All Kinds of Other was an intense and emotional read about coming out, transphobia, and friendship. My heart ached for both Jack and Jules. Seeing both of their POVs just made it even more emotional. Keep reading this book review to find out if this book is for you!
Two boys are starting at a new school.
Jules is just figuring out what it means to be gay and hasn’t totally decided whether he wants to be out at his new school. His parents and friends have all kinds of opinions, but for his part, Jules just wants to make the basketball team and keep his head down.
Jack is trying to start over after a best friend break-up. He followed his actor father clear across the country to LA, but he’s also totally ready to leave his past behind. Maybe this new school where no one knows him is exactly what he needs.
When the two boys meet, the sparks are undeniable. But then a video surfaces linking Jack to a pair of popular transgender vloggers, and the revelations about Jack’s past thrust both Jack and Jules into the spotlight they’ve been trying to avoid. Suddenly both boys have a choice to make—between lying low where it’s easier or following their hearts.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
TW: homophobia, transphobia, hate crime, assault, deadnaming, outting, misgendering
Reading Jules and Jack’s story discusses the ways my heart can break. The ways that queer youth are lacking support systems for unsupportive parents, for finding the language that unlocks doors, and to handle all this land in between. How our friends can love us, support us, encourage us, but shouldn’t be our only lifeline. All Kinds of Others starts out as a story about friendship, of coming to terms with our mistakes, and the way the world sees us. But it quickly turns into an emotional story about queer teens fighting against a homophobia and transphobic society.
The ways that people we love may ‘seem’ like allies and support systems, which crumble in the wind. And the importance of acknowledging our mistakes, challenging our beliefs, and love. While I immediately loved Jules POV, my favorite ended up being Jack. The ways that society sees BIPOC teens differently based on their perceived gender. All the transphobia he deals with in unexpected places and in plain sight. The challenges he has in his family with acceptance. All Kinds of Others made my heart ache. My heart raged. My heart cried.
How unfair it is for teens to have to “give people time to get up to speed” when we’re living in a media, culture, society that seems, at every avenue, to be inhospitable. Where they are misgendered, deadnamed, and having to explain their existence. I had to take a few breaks while reading, especially towards the end, but I would recommend All Kinds of Others which examines the intersections of queerness, family, and coming of age.
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