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How to Be Remy Cameron Everyone on campus knows Remy Cameron He's the out and gay super likable guy that people admire for his confidence The only person who may not know Remy that well is Remy himself So when he is assigned to write an essay describing himself he goes on a journey to reconcile the labels that people have attached to him and get to know the real Remy Cameron the amount of times Remy is hrny in this I can’t do it25 stars 45 starsWhy didn’t books like How to Be Remy Cameron exist when I was a teenager?“We have no control over what labels others give us but we can define who we are by the ones we choose to give ourselves”Remy Cameron is a pretty likable guy He’s a good son even when his parents get embarrassing he loves being a big brother he’s a great friend and most people admire his courage for coming out at 14Remy is a lot of things—he’s a teenager he’s adopted he’s African American while his adoptive parents are white he’s gay and the president of his school's gay straight alliance—but isn’t he than just a bunch of characteristics? Yet when he gets an assignment from a teacher he believes is a crucial part of getting into his dream college next year it throws him for a loop he has to write about who he is and who he wants to beWhy is answering that uestion so hard? Why can’t he see himself as than the visible things others see him as? His inability to answer the uestion of who he is starts to affect everything—his schoolwork his friendships and could threaten his future And when he becomes infatuated with a returning classmate struggling with his own identity and meets someone who might know how he’s feeling he doesn’t know how to process everythingI really enjoyed this heartfelt poignant thought provoking book It’s so difficult to figure out who you are particularly in high school and Remy’s struggles both felt familiar and uniueI’ve said many times before I wish that books like this existed when I was younger because it would have given me hope when I needed it most hope that I would’ve found acceptance and happiness being true to myself But I’m so glad these books exist today because while life isn’t uite perfect it’s certainly a accepting world in many places and you can often live the life you wantIt's ironic that Becky Albertalli author of Simon and the Homo Sapiens Agenda blurbed this book because How to Be Remy Cameron reminded me a little of that one although I felt it had a little emotional heft But both are such great books for today's youth to readJulian Winters did a really great job creating characters I cared about who were than typical high school stereotypes—in fact he turned many of those on their head This really was so sweet and it made me smile See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoriablogspotcomYou can follow me on Instagram at 10 stars This book is everything ARC provided by the publisher rep Black gay mc Korean American gay liSo many good concepts went into this book It’s a patchwork of beautiful ideas a warm cozy blanket It’s also made of wool though so I can’t touch it for too longThings I absolutely loved include supportive parents who joke around with their kids and talk them through difficult situations; a gay character whose arc didn’t revolve around coming out; a whole pleiad of gay characters actually or less secondary but never stereotypical; that trope I adore and want to see of where a person doesn’t forgive their parent just because of the imagined blood tie and Like I said all the ideas that this book is build of are amazing It’s full of positive energy of love for the world for people in it of joy It wants to share that joy with you as you read on It’s just that while I can appreciate all that I’m not the right kind of person to appreciate the writing itself I’m afraid I found it dry and a little bit boring at times and cringy when it comes to dialogues And let’s not even mention all those Harry Potter references I counted nine and I’m not sure if I didn’t miss a fewThere were also those two instances of talking about homosexuality as if it’s all about a person’s sex life and the romantic attraction doesn’t play any role in it I mean come on You’re gay even if you don’t have a sex life at all Let’s not bring the split attraction model into books for teens or any books periodIn the end How to Be Remy Cameron is a pretty cool book tackling a bunch of important issues in a respectful way I just wish I could like the style of its prose Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Bloglovin | Reads Rainbow The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review 325 StarsFull review hereThis book is an introspective journey that Remy the main character embarks on He's trying to figure out who he really is and what the labels that have been assigned to him throughout all his life truly mean I think it's an important read if the uestion who am I has ever crossed your mind this book definitely puts things into perspective and makes you think that's for sure I would have liked to see things happening also outside of Remy's journey of self discovery but this is only my personal preference Trigger warnings as seen at the end of the book discussions of racism homophobia past minor characters' death and alcoholism as well as depictions of homophobic bullying and a scene involving brief sexual harassmentracial fetishism 35 stars julian winters becky albertalli and adam silvera are all battling to see who can reference harry potter the most in a single book and we're just letting themrtccontent warnings taken word for word from the back of the book discussions of racism homophobia past minor characters' death and alcoholism depictions of homophobic bullying and a scene involving brief sexual harassmentracial fetishism And don't let others take pride in who you are your race sexuality whatever away from you They didn't give it to you; they have no right to snatch it away Once again I need Julian Winters to meet in the parking lot because he keeps playing with my emotions How to Be Remy Cameron is Winters' brilliant sopho novel following Remy Cameron a junior in high school who feels he knows himself until his English teacher gives him an essay assignment that makes him uestion who he is Remy has been given tons of labels since he was a child Black gay adopted best friend older brother but none of these get to the core of his identity so Remy then goes on an emotional journey to help him answer the uestion of 'who am I? Like Winters' debut Running With Lions Remy's story is the perfect blend of emotional powerful and heart warming With a diverse and incredible cast of characters an adorable romance and a beautiful journey Winters impresses me again with his talentFirst up I want to talk about the cast of charactersRemy's friends and family are a huge part of his life and I LOVED how present they were and how well constructed the supporting castRemy has a relatively large group of friends but he has his core group that make many appearances in the novel and they're the ones who really give him the advice he needs to write that essay I particularly loved Lucy and Brooks' characters but all of Remy's friends brought a smile to my face I loved the mix of their humorlight hearted conversations with their strong emotional bond The friendships in this novel are so beautiful; Remy has a different relationship with everyone in his friend group and all of their relationships are well constructed and heartwarming to readAnd then there's Remy's family Again I just loved how Winters handled the arc of Remy being adopted and how that played into his overall journey in the novel But what I loved was the bond between Remy and his family I legitimately came close to crying multiple times while seeing Remy's relationship with his family as it was just so purely supportive and loving I adored Remy's mom and dad so much but his little sister Willow brought the biggest smile to my face whenever she was on the page and there was just something so lovely about the pure love this family shares for each otherAnd while talking about relationships I have to talk about the ADORABLE romance between Remy and the love interest who is of Korean Mexican descent I firmly believe that both Remy and his love interest are baby and they are the purest and most useless gays to ever exist The chemistry between the two was so existent; I was actually giddy at times while they were together While this novel does have many emotional points this romance was most of the time a light hearted and wonderful break in between Remy's identity crisisAnd now we need to talk about Remy How to Be Remy Cameron is 100% without a doubt a character driven novel This novel is the epitome of uiet YA the story is so so humanSo Remy's character is really the driving point of this novel And I'm so glad that it wasRemy is a brilliant story teller He is such a pure and kind soul and he is truly a likeable character I couldn't help but root for him throughout this novelHis character arc is one that is really dedicated to the idea of 'finding yourself' This novel really seeks to analyze and answer the uestion of 'who am I?' Remy was the perfect character to employ that arc and his journey contained powerful messages beautiful emotions and a heartwarming conclusion How to Be Remy Cameron by Julian Winters is a book that I cannot rave about enough and it is a must read for teen readers Disclaimer I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review This in no way impacted my opinion content warnings brief racism scene CHALLENGED discussion of alcoholism brief sexual harassment scene CHALLENGED A heartfelt emotional book on authenticity expectations and courage to be yourselfThe protagonist 17 year old Remy Cameron is in his junior year of high school He would like to go to Emory College so that he can be closer to his family his wonderful supportive parents and his seven year old sister Willow Remy might look different from his parents and Willow but he is very much a part of his family He is also lots of other things honest and brave he came out at 14 and is the President of Maplewood school Gay Straight Alliance Club confident and popular When his AP Lit teacher who he really looks up to sets an essay on the topic of Identity Remy is torn He would like to do his best to write a great essay but he is afraid he might fail because he doesn't really know what he is We have no control over what labels others give us but we can define who we are by the ones we choose to give ourselvesThis is not a plot driven book it is very introspective despite its light and upbeat tone The main issue is of course that of labels you can call them statuses we assign ourselves or get assigned by other people You can of course see yourself as a family member Remy's is the firstborn of his family which comes with privileges and responsibilities His Dad also chose a University closer to his home so that he could help his younger brother Remy is a doting brother He adores Willow how can you not? her fashion choices are beyond charming He also thinks a lot about his parents' marriage and is probably subconsciously trying to work out a model for his future relationships Remy's family understand and support him I loved the scene when he accidentally meets his ex and his mom senses Remy's feelings straightaway and difuses the situation The fact that he is adopted means he has a whole new set of uestions to ask himselfBeing a friend best friend good friend loyal friend absent friendor a student of a particular school is also a label of a kind Remy's friends are a very diverse group I must admit I thought that perhaps there were too many secondary characters but then again we meet so many people in our lives some of which are going to stay on the periphery helping us to define our core group of supportDoes being black define him? Remy doesn't know anything about his biological parents not that it has been a problem so far although we see in the book that he is very much aware of what it means to be one out of the five black students in his school When Remy meets his biological half sister some of his uestions get answered She also tells him that although he needs to know his history the struggles and the victories these things do not define who he is They are just a part of him Although Remy's sexuality is a big part of him it isn't all When the school counselor keeps suggesting universities with a strong LGBTIA presence Remy knows she isn't even trying to see him as a whole but only as somebody who can be pigeonholed and fast tracked to success defined by other people Mrs Scott sees me as a gay black teen she can guide to success My world is filled with identities overshadowing who I am Who I think I amWhen we meet Remy he is already pretty much over the break up of his first serious relationship As we all know being in or out of a relationship can also be a powerful label status Some students at his school will only see or recognise him as an ex boyfriend of another popular student I really liked the slow burn romance in this book and the way the author discusses the importance of consent in a subtle way It isn't just in Ian's asking 'Can I hold your hand?' yes you should be aware that not everybody is comfortable with being touched and not everybody is comfortable with sharing personal space to say nothing of taking a relationship to a new level It is also in Remy's sensitivity towards a friend who might or might not want to join GSA club He is very careful not to impose his help or support or make assumptions about people needing themI found Remy's reflections on his coming out very perceptive The thing is you always have to come out Every day To new people to people you have known forever to people who keep trying to ignore itThis is it You reveal yourself who you think you are to people around you Every day To people who love and know and support you To new people With some of them it is going to be easy with others awkward Yet another group of people will not accept you or care or even acknowledge that you exist and are a uniue human being You will always remain invisible or pigeonholed to them We also change as we go through our lives and some of the facets of our identity personality and experience become prominent while others fade away or become a distant history We reveal ourselves to people around us this is our right and our privilege to be what we think we are not what somebody else expects us to beThank you to Edelweiss and Duet Books for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion You'd think that me a ueer black teen living in Georgia would come to love a book about a ueer black teen living in Georgia by a ueer black person living in Georgia Unfortunately that was not the case What are the odds How to Be Remy Cameron was just a really dry book to the extent I couldn't remember its title as I was writing the draft for this Along with what I mentioned at this start of this review it's about a boy who I guess you would say is at the height of the teenage struggle He's dealing with the fact he is somebody who is black with adopted white parents college applications relationships rekindling with family members and so much These are all such important topics which the book did tackle well—not many authors are able to handle so many plotlines without it being a messy half assed jumble of words binded together in pages The problem for me was that I never really got anything from it Yeah I acknowledged everything and even related with some of the struggles Remy went through but they never resonated with me It was like something you hear about or watch and nod and speculate about for a few seconds but then promptly forget about right afterWhen I try to remember something positive I liked about this book my mind comes up blank Given the identities I shared with the main character and the topics this book handled it had so much potential for me to adore it But everything about it just fell flat The lack of closure with pretty much every plot point the underdeveloped romance how fucking bland all the characters were along with countless other things I still have hope for Winters’ works Despite how much I didn’t enjoy How to Be Remy Cameron I’ll be reading his other novels because I always love reading books featuring POC I definitely won’t be rereading this one any time soon though rep black gay main character ownvoices w Korean American gay LI various LGBT POC side characters content warnings discussions of racism homophobia past minor characters’ death and alcoholism as well as depictions of homophobic bullying and a scene involving brief sexual harassmentracial fetishism taken from the book I received an e ARC of this book from Duet an Interlude Press imprint via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest reviewBlog | Goodreads | Twitter also sidenote when I was typing up this review I hadn’t saved it and thought I had closed the window honestly the most cathartic moment of my life

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