Disclaimer: I received an e-arc and arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.
Book: Imogen, Obviously
Author: Becky Albertalli
Book Series: Standalone
Diversity: Bisexual Questioning MC, Hispanic characters, Hispanic pansexual characters, Lesbian Jewish character with ADHD, Lesbian characters, Queer characters, Sapphic Romance
Recommended For…: young adult readers, contemporary, romance, queer, LGBT, Sapphic romance
Publication Date: May 2, 2023
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Age Relevance: 14+ (homophobia, romance, sexual content, internalized homophobia, biphobia)
Explanation of Above: There are scenes showing and mentioning homophobia, internalized homophobia, and biphobia. There is some romance and very slight sexual content.
Publisher: Balzar & Bray/Harperteen
Synopsis: Imogen Scott may be hopelessly heterosexual, but she’s got the World’s Greatest Ally title locked down.
She’s never missed a Pride Alliance meeting. She knows more about queer media discourse than her very queer little sister. She even has two queer best friends. There’s Gretchen, a fellow high school senior, who helps keep Imogen’s biases in check. And then there’s Lili—newly out and newly thriving with a cool new squad of queer college friends.
Imogen’s thrilled for Lili. Any ally would be. And now that she’s finally visiting Lili on campus, she’s bringing her ally A game. Any support Lili needs, Imogen’s all in.
Even if that means bending the truth, just a little.
Like when Lili drops a tiny queer bombshell: she’s told all her college friends that Imogen and Lili used to date. And none of them know that Imogen is a raging hetero—not even Lili’s best friend, Tessa.
Of course, the more time Imogen spends with chaotic, freckle-faced Tessa, the more she starts to wonder if her truth was ever all that straight to begin with. . .
Review: This is such a sweet and powerful book that will always be special to me. The book revolves around our MC who is visiting her friend up at college and staying for spring break. However, when she arrives she finds out her friend told a lie about them having once dated because she wanted to fit in better with the cool queer circle of friends she found on campus. Our MC goes along with the act, but soon starts catching feelings for one of the college kids. The book focuses on her wrestling with her identity and figuring out if she’s actually queer or not. I felt like the book spoke to me and I related to the book so hard, having had my own conflict of identity just a year ago when I was struggling to figure out if I was actually bisexual or just faking it. And then again when I was figuring out the degree of my asexuality. It’s a really hard thing to do nowadays, especially when there are those in the queer community who aren’t so very welcoming to those who are “late to the game” so to say. There sometimes exists a “purist notion” in some of the queer community, the thought that if you have been identifying as straight or if you’ve never been oppressed in the same manner as others means that you’re automatically not “queer enough” or at all. That mindset really kept me from coming out… which I’ve still not officially done until now I guess. So… here’s me, coming out, thanks to a book that said to me “queer identity isn’t cookie cutter”. I really shouldn’t be surprised I did this in a Becky Albertalli review since her own personal struggle, which she used for this book, opened my eyes to the possibility that I was bisexual awhile ago. Anyways, besides the personal stake I have in this book I feel like the book did well with the character development and world building. The story was compelling, as all of Albertalli’s books are, and I couldn’t put it down (literally, I was at an event and couldn’t set it down to stop reading it while the event was ongoing lol).
The only issue I had with the book is that I had wished for more of that confrontation that the MC has with the “antagonist” of the story earlier on, but otherwise the book is perfect as is.
Verdict: I absolutely 100% recommend this book.