THE HANDSOME GIRL & HER BEAUTIFUL BOY by B.T. Gottfred

THE HANDSOME GIRL & HER BEAUTIFUL BOY

Age Range: 16 - 18
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Two teens—one girl, one boy—defy gender norms to discover their own brand of love.

When they meet, laid-back Zee and self-professed “biggest personality on the planet” Art are both sure they’re straight despite others’ assumptions that they’re gay because of how they present themselves. It’s infatuation at first sight for Art, who is certain that fellow “mythical creature” Zee will fall for him. Amid tumultuous family circumstances—Zee meets her estranged father after her mother dies of cancer, while Art’s parents’ marriage falls apart—the duo explores their confusing attraction to each other and what it means for their senses of self. This exploration includes sex (masturbation, blow jobs, nights in a motel room, and relationship drama involving other characters). The book’s strength lies in its first-person narration, which alternates between Zee and Art in uber-short chapters full of all-caps, exclamation points, and explanatory pie charts. The ultimate affirmation that love needs no labels or boundaries comes far too late for a story about sexual fluidity; throughout most of the book, Zee and Art subscribe to strongly binary views of gender, sexuality, and gender expression. Art and all other primary characters are presumably white. Zee, jarringly for the daughter of an Iranian father and a very light-skinned white mother, is described as having a very dark complexion.

Suitable for fans of nonmainstream romances with larger-than-life characters. (Fiction. 16-18)

Pub Date: May 8th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-62779-852-5
Page count: 432pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2018




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