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RIGHT WHERE I LEFT YOU by Julian Winters Kirkus Star


by Julian Winters

Pub Date: March 15th, 2022
ISBN: 978-0-593-20647-8
Publisher: Viking

The summer after high school is full of uncertainty, but before Isaac and his BFF go in different directions, they make big plans that only a big crush can derail.

As a nerdy, gay, Black Mexican kid growing up in the suburbs of Alpharetta, Georgia, Isaac struggles a bit to connect with people unless they’re characters in his favorite comic books. Besides his mom and abuelito, Isaac is only truly comfortable around his bi, Puerto Rican, gamer best friend, Diego. So Diego’s decision not to attend the University of Georgia with him in the fall makes Isaac nervous about what the future holds and puts a lot of pressure on their last summer together. The plan is to attend their first Teen Pride and get tickets to a comic convention, but when the latter is interrupted by Isaac’s infatuation with bisexual Brazilian Davi, the former is almost ruined by the two besties’ hurt feelings and eventual blowup. The boys’ love triangle is thoughtfully executed. It’s the sort of representation characters like Isaac—and innumerable readers—have been pining for: a queer, multicultural cast allowed to grow and kiss and learn about intimacy on their own terms, without the threat of death or tragedy. Those terms aren’t necessarily easy, as the deterioration of his parents’ marriage has left an obvious mark on Isaac’s family and his understanding of relationships, but the journey is productive.

An enthusiastically queer story of friendship, family, and romance and the ways they empower one another.

(Fiction. 12-18)