by Camryn Garrett
YA Contemporary, Romance
Simone Garcia-Hampton is starting over at a new school, and this time things will be different. She’s making real friends, making a name for herself as student director of Rent, and making a play for Miles, the guy who makes her melt every time he walks into a room. The last thing she wants is for word to get out that she’s HIV-positive, because last time . . . well, last time things got ugly.
Keeping her viral load under control is easy, but keeping her diagnosis under wraps is not so simple. As Simone and Miles start going out for real–shy kisses escalating into much more–she feels an uneasiness that goes beyond butterflies. She knows she has to tell him that she’s positive, especially if sex is a possibility, but she’s terrified of how he’ll react! And then she finds an anonymous note in her locker: I know you have HIV. You have until Thanksgiving to stop hanging out with Miles. Or everyone else will know too.
Simone’s first instinct is to protect her secret at all costs, but as she gains a deeper understanding of the prejudice and fear in her community, she begins to wonder if the only way to rise above is to face the haters head-on…
I strayed a bit from my TBR for #LGBTQMonth and picked up this book, and I’m so glad I did!
Because of the hype I’d seen about Camryn Garrett’s debut, I wanted to check it out and see what the fuss was all about. It brings us into the life of musical-obsessed (same, girl), HIV positive Simone who is trying to journey through high school keeping her status a secret from everyone around her. When she starts falling for a boy and he falls for her back, she starts to realise that her secret is going to be a lot harder to keep hidden, especially when a note lands in her locker about her HIV status and things go from bad to chaos…
I absolutely loved this! The writing in this was so enjoyable and just really strong. The character of Simone was brilliant, and I loved how open and sex positive she was. That was so refreshing to see in a YA novel. I also loved all the humour in the book, and even the side characters like Simone’s gay dads or her two best friends were so great to read. The characters in this book really shone through and I think they were Garrett’s strength.
I also loved all the important discussions throughout this book about sexuality and the state of HIV positive people in our society today. This was an immensely important book to read, but on top of that, it was a heartwarming love story too. Can’t recommend this enough. My only fault is that I wish it were longer! Also ain’t that cover just stunning?