Trigger Warnings: Depression, Anxiety, Coming Out, Abusive Parents, Homophobia & Transphobia
I Wish You all the Best is our July book for It’s a Hardback Life Book Club, which is held locally at Chapters Indigo. This is a story about Ben who is a non binary teen and they’re struggle of coming out and trying to find acceptance.This book was everything and so much more than I was expecting. This is an #ownvoices book,the author is non binary. Mason Deaver can write! They created such a beautiful prose and such adorable character’s. I could literally feel Ben’s emotions, especially when they are experiencing anxiety.
This was the first book I had read with a character using they/them pronouns and I am so thankful that this book is out in the world! This book is much needed to other who identify as non binary and just in general so that we can glimpse into Ben’s mind, and try and understand what they are experiencing. Now, everyone is going to have different experiences and emotions, but I eel really blessed to have read such a beautiful story. Everything starts when Ben decides to come out to his parents, they are full of so much hope and anxiety about how the parents will take it. Well as you can guess it did not go well. With no where to go, Ben contacts they’re older sister whom they have not had contact with in over 10 years. Hannah and her husband welcome Ben into there home, getting them set up in a new school and finding them a therapist to speak with about everything they’re going through.
“Don’t ignore the problems. Learn from them. But also don’t knock what you get right. Every success deserves a celebration.”
Ben – is non-binary, suffers from depression and anxiety. I identify as Cis, so I thought it was really interesting reading about Ben’s feelings towards there body image. It was a great reminder that those who identify as non binary in some form experience some discomfort with there identity and body image. How they feel about there body really affects your mental health. Ben in my opinion, seems to like more feminine things for themselves.
Nathan – He is an adorable ray of sunshine, with terrible jokes, he is loud and outgoing. The connection between Ben and Nathan is beautiful and sweet and touching all at once. He is the perfect love interest!
Hannah – Is Ben’s older sister, married to Thomas, has a not spoken or seen Ben or her parents in 10 years. She is so supportive and just all around amazing. She is also still learning along with Ben about what they are going through, but its her wanting to learn that really gets me. Also her husband is such a nice man, he is a teacher at the high school that Ben is now enrolled in.
Miriam- non-binary Muslim , they have an online platform talking about being non binary and thy’re struggles. Ben mentions that he found them when researching about they’re identity and struck up a friendship. I loved the premise of Ben having an online friend in which they can confide in and receive support. As internet friendships can be very special and sometimes even better than the friendships we have in real life. As someone can feel more confident talking to someone online and sharing there opinions/feelings. I really loved how encouraging Miriam is with Ben.
This book touches on a lot of difficult issues as well as having a very sweet friendship/romance. I have mentioned how Ben has depression and anxiety, there is a scene in the book I found to be triggering. Ben goes to a party with Nathan and some girls they are friends with. One boy tries to get Ben to drink and take shots even after Ben explains they are not comfortable with it. In the end Ben does take the shots because they want to fit it. But it triggers a panic attack, I could relate to this as it has happened to me many times. I could feel the same emotions they were experiencing, deep down in my stomach and it made me feel sick. Even though this was triggering it just shows how great of a writer Mason is!
The romance is such a slow burn, that starts out as friendship, which I found to be the best way to go. We the readers can see from the beginning that they have feelings for each other but they don’t figure it out until later in the book. Even writing this review my eyes are filling with tears. I cannot say enough good things about it, everyone needs to pick it up and read it immediately. I promise you will not be disappointed.
“Whatever happens, I wish you all the best, Ben De Backe
I Wish You All the Best is a beautiful book about acceptance and friendship. I swear I will by and read anything Mason writes in the future!