A few hours ago I finished this book that definitely deserves its own blogpost. So read on, dear friends, I can tell you, I loved it.
I have wanted to read this book for quite a while. After I had read This Book Is Gay in August I knew I had to read more of James Dawson and I also knew there’s a bisexual character or something in All Of The Above and I’m bisexual myself so I HAD to buy it at some point and FINALLY I did it and I was not dissappointed at all!
All Of The Above isn’t like many other books I have read, in every aspect there is. It’s a novel, yes, but it also includes some amazing and beautiful poems and cute and funny illustrations. It’s about so many different topics. And it’s inspiring. A hell lot of inspiring. And encouraging. Helpful in a way.
I think there are so many things I took from this book and so many thoughts I have and I don’t really know what to do with them or how to write them down but I’ll try.
All Of The Above is a story about sexuality, sexual fluidity, self harm, eating disorders, falling and being in love, and other stuff teenagers have to deal with like school and stress and frustration over all of the above (get it?).
I relate so much to the characters in this book. Partially to Toria, the protagonist, partially to Polly or Daisy and I know people who are like that. I know people who used to cut themselves like Polly, I know people who can’t be open about their sexuality like Beasley, I know people who are struggling with different things. And this book didn’t just include one problem or one thing people, especially teenagers I guess, deal with, but so many different ones. That’s something special and that’s something I absolutely love about this book.
Sometimes it may seem like the book is going nowhere or that there’s no real story arc but it’s just like life is. There’s always change, there’s always different stuff going on. A lot can happen in a year. And it did in Toria’s year.
I cried and laughed while reading this book, I had goosebumps on my arms because it all got too real for a second and too relatable (but that’s okay) and I marked literally 30 pages with post it notes so that I can go back and find all those amazing quotes or moments I really liked.
In which other book do you find conversations about slut shaming, asexuality and societies expectations in how girls and women should look in the same 100 pages? I don’t know many or any, in fact.
There are also so many fandom related references in there, I am in love. And people actually USE the internet to DO stuff on there and blog and stuff like this which I sometimes miss in other YA books. In those the characters just text each other but that’s it. And who of us only texts, seriously?
All Of The Above is not romanticising anything about life. Especially not mental health. There is a lot of really good serious talk in there, the “that’s just how life is, deal with it” kind but the kind you actually think about and don’t just brush aside because it’s some cheesy shit no one finds helpful or cares about.
I could go on and on forever about specific conversations or passages in the book I loved but, come on, just read it yourself. It’s definitely worth it.
I’m a bit sad I had to wait so long for that one relationship to actually happen because I WANTED it to happen since like page 20 but it in the end.
I’m also really in love with the last few pages. It’s like the conclusion of an essay but it’s something actually meaningful, something I want to remember. I like that. I need that.
This will be one of the books I hope to remember for a long time, those I will leave in my bookshelf with all the colourful sticky notes.
All Of The Above is as great as I wanted it to be and better.
I’m definitely fine with that.
Do you know this book? Have you read it? Tell me what you think about it!
See you soon ❤