Full Disclosure is a stunning debut that tackles self-acceptance, ignorance, and love. This queer love story celebrates questions, support, and solidarity.
Simone Garcia-Hampton is starting over at a new school, and this time things will be different. She’s making real friends, making a name for herself as student director of Rent, and making a play for Miles, the guy who makes her melt every time he walks into a room. The last thing she wants is for word to get out that she’s HIV-positive, because last time . . . well, last time things got ugly.
Keeping her viral load under control is easy, but keeping her diagnosis under wraps is not so simple. As Simone and Miles start going out for real–shy kisses escalating into much more–she feels an uneasiness that goes beyond butterflies. She knows she has to tell him that she’s positive, especially if sex is a possibility, but she’s terrified of how he’ll react! And then she finds an anonymous note in her locker: I know you have HIV. You have until Thanksgiving to stop hanging out with Miles. Or everyone else will know too.
Simone’s first instinct is to protect her secret at all costs, but as she gains a deeper understanding of the prejudice and fear in her community, she begins to wonder if the only way to rise above is to face the haters head-on…
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
For Simone, sex isn’t simple. Being HIV positive means that her whole life Simone has had the necessity of disclosing her health, and the chances of spread. In Full Disclosure, Garrett explores what it means to accept ourselves, to not have all the answers, and to value those who support us. Full Disclosure allows us to read Simone’s perspective. What it’s like to be afraid of physical intimacy because of fearing that someone will recoil from her.
Full Disclosure is full of queer characters. Not only is Simone questioning her own sexuality and wonder if she is bisexual, but her two best friends are lesbian and asexual and bisexual (and she has two dads). I barely have any notes from reading Full Disclosure because I read it in one day. I didn’t even plan on it, I just looked up from reading and realized it was almost nighttime. That’s just a testament to not only how absorbed I was in the story, but the way that Simone’s narration sweeps you away.
In some ways Full Disclosure is a story about fear. Fear of being accepted, of being outed, of losing our relationships, of being without a label. But at the same time, Full Disclosure is a story that emphasizes solidarity and friendship, sexuality and exploration, and self-acceptance. The banter between Simone and her best friends feels organic, you just sink into their personalities. And Full Disclosure is so wonderfully sex positive! Full Disclosure is an emotional roller coaster that you want to ride over and over again.