and toxic relationships. This book was really enthralling from start to finish, but I will say again this book is probably not for a younger teen reader. This was probably like a 16+ type of read because there was a lot of mature content. In this book we follow "Jo", a junior boy who is openly gay, and "Kurl", a high school senior and football player, who hasn't really come to terms with his sexuality. Kurl has a lot going on in life. He is dealing with his abusive uncle at home. His uncle is an alcoholic and he is constantly beating him. Kurl also has a lot of internalized homophobia that he is dealing with on top of the abuse. Kurl hates the fact that he's gay. He doesn't want anyone to know he's gay, he doesn't want to "look gay." Kurl's character is just seething in self-hatred and so when he unexpectedly strikes up a relationship with Jo who is so openly gay, their relationship quickly turns toxic and in a way very abusive. I've often heard the phrase, "If you don't love yourself, you can't love others," and this book was basically the epitome of that quote. This book was heartbreaking in many ways, but such a good and heartfelt read. I also loved the fact that this book is written in a series of letters between Jo and Kurl. When Jo and Kurl first start falling in love those letters are everything! I would love to get letters like that. There is just something so romantic about hand written letters. I loved this book for that alone. This book really romanticized the written word for me, they even write each other poetry, I don't think you can get any more romantic then that. Definitely a 5 star read!