Hello, hello, hello and welcome to my first book review of 2021! I actually read “I Wish You All the Best” in December of 2020 but here we are in 2021
I Wish You All the Best | Mason Deaver
Published May 14, 2019 | Push
329 pages | ebook
Content Warnings: Accidental misgendering, purposeful misgendering, transphobia, being kicked out of the house, panic attacks, alcohol use.
It only takes three words for Ben DeBacker to be kicked out of their house–I am non-binary. Pushed out on the street with nothing but the clothes on their back, they’re forced to move in with their older sister Hannah, who they haven’t seen in ten years, and her husband who they’ve never met. Struggling with anxiety and the worries of starting a new school, they decide to only come out to Hannah, her husband Thomas and their therapist.
But when Ben starts school, they meet Nathan Allen, a funny student determined to help Ben adjust to their new life. Things begin to look up as they become more friendly with Nathan and his friends. Suddenly, it seems like they may be able to start over in their last half of senior year after all.
Please note: All summaries are written by me, Phoenix @Books With Wings unless otherwise stated.
This book…well, I really enjoyed this book. It was a very sad but very sweet story and it was just nice to read. It was probably the first book I read in under 24 hours in a very long time.
Honestly I’m sort of regretting writing this review now, January 9 (yeah you can see how on top of blogging I am) when I read this book in mid December. I have a short term book memory! But alright, let’s go.
“I Wish You All The Best” follows Ben DeBacker, a high school senior who’s life was upturned when their parents kicked them out of the house and they’re forced to move in with their sister and her husband. Ben has never met their sister’s husband and hasn’t seen their sister in ten years. First of all, I can’t imagine how difficult and painful that would be. Ben didn’t even expect their parents to kick them out…they knew it could be a possibility but it just seemed very extreme to them. And the fact that it really did happen…wow.
UPDATE: okay I’m not entirely sure what the point of this entire above section was since it seems like I just paraphrased my summary of the book…which I paraphrased (partly) from goodreads. But hey I guess I’ll leave it so you can see ALL my thoughts and the things going through my head haha.
I think that my favorite character was proooobably Nathan. He just…well I liked that he took Ben under his wing. I feel like in books, the funny kid is sorta the popular one who doesn’t really interact with the misfit main character (yeah, that’s gotta be a trope) but Nathan is totally cool with showing Ben around the school on their first day and then sticking with them! I loved to see their friendship grow and also, well, Nathan was just super sweet.
I thought that Miriam was also an awesome character and I think that to have them in the story added a really interesting feature. Miriam lives in California, all the way across the country from Ben, and Ben found out about them through the videos they filmed. Throughout the book, though they’re not exactly present for it, Miriam is a huge role model for Ben and they’re actually friends online. I feel like this is a pretty important part of the book with the online aspect…that online is where Ben figures out who they are and really gets their first friend who understands them and can help them. Parents are very suspicious of all things online it feels like (at least for me) but sometimes it can really help to have online friends (not saying you should go around having video chats and meeting up irl with everyone you meet online, just saying that you can really find some close friends online who are super awesome).
Now onto the plot.
So, I’ve seen some people out there saying that there’s not really a plot to this book.
I can see…a plot? At least some of it. I mean basically the plot of the book is Ben readjusting after their life was completely turned upside down and trying to get through senior year. I can see how that’s not much of a plot…definitely nothing like any fantasy adventure books or anything…but I still liked it. I really enjoyed reading a non binary protagonist because that’s not something that you see very often. I feel like I’m amazed that authors are actually able to write entire books about people just…living (see this is why I always fail to write realistic fiction) but I find that most authors who write realistic fiction are good at making it interesting (they DID get published after all and while I know not all published things are perfect, mooooost of them are good? In my opinion?)
Well. I feel like this…wasn’t the most perfect review and really I should write my reviews sooner to the time that I actually, you know, read the books, but…here we go I’m super sorry how short this post is and hopefully I can get you a longer and more…detailed post next week, and a much better book review the week after that.
Thank you all so much for reading, it means the world! As always, stay safe and keep on reading!