Skip to main content

Full Disclosure Review


Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett
Overview: Simone is HIV positive. It's a disease she's had to contend with her entire life since she was born with it, but under careful medical care, she's able to live a normal, healthy life. She's had to change schools due to her status getting out and the bullying that ensued, but, at Sacred Heart, she feels like she's finally found her place. She's directing the school musical, has a great group of friends, and a potential boyfriend on her radar. Life feels pretty close to perfect until notes threatening to reveal her status start popping up in her locker. They threaten to topple everything she's built in the last few months, but she doesn't know what to do. Overall: 4.5

Characters: 5 It's the characters that make this book. Simone is lost in a lot of aspects of her life in a super relatable way. She wants to study theater in college but doubts whether that's a practical choice, and she feels unsure about her sexuality. She also wonders if she'll ever be able to have a totally normal life due to her positive status. Her status is a part of her, but she in no way lets it define her.
The supporting cast is also great and bring out different sides of Simone. I love that her parents are heavily featured in the book. She was adopted by her Dad and Pops, and they're both incredibly supportive. They also give an insight into what Simone has been through on the way to getting her viral load undetectable as they're a major part of her doctors appointments and care.
Then there are her new best friends, Lydia and Claudia. They're her support system, and you know that they'll always have her back, but they fight like a real friend group. They have one of the most realistically portrayed friend groups I've ever seen in YA.
Miles comes into the picture at drama club. He's working on the crew after his lacrosse season is taken out of the equation by an injury. There's a quick connection with Simone that develops over the course of the book and leads to a lot of new questions that Simone has to tackle with the guidance of her friends, parents, and doctors. Despite her worries, Miles is a genuinely good guy and proves that not everyone will react as poorly as she's experienced in the past.
There's also the kids she goes to support group with. Though they've known each other for years, they start out on icy terms at the start of the book. Everyone resents being there, so they don't care about becoming particularly close. As she falls out with her other friends and her status becomes more and more of an immediate issue in her day to day life, she grows closer to this small group of kids who can fully understand what she's going through.
What I love about all of these characters is that they have their fair share of flaws and bad moments, like all of us do, but you can tell that they all have incredibly good, caring hearts. I really enjoyed getting to see a main character with a full support system made up of characters I genuinely became attached to. Also, the representation in the book is incredible and captures a really full spectrum from a diversity and sexuality standpoint. Beyond Simone's dads, Lydia is bi and Claudia is ace and a lesbian while Simone is questioning. The conversations that the girls have about the topic are really organic and insightful and honest. I really appreciated that as a side narrative.

Plot: 4 The plot in this book is really secondary to the characters and the little moments between them. There is a strong structural line as the mystery and threat of the notes increases and the deadline creeps closer, but that wasn't the part of the story that had me hooked. I loved the random scenes of deep conversations or tentative cute moments or the emotional moments where Simone is forced into real revelations. If you love just experiencing characters and their dynamics like I do, then this is the book for you. There are plenty of plot twists to pair with the indulgent scenes, though, if you are a plot based reader.

Writing: 5 One interesting thing to point out about this book is that it was written by someone who was a teenager at the time of writing it and is currently in college. I think that's what made the book for me. Her writing sparkles and has the added benefit of seamlessly reflecting what it's like to be a teen right now. There's no out of sync moments with our current world, and all the interactions feel so natural. She's not having to put thought into how teens talk to each other or shove a twenty year old high school experience into the present day. While almost all major house YA books are written by adults who can write great books, there's no replacing the extra level of depth and understanding you get out of a YA book written by someone immediately experiencing being a teenager. Teens get written off so easily in professional spaces, and I can't imagine how much Camryn's had to fight to be taken seriously, but this book is great proof of how teen voices would greatly benefit the genre. I'm so excited to see what she'll write next and to find more authors like her.
The book was so much fun to read and the perfect escape. I'd DNF'd a couple books before I remembered I had it on my Kindle, and I just clicked with Full Disclosure immediately. I hope that the book will continue to entertain and educate teens and adults about what it's like to be HIV positive. I didn't know much about it before the book, and I don't think it's something that's discussed in such a nuanced way enough. I also think that the range of characters and diversity will allow every reader to find someone that represents them in the story.
My only note on this book would be that it's probably best suited for at least high schoolers and maybe those on the older teen end. There are a many conversations about sex in lots different contexts that aren't really sugarcoated. It's super important, and I'm glad that there are books with that level of openness and focus on being informed, but definitely stick with whatever your personal comfort level is.

Links of Interest:

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Swimming Lessons By Lili Reinhart Poetry Review

Swimming Lessons by Lili Reinhart Overall: 5This is the first poetry book I've ever read in its entirety outside of Shel Silverstein, so I've checked off one of my reading goals for the year with this one. I've now read a graphic novel and a book of poetry. I've been anticipating Swimming Lessons so long that I can't believe it's actually in my hands. I've been a fan of Lili since Riverdale, and I've continued to be a fan of hers even when the show got a bit too ridiculous for me to keep watching every week. I've been excited for the chance to get to see something completely created a controlled by Lili. I'm not sure what I expected from Swimming Lessons. I think I had almost no idea what it would be like or the topics it would cover. After the first couple poems, I was completely hooked. In the intro, Lili prefaces the collection by noting that poetry has always given her solace in knowing other people felt the same specific emotions that she d…

This Is All Your Fault Blog Tour Stop

Hi, everybody! Today, I'm a part of a book tour for Turn the Pages Tours letting you know about Aminah Mae Safi's book, This Is All Your Fault. If you've always dreamed about working in a bookstore, this new book will be perfect for you. It's about a group of teen booksellers who have to band together to help save the store. Check out the full description down below to get to know the book and learn more about Aminah through her author bio and the links to her social media! If you want to pick up the book right now, I'll leave a link to the book on Bookshop here which helps support the blog because it's an affiliate link, which means the blog might get a small commission from your purchase at no extra cost to you. It's a great way to support the blog while shopping for books! If you'd rather not shop at Bookshop, here's the general purchase linkDescription: Set over the course of one day, Aminah Mae Safi's This Is All Your Fault is a smart and…

How It All Blew Up: YA Book Review

How It All Blew Up by Arvin AhmadiOverview: Amir left before graduation. He just drove out of town and got on a plane to New York and then another on to Italy. Instead of paying the blackmail money or facing his conservative, Iranian family's reaction to him being outed as gay, he runs. In Rome, he stumbles into a found family of gay guys, many American, who take him under their wing. With these new friends in Rome, Amir feels like he can truly be himself for once in his life. With the money from editing Wikipedia pages, he wonders if he can just stay in Italy forever. But when he can't ignore his family's calls and drama starts up in the friend group, Amir realizes that you can't keep running forever. Overall: 4Characters: 4 Amir is well developed, and I enjoyed living in his brain. He's lost and constantly scared, but he also has a fearless streak that gets him to Rome in the first place. Most of all, he's confused. He feels like his identities contradict eac…

Fear of Missing Out

Fear of Missing Out by Kate McGovern 
Overview: Astrid has a form of brain cancer called astrocytoma that causes a star shaped tumor to form near her brainstem. Though she was in remission, two years later, the cancer comes back, and Astrid becomes convinced that she won't beat the disease. She starts to pursue options that will allow her to have a life in the future, namely, cryopreservation. After essentially freezing her body, she hopes to wake up when there's a cure for her cancer so she can rejoin the world and see some of the milestones she fears missing.
On the road trip to tour the Arizona facility, though, Astrid makes other realizations about her life and eventual death that alters how she sees her original plan. Overall: 4 

Characters: 4 Astrid is relatable. She has a touch of dry, witty humor that makes her relatable. She loves her friends and family deeply, but she also has a conviction to follow what feels best for her. I appreciated how she always tried to stay ho…

September 2020 Wrap Up

I've honestly been stuck on what to write for this wrap up. I guess I'm surprised that September is finally over? It's been another boringly eventful month. I've been much busier trying to balance two blogs, YouTube, and college. I feel like I'm managing everything okay, but it's still a lot to process on some days when you factor in everything else going on in the world. I'm in a weird place of feeling totally lost and stagnant and also like I'm making some major strides towards getting where I want to go. It's hard to remember that it takes a long time build something up, and the process is something to enjoy too. I'm trying not to dwell on what's out of my control. Reflecting back on the month, I've accomplished a lot more than I felt like I did when I sat down to write this. A lot of what I'm most proud of myself, I'm not going to talk about in a ton of detail yet because I'm super superstitious about talking about things…

Books I'm Looking Forward To: October 2020

October means fall, Halloween, and some brand new books! This is a short list this time with a couple books I've had my eyes on for a while. As always, if you want to preorder a copy of any of these books (it helps authors a ton), I have preorder links to Bookshop through my affiliate page. That means shopping these links might give me a small commission at no cost to you! It's a great way to support the blog. Let me know in the comments which books you're looking forward to most in October. Also, I'd love YA thriller recommendations. I'm looking forward to doing another Halloween post like two years ago featuring some newer thrillers/creepy books. Let me know if you have a favorite. Also, don't forget to check out my September Favorites YouTube VideoOne Way or Another by Kara McDowellOctober 6Get a CopyI'm in the middle of reading this one now! In just a couple days, Kara will be releasing a brand new book. Paige has an impossible choice. Go with her lon…

Clap When You Land: YA Book Review

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth AcevedoTW: sex trafficking, sexual assault, grief, loss of a parentClick Here To Get a Copy! Overview: Camino and Yahaira are sisters, but they don't know it yet. Camino's dad spends most of the year in NYC making money to send back to the Dominican Republic. Yaharia's father always spent the summers away doing business in the Dominican Republic. They don't know that when their dad is gone, he's really visiting the other daughter until his plane crashes into the Atlantic Ocean. The aftermath and grieving process bring them together. While the grief and loss leaves a giant hole, it also opens new possibilities. Overall: 4Characters: 5 Yahaira and Camino are both super relatable. Their voices are so similar yet distinct, and you can see how growing up in two different cultures, yet still heavily influenced by each other, developed their points of view. Camino has a lot of assumptions about her American sister, assuming their rich and t…

Grown: YA Book Reviews

Grown by Tiffany D. JacksonTW: (from the title page of the book) sexual abuse, rape, assault, child abuse, kidnapping, and addiction to opioids Overview: Enchanted just wants to be a singer. Living in the suburbs, she doesn't know how this will happen until she gets noticed by Korey Fields at an audition. She doesn't make the show, but she gets taken under his wing. She just wants a career, and she wants to be loved, and she wants to be told she's beautiful. Korey does all that and more. He also has money and power- more things Enchanted lacks. She wants to be an adult and take life on, but she's fallen into the hands of an abuser and master manipulator. Coming out the other side leaves Korey dead and Enchanted trying to find her footing. Overall: 5Characters: 5 All of these characters are extremely vivid. Enchanted is such a good main character. She has confidence and is so smart. But you can see her little vulnerabilities that Korey expertly exploits. It's clear …

Into YA with Kristina Forest

I'm super excited to bring you another edition of Into YA, this time with one of my new favorite YA authors, Kristina Forest. While I'm sure you've already heard about Now That I've Found You, you can get caught up by reading my review here. Thank you to Kristina for taking the time to chat with me, and I hope you enjoy our conversation. If you want to help support the blog, please consider grabbing a copy through my Bookshop affiliate link here1. In Now That I Found You, all of your main characters are famous. Evie and her family are huge in the film industry, and love interest, Milo, is on the rise with his band. Did that require extra research to write about for either the music or film industries?
It didn’t require much research. I’ve always been interested in old Hollywood and I’m a big fan of movies and music, and I’ve watched dozens of documentaries and/or biopics so I felt pretty prepared to write the story without having to do additional research.
2. Once Ev…

Books I'm Looking Forward To: November 2020 (5 YA Books and Poetry!)

Sorry I've been gone so much this month! It's hard to keep up my regular reading schedule with school. The last two weeks, I've been dealing with midterms and finals for different classes, so there's been plenty of extra work. I'm working on getting back to reading so I can share some more reviews with you very soon, but I should be back to regular posting this week.  Since it's almost a new month, I figured it's a good time to get excited about the brand new books that are coming in November and get some last minute preordering done to support these books! This month is a little bit different because I'm including a broader range of titles. I have a couple I've preordered already, some suggested to me on Twitter, a fantasy book I'm considering reading, and a book of poetry that I have wanted for months and months. I can't believe Halsey's book is finally out. In each book feature, there's a preorder button you can click to preorder th…