There's one thing Jay Collier knows for sure—he's a statistical anomaly as the only out gay kid in his small rural Washington town. While all this friends can't stop talking about their heterosexual hookups and relationships, Jay can only dream of his own firsts, compiling a romance to-do list of all the things he hopes to one day experience—his Gay Agenda.
Then, against all odds, Jay's family moves to Seattle and he starts his senior year at a new high school with a thriving LGBTQIA+ community. For the first time ever, Jay feels like he's found where he truly belongs, where he can flirt with Very Sexy Boys and search for love. But as Jay begins crossing items off his list, he'll soon be torn between his heart and his hormones, his old friends and his new ones...because after all, life and love don't always go according to plan.
From debut novelist Jason June comes a moving and hilarious sex-positive story about the complexities of first loves, first hookups, and first heartbreaks—and how to stay true to yourself while embracing what you never saw coming.
I was in the mood for a YA story with plenty of feels, so when I saw this book's cover and read the blurb, I requested an ARC for review, but mostly because I genuinely wanted to read it.
Having grown up quite literally in the middle of nowhere myself, I immediately identified with Jay's circumstances of watching all of my friends begin their romantic adventures, while I waited impatiently for my turn. It was extremely lonely and isolating and not at all recommended.
So when Jay's family moved to Seattle, I was thrilled to see where the story would go from there, allowing Jay more opportunity to grow into the person he was meant to become.
Then my heart did a little happy dance when Jay met a cute, nerdy, gay, Asian guy named Albert and they eventually began a slow and steady courtship.
And then the rains came... : (
I don't want to throw out a bunch of spoilers; *HOWEVER*, this story did not come with any type of Trigger Warnings, which I don't feel was quite right.
One of my very biggest no-no's in romance is CHEATING, which in my opinion definitely happened here and on more than one occasion.
Some may argue that, since they hadn't officially stated their status as boyfriends, it wasn't cheating, but I respectfully (and whole-heartedly) disagree.
At one point, Jay had just had an amazing date with Albert, definitely wanting them to become boyfriends, then, as he was walking home from that date, got a text from the guy he'd been having sex with and -- without even a moment's thought about Albert's feelings -- went to the guy's place and GOT PLOWED like the South 40.
Then Jay continued to avoid telling Albert that he'd been sleeping around, because he thought it "might" affect them becoming boyfriends.
Ummmmmmmm, YOU THINK???
Aside from the cheating and some over-the-top grand gestures, I did like the story's humor and quirkiness, but it never quite approached full-on love, though.
Overall, I'd rate it at around 3.25 stars, but only recommend it once the readers had been provided with a trigger warning about the *repeated* cheating and lying.
My ARC copy of the book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.
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