Review by Ivy
“‘Whatever happens,’ his grip tightens a little, ‘I wish you all the best, Benjamin De Backer.’ He says it with a smile. ‘You deserve it.’”
Ben was kicked out of their house on New Year’s Eve. Having decided to finally come out as non-binary, Ben expected their parents to be accepting. Instead, they’re starting the last semester of senior year at a new school with a new house and a new friend. Nathan is kind, funny, and patient with Ben, but they feel reluctant to open up. Sure, things looked bad, but with the support of their new family and friends, Ben might be able to start something better.
I expected I Wish You All the Best to be good. I had no idea how good. Mason Deaver, though only a debut author, has written a powerful first novel that hits every right note. Honest without being a bummer, this book proves the obvious fact that queer people are more than just their struggles. We see Ben open and flourish in art and love as well as go through trials and tribulations, both important to the story.
None of the characters in I Wish You All the Best felt like stereotypes or caricatures. No one was perfect and every action felt real. The reader struggled right alongside Ben when trying to quantify their parents’ true feelings and motives. It is a delicate art to write characters like these, people who the reader recognizes and understands while also retaining a little bit of mystery and human-ness.
Overall, I Wish You All the Best was a perfectly paced, searingly honest, and joyfully hopeful novel that makes me itch to get my hands on Mason Deaver’s The Ghosts We Keep hopefully coming out later this year. Even though it took me a while, I am glad I waited to read this book because it’s light and clarity was exactly what I needed right now.
Rating: five keys to the art room that make you feel special/five
For fans of: Groundbreaking representation, incomparable books, heavy stories with happy endings
Get your copy of I Wish You All the Best here: https://www.bookpeople.com/book/9781338306125