Title: I Wish You All the Best
Author: Mason Deaver
Published: 14 May 2019
Oh. My. Word. All the feelings with this novel! I absolutely loved it! When Ben De Backer comes out to his parents as non-binary, they kick them out. Their only option is to contact their older sister, Hannah, who they haven’t talked to or seen in 10 years. Ben moves in with Hannah and her husband, Thomas, who they have never met. Struggling with anxiety and their parents rejection, they come out only to their sister, her husband, and their new therapist. Ben wants to keep a low profile at school, as he only has this spring semester left before finishing high school. At his new school, they meet Nathan Allan who thwarts his plans for a low-profile. Nathan is a funny, charismatic, and joyful student who decides to be friends and take Ben under his wing. As their friendship grows, so do their feelings for each other.
As I’ve already said, I love this novel! It is not only adorable but a wonderful celebration of life, friendship, and love. Of course, the beginning part is absolutely heartbreaking and all I wanted to do was wrap Ben up in a hug and take them home with me.
While Hannah can be overbearing and contentious, she does everything for love of her little sibling. I love Hannah for her willingness to take in Ben and to immediately accept them. But the feelings that Ben has towards his sister are totally valid. That’s one of the parts I absolutely love about this book is that there is more to it than just Ben’s feelings of rejection from their parents not accepting that they are non-binary. Ben and Hannah have a bunch of mental health issues from how their parents raised them and treated them. Ben has a ton of feelings of abandonment and rejection from when Hannah decided to leave when they were 10 years old.
Nathan Allan is super adorable and is just an amazing friend! Not only Nathan but his two friends that he introduces Ben to are welcoming and awesome. Nathan is so open and willing to be friends with Ben. Once all of them find out that Ben is non-binary, all they care about is the fact that they were mis-gendering them the whole semester. Of course, the love story between Ben and Nathan is wonderfully amazing.
Novels like this are so needed not just for those who struggle with gender identity and need a book like this, but also for those who may not know and need to hear stories like this. There’s also a need to have stories like Nathan’s as well, for those who may not know about their sexual identity because god forbid we talk about things like this. To all those who are non-binary or transgender, or those who are not yet out because of circumstances or family or work, I see you and am here for you all.