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I Wish You All the Best

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When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they're thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents' rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profil When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they're thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents' rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school. But Ben's attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan's friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life. At turns heartbreaking and joyous, I Wish You All the Best is both a celebration of life, friendship, and love, and a shining example of hope in the face of adversity.


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When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they're thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents' rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profil When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they're thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents' rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school. But Ben's attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan's friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life. At turns heartbreaking and joyous, I Wish You All the Best is both a celebration of life, friendship, and love, and a shining example of hope in the face of adversity.

30 review for I Wish You All the Best

  1. 4 out of 5

    Chaima ✨ شيماء

    The beginning of I Wish You All the Best jarred me. It kicked up a riot of emotions; each word a lash, wrenching out your breath and dealing blows to your insides. Benjamin De Backer, buoyant with hopes of swift acceptance, is planning on coming out as non-binary to their parents. The reader is spared the immediate fallout—but the imagination conjures up enough horrors. What we see is Benjamin’s life as if held aloft by their own hand, and in an instant, it spun away from them. Benjamin, barefoo The beginning of I Wish You All the Best jarred me. It kicked up a riot of emotions; each word a lash, wrenching out your breath and dealing blows to your insides. Benjamin De Backer, buoyant with hopes of swift acceptance, is planning on coming out as non-binary to their parents. The reader is spared the immediate fallout—but the imagination conjures up enough horrors. What we see is Benjamin’s life as if held aloft by their own hand, and in an instant, it spun away from them. Benjamin, barefoot, feeling like a stray helium balloon drifting on the currents as they walked to a payphone to call an estranged sister they haven’t seen, or spoken to, in a decade. Hope roots faintly in Benjamin’s heart when their sister and her husband welcome them to their home. But every hour some new bruise was upon Benjamin, some new ache, always weary, always burdened. The ground beneath them has never felt more precarious, and their life has become a cold sinking tangle of fear and anger and doubt. Their parents’ rejection scratched at them, and they were wearying under the burden of constantly coming out to everyone, and then dreading their reaction. Benjamin seemed to be in a lull, a strange pocket of emptiness into which no one came, and they were never threatened. But with the support of their best friend, who is a non-binary Muslim immigrant, and a burgeoning friendship with their classmate Nathan who was like cheer in a bottle, Benjamin feels the shiver of a new hope forming, a new space opening up wide enough for them to stand in. Maybe some renewed vestige of life was in them yet—the last tatters of Benjamin’s hopes blooming afresh. Mason Deaver, the debut author of this book, is nonbinary themself and Benjamin’s story had come crawling out of their own heart. The author’s voice is simultaneously tender and reverent—but it also falls like an axe blade, sharp and severing. The novel’s cold touch is like fingertips slipping beneath your clothes and wrapping around your heart, making turmoil bubble up through the tightness in your chest before it catches you up in a soft, opened warmth. I do not doubt that this story is going to be cathartic for a lot of readers—and I’m glad it exists. With that being said, my primary critique of Deaver’s single-minded coming-of-age novel is a longing for more—this unnameable thing that slips from my brain like sand held in an open palm. The book's heart and dazzle does not always help it overcome much of its dryness. I was often threatened by a sense of ennui as, for most of the novel, the plot just plods along, and it isn’t long before Benjamin’s voice grows distant, like far-off waves. Deaver builds believable secondary characters, but they beg for more page time. The development of familial attachments alongside romantic and platonic ones could have carried a lot more vivacity, but the author plays it close to the chest. I found myself many times wishing this scene or that conversation more fully played out, because instead of parlaying them, the author often only gives you just a glimpse, and then they’re off, running to the next thing. Again, I wanted more, but some moments never come to fruition. That is not to say of course that there's nothing lovely in I Wish You All the Best. The story, which is a gentle but unyielding reminder that the body’s need to speak its truth is primal and profound, and that compassion and love can overcome intolerance, warmed the cockles of my heart. Benjamin's journey put so much hope in me and I'm glad I picked up this book. I hope many readers find their way to Deaver’s novel for it will doubtless change a lot of lives. BLOG | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | TUMBLR

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kai

    "Don't ignore the problems. Learn from them. But also don't knock what you get right. Every success deserves a celebration." Oh the feeling of mile-high expectations actually being fulfilled: pure bliss. I have waited so long for this book to be released and it checks every single box. A wonderful, emotional, important and romantic read. I Wish You All the Best tells the story of Ben, who is nonbinary, who prefers the pronouns they & them, who, after coming out to their parents, is kicked out "Don't ignore the problems. Learn from them. But also don't knock what you get right. Every success deserves a celebration." Oh the feeling of mile-high expectations actually being fulfilled: pure bliss. I have waited so long for this book to be released and it checks every single box. A wonderful, emotional, important and romantic read. I Wish You All the Best tells the story of Ben, who is nonbinary, who prefers the pronouns they & them, who, after coming out to their parents, is kicked out of the house and has to take refuge at their sister's, whom they haven't seen in 10 years. At their new school, they meet Nathan, a captivating boy who may or may not be the cutest human the world has ever seen (chances are high, though). But Ben struggles with anxiety, panic attacks and depression. This definitely translated onto the pages of the book. I often felt hopeless, was frustrated with the absence of feelings, with Ben not being able to say anything but "Yeah", with the plot not going anywhere because the world stops moving when anxiety overwhelms you. At least that's what I felt like reading it. Luckily, Ben slowly opened up to the people around them, to their therapist and eventually to Nathan and their sister. It was a heartfelt book with an easygoing writing style and a slow-burning romance. The kind of romance where it couldn't be more obvious that the attraction is mutual but still these stupid dorks wait till the very last minute to confess their feelings. The only criticism I have is that I wished the side characters had received more of a backstory. They all had depth and felt real enough, but I was curious about them. About Ben's sister and their brother-in-law, about Maleika and Sophie, about Nathan. I wouldn't have minded an additional 100 pages if this meant that we'd get to see more of them. I want to stress how important it is that queer writers write queer stories. No cis or straight person would have been able to write such a complex and truthful book about life, coming-out, falling in love as a nonbinary person. I always say that representation and inclusion matter, not only because people might recognise parts of themselves in the characters, but also because it teaches kids and teenagers compassion, acceptance, and empathy early on. If every teenager read this book, the world would be much kinder and tolerant. Stories have so much power and influence, and that's why it's important to promote and support queer voices that have mostly gone unheard until now. I Wish You All the Best was my first novel with a nonbinary character that was at the centre of the story instead of the sidelines. I hope we will get to see more of that in the future. Find more of my books on Instagram

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mason Deaver

    Well I wrote this book, so my review is probably biased? Either way... this is the book of my heart, I never thought people would believe in this story, but I've never been happier to be so, so, so wrong. This book may be the closest I get to writing myself. It deals with anxiety, depression, coming out and identity, and first love, and it's absolutely so important to me. I hope you all enjoy it when you get the chance to read it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Alice Oseman

    A soft, sweet, and incredibly important story about a non-binary teen finding their voice. This book is going to be so important to so many people.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)

    I am finally going to be able to read Mason’s book. CAN YOU BELIEVE??! Update after reading - December 3rd, 2018 *4.5/5 This book has not been undersold in the least. It is heartfelt, loving, difficult, and wonderful in every way. Becky’s blurb isn’t lying - it is indeed quietly groundbreaking and will, without a doubt, save lives. Prepare yourselves for an incredible, beautiful debut in 2019, friends.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)

    This was suUuUuUuUuch a great read. I learned so much and also just fell head over heels for these characters. What an important book! TW: misgendering, homophobia, anxiety, depression

  7. 5 out of 5

    ✨ jamieson ✨

    "whatever happens, I wish you all the best, Ben De Backer THIS WAS EVERYTHING. This is such a groundbreaking YA book following a non-binary teen that is genuinely going to change lives. It was sadder than I expected, with more of a family focus rather than romance, but I really loved what it was doing and how it covered so much in such a short time. Ben was a great main character, I liked that their reactions seemed realistic for the situation, and I felt they were a character that 'existed' ra "whatever happens, I wish you all the best, Ben De Backer THIS WAS EVERYTHING. This is such a groundbreaking YA book following a non-binary teen that is genuinely going to change lives. It was sadder than I expected, with more of a family focus rather than romance, but I really loved what it was doing and how it covered so much in such a short time. Ben was a great main character, I liked that their reactions seemed realistic for the situation, and I felt they were a character that 'existed' rather than was necessarily designed to be liked or a teaching mechanism. Nathan was a huge angel and I loved him. I just wish there were more interactions between Ben and Nathan to build their chemistry and relationship more, though I do love their romance. Overall this is a wonderful, and necessary book that tackled a lot of issues around homophobia, transphobia, living as a non-binary person and queer experiences. big recemmondand maybe bigger review to come

  8. 4 out of 5

    Larry H

    Yes, yes, YES. I loved this book so much! Ben De Backer has finally decided it's time they come out to their parents as nonbinary. While Ben knows their parents, particularly their father, are difficult and have strong religious beliefs, in the end Ben thinks that their parents should be okay with their coming out. Ben is their child after all, right? Ben couldn't have been more wrong. Their parents kick Ben out of the house and with nowhere to turn, not even shoes on their feet, Ben turns to thei Yes, yes, YES. I loved this book so much! Ben De Backer has finally decided it's time they come out to their parents as nonbinary. While Ben knows their parents, particularly their father, are difficult and have strong religious beliefs, in the end Ben thinks that their parents should be okay with their coming out. Ben is their child after all, right? Ben couldn't have been more wrong. Their parents kick Ben out of the house and with nowhere to turn, not even shoes on their feet, Ben turns to their estranged sister, Hannah, who left home 10 years ago and never looked back. Although it takes a moment for Hannah and her husband, Thomas, to understand what nonbinary even means, there's no question that they will take Ben into their home. Hannah feels so much guilt about leaving Ben behind with their parents all those years ago, and Ben only knew she was married via social media. But Hannah is determined to help Ben deal with the stress of accepting their identity coupled with their parents' rejection. "Like, what do you do when your parents kick you out of your house? When your entire life is upheaved, all because you wanted to come out, to be respected and seen, to be called the right pronouns?" As Ben tries to settle into a new high school for one last semester before graduation, they hope to keep a low profile. But that plan is quickly thwarted when Ben meets Nathan Allan, whose charm and humor make him seem almost larger than life. Nathan wants to be Ben's friend and doesn't understand why they keep pushing him away, so little by little Ben's defenses come down and they open up to the idea of Nathan's friendship, and in turn, Nathan's best friends as well. It's difficult, though, to be close with people from whom you're keeping your true self secret, but Ben isn't interested in the possibility of rejection again. While Ben tries to reconcile their conflicted feelings toward Hannah and deal with panic attacks and anxiety, they're also frightened by how much Nathan is starting to mean to them. Can Ben find the courage to let Nathan know the truth about them? Would Nathan push them away? And even if Nathan were interested in them, is it worth exploring when Nathan is set to leave North Carolina for college in just three months? Dealing with just one of these issues is tough for anyone, but all of them compounded prove immensely challenging for Ben. They find themselves turning more and more to their therapist and Mariam, their only nonbinary friend, with whom Ben speaks via Skype and text. Mariam has made a career from their experiences accepting their identity and living their life openly, and they want Ben to do the same. I Wish You All the Best is a beautiful, moving book about everyone's right to be happy with who they are, and their need to be surrounded by love and friendship. It's such an amazing story about how you can't tackle all of your problems on your own—only by letting people in can you start to achieve happiness and self-acceptance. At times it's a difficult book to read, because of the emotions and challenges Ben has to deal with, and how difficult it is for them to communicate how they feel, but it seemed immensely realistic, and I found myself hoping that Ben would find their way through this. Mason Deaver brought so much humor, emotion, and hope to this book. These characters were amazing. I read the entire thing in just a few hours and loved it so much. I really found it a tremendous learning experience for me, because I'll admit I don't know nearly enough about nonbinary people. I hope this book gets into the hands of those who need it most. If you follow my reviews you know how much I marvel at the tremendous amount of talent in the YA genre in particular. I love the courage and boldness with which these authors tackle difficult subjects, and I am so thankful that there are so many authors like Deaver willing to share their own struggles with readers in the hope they can reach those who need to hear, and see, that progress and happiness and acceptance may seem impossible to fathom, but it truly is possible. See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com. Check out my list of the best books I read in 2018 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2019/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2018.html. You can follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lola

    This is the kind of story that could change your life.

  10. 5 out of 5

    C.G. Drews

    Am so here for books that quietly open the door to my heart and then yell "I'M NEVER LEAVINGGGG". Because yes. This book. Yes. It was so heartfelt and vulnerable, with characters I quickly decided I'd die for (I am nothing if not lowkey, obviously) and so many scenes that made me want to cry (in the best possible way). I just...I sincerely think everyone should read this, ok? Like I say that for so many books, but not only am I internally screaming because I just love it as a book and story, but Am so here for books that quietly open the door to my heart and then yell "I'M NEVER LEAVINGGGG". Because yes. This book. Yes. It was so heartfelt and vulnerable, with characters I quickly decided I'd die for (I am nothing if not lowkey, obviously) and so many scenes that made me want to cry (in the best possible way). I just...I sincerely think everyone should read this, ok? Like I say that for so many books, but not only am I internally screaming because I just love it as a book and story, but it also so needs to be read to open everyone's eyes to: ➢ really explain how your mental health is affected by being closeted and rejected for who you are ➢ how so so hard it is on teens (but on anyone too) to be rejected by your parents who should love and protect you ➢ the agony of living a life that isn't true to you (in Ben's case, constant misgendering) ➢ what it's truly like to go through panic attacks/triggers ➢ how terrifying it can be to come out I'm not saying that lgbtqia+ books need to exist to educate allies. But reading, I've always believed, is like walking in someone else's shoes and reading this was absolutely like being Ben for 300pgs. You feel their pain, their panic, their love, their passions for art and their need to just be viewed as a worthwhile human who deserves happiness. EVERYONE deserves that. And everyone needs to work on their empathy to really understand what it's like. Like every time Ben was misgendered and it hurt them (physically) *I* felt that pain too. So the book is just excellently well written with the emotions as well. But at its core, I do believe this book is a warm and loving hug to enby teens. And it made me cry for that. It is a story with sadness, but it is a story that is so lovingly full of hope, that you'll finish and close the cover feeling like you deserve a place in this world to take up space living true to yourself and who you were born to be. I love this book for that. It's so important. When Ben comes out to their parents, they're immediately thrown out of the house in the dead of winter's night. They end up being picked up by their estranged sister, Hannah, who basically disappeared from home the second she was 18 because of the terrible way the parents treated her. They weren't physically abusive, but they were intentionally cruel, so strict, and like from chapter one you could see they only cared about Ben's grades. About how "successful" Ben would be...not about Ben themself and how they were coping. Subtly cruel parents are really common in life, so it really broke my heart. Like how could you toss out your child, that you said you loved??? how. Ben's mental health was also another thing I felt was written super accurately. As someone with anxiety and depression too, I connected to Ben instantly. The panic attacks, sure. But the anxiety spirals?! The ingrained belief that you're annoying people, that you don't deserve love because "you're a mess". Ben IS a mess, but dammit, they still deserve the world. And their friendship with Nathan was this beautiful slowburn tumbling into trust and affection that I couldn't get enough of. Nathan is like YELLOW and SUNSHINE and TERRIBLE JOKES and WELCOMING OPENNESS. And Ben is over there with their art and hair in their face giving off "don't talk to me ever" vibes. I love that mix ok??! Favourite trope. And there was no "Ben must be cured of their anxiety and turned into a 100% happy well person!!" at the end either. They got therapy and they got friends and they got love -- which helped so so much. But they were Ben on page 1 and Ben on the last page. And that's what I love in mental health books. Unconditional love from good people to those that need it most. Basically I could gush forever. 😫The book meant a lot to me (for so many reasons, not just the mental health relatability, that I can't explain further right now) and overall it's a story about acceptance and being told you're worth something, set against the backdrop of an intolerant world. Also the cover is SO FRIKKIN PERFECT (and cute) because you have no idea how hard it was for Ben to lean against someone and they're right there!!! leaning on Nathan!! AND I JUST--

  11. 5 out of 5

    April (Aprilius Maximus)

    "Sometimes the world is too loud." I loved this book so, so, so, so, SO much. Knowing this book will mean so much to non-binary folks (teens especially!) fills my heart with so much happiness. Thank you for this beautiful story, Mason! <3

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kayla Dawn

    I initially rated this 4 stars but after reading a few reviews I changed my mind. I enjoyed the overall story a lot but the side characters were all incredibly boring and have little to no personality (except for Mariam but even they didn't really get much. Whenever Ben talked to them it was always about Ben's problems. From what we got to see it felt like a pretty one-sided friendship to me tbh)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Gabby

    This book is important. This is the first book I've ever read with a non-binary main character and even better that it's written by a non-binary author. I learned so much from this book about what it means to identify as non-binary and I am very happy I read this, and I am so happy this book was published because I feel like a lot of people will relate to this book and find comfort in this book. As for my personal reading taste though, I thought this story was okay. This story follows Ben who com This book is important. This is the first book I've ever read with a non-binary main character and even better that it's written by a non-binary author. I learned so much from this book about what it means to identify as non-binary and I am very happy I read this, and I am so happy this book was published because I feel like a lot of people will relate to this book and find comfort in this book. As for my personal reading taste though, I thought this story was okay. This story follows Ben who comes out to their parents as non-binary and then gets thrown out of the house. They stay with their sister Hannah, and get transferred to a new school where they meet Nathan, a boy they might be interested in. This story was very eye-opening to me, but to be honest if this book didn't feature a non-binary character, I probably would've DNF'ed it because the story line and plot itself wasn't very interesting to me. The writing in this book feels very basic YA to me and because of it I had difficulty connecting to this story and the characters. My favorite character in this book by far is Hannah, Ben's older sister. I was fascinated by her story about why she left home and her relationship with her parents, and how amazing and accepting she is of Ben. I thought the romance in this book was cute, but again it felt very standard YA to me and not something I got emotionally attached to in any way unfortunately. I appreciate this book for what it does and I think we need a hell of a lot more books out there that feature non-binary characters, but this book was only okay for me. Book #6 for Romanceathon is complete!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    The ARC of this book was provided by Scholastic via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Full review here I think this book is going to mean so much for so many people. First of all, I think it's important to say that this book is own voices so the author surely knows what they are talking about. This book tells the story of Ben, a teenager who identifies as non-binary. After coming out to their parents Ben is kicked out of their home. Thankfully their sister Hannah takes them in and help The ARC of this book was provided by Scholastic via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Full review here I think this book is going to mean so much for so many people. First of all, I think it's important to say that this book is own voices so the author surely knows what they are talking about. This book tells the story of Ben, a teenager who identifies as non-binary. After coming out to their parents Ben is kicked out of their home. Thankfully their sister Hannah takes them in and helps them go through some major things. She helps them get into a new school and offers to financially help them, something that Ben obviously needs since they are only a high schooler. I liked how this book was all about Ben and their journey that brought them to forgiveness, to acceptance and in the end to happiness. This story was very character-driven, something I very much appreciated. I loved the fact that the characters talked about pronouns and misgendering and also how they said sorry when they made mistakes. Every time they did that it felt like a small victory in Ben's favour and I was so happy for them because it meant that people were listening to them and were accepting them for who they really are. Because that's the feeling throughout all the book, Ben just wants to be accepted for who they are and I'm happy they found people who do. The other characters were great. Hannah and Thomas are two of the most supportive people I’ve ever encountered in books. They really are good for Ben, especially considering the parents they were living with before all this. The friends Ben makes are very nice, especially Nathan (my little sunshine). I don’t know how the author did it, but I could definitely feel Nathan’s happiness and good spirits radiating from the pages. When Ben was painting Nathan’s portrait and decided to go with yellow I was like: “Well yes of course, what other colour could you use to describe him?” It just felt so obvious to me. I’m so glad Ben and Nathan found each other and wherever they are I just want to wish them all the best.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Iris

    This book was... wow. I don't even have words for this book. It was fantastic. It was beautiful and heartbreaking and so so so important. I cannot recommend it enough.

  16. 4 out of 5

    kav (xreadingsolacex)

    disclaimer: i received an ARC in exchange for an honest review, this in no way impacted my review. trigger warnings: rejection from parents after coming out (challenged), panic attacks Finally, after my third time reading this brilliant gift to the young-adult world, I can share my review of I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver. I Wish You All the Best is a young-adult contemporary about Ben De Backer, a non-binary teen who is thrown out of their house after coming out to their parents, who disclaimer: i received an ARC in exchange for an honest review, this in no way impacted my review. trigger warnings: rejection from parents after coming out (challenged), panic attacks Finally, after my third time reading this brilliant gift to the young-adult world, I can share my review of I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver. I Wish You All the Best is a young-adult contemporary about Ben De Backer, a non-binary teen who is thrown out of their house after coming out to their parents, who then goes and lives with their sister and has to overcome the after-effects of this trauma, struggling with an anxiety disorder, depression, and feelings of loneliness, but whose days are brightened by an annoying classmate, Nathan, who just might become more than that. ;) Benjamin De Backer may be the closest I have ever written about myself...This book is what I needed when I was fifteen, when I was eighteen, and it’s still the story I need in my twenties. This is how a lot of stories are born: out of necessity. I first read this novel in 2017, and then again later in 2017, and now I’ve read an actual ARC of it — I’ve held an actual copy of the book as opposed to reading a Google Doc and that is almost surreal in the best way possible. I Wish You All the Best is a love letter to non-binary teens everywhere — it is a love letter to the kids who don’t know where they fall in the gender binary, to the kids who know they fall outside the binary but who need a little help understanding just how valued and loved that is. It is one of the only novels with a non-binary teen who uses they/them pronouns as the main character, and that is groundbreaking. But it is also a novel about overcoming anxiety, depression, rejection, and trauma — and those are messages that can resonate with almost anyone regardless of gender identity. The kind of pain Ben feels for a lot of the novel, it’s the kind of pain I think anyone has the ability to experience no matter how they identify, and because of that, anyone can see the power of this novel. I didn’t say you shouldn’t feel sad. I’m just saying you need to prove them wrong...Be sad, hell, sit in bed all weekend and just watch Netflix. I’ve had those times too. But don’t stop living your life for them. This quote truly gave me chills. Deaver explores themes of anxiety and depression in a way that is absolutely exquisite, that I have rarely seen explored in many young-adult novels. They represent these very real struggles in such an authentic and truthful manner that I just wanted to hug Ben (though I wouldn’t have because we respect boundaries in this house) for how I felt for them, and I wanted to cry because of how much I could relate to them. And more than all of this, Deaver also just wrote a brilliant novel. They wrote their debut novel in such an exquisite manner that it never felt like a debut, it felt the work of an expert writer who has been honing this craft for decades. They wrote a novel with a brilliant cast of characters, all of whom I would die for — especially Ben and Nathan, who are my children don’t even try me. They wrote an intriguing and moving plot. And, most importantly (in my lil’ queer opinion), they wrote an astoundingly beautiful romance. Whatever happens, I wish you all the best, Benjamin De Backer. You deserve it. The connection between Ben and Nathan is moving and adorable and beautiful all at once. Nathan is a shining ray of hope and brightness in a world of dark. He is filled with a heart of love and happiness, and despite his unforgivable cereal habits, he is the perfect love interest. And similarly, I Wish You All the Best is a a source of hope in a world of darkness. I Wish You All the Best is hope when hope feels unachievable. And for that reason alone , I believe it is a read for everyone and their mother and their dog. I am so touched to have been a part of Mason’s process, no matter how small a part I played. I am so honored to have been trusted with giving my opinions on this much-needed story. And I am so touched by Mason’s bravery in representing a side of me I never thought would be represented so well. Thank you, Mason Deaver, for writing one of the best novels of all-time. For this and so many reasons, I love you and your work. - - - I have had the honor of reading this book not once, but twice. Let me just tell you, this is one of the greatest pieces of art I have ever consumed and everyone, EVERYONE, needs to put it on their TBR. I’ll write a proper review closer to when it comes out because it’s being published and that’s what the book and Mason deserve!!!!!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lily ☁️

    I need new words for “disappointment”, because there don’t seem to be nearly enough to cover all the various shades of it that befall me owing to a myriad of books (including this one, if my words weren’t pointed enough). Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Bloglovin’

  18. 5 out of 5

    Steph [They/Them] (Wickedjr Reads)

    4.5 Honestly words will not be able to describe how much I love this book and how important it is. Why is it 4.5 instead of 5 then? Small quibbles. A couple things I wish were a bit more fleshed out (but I didn't dislike at all, just wanted more) and some "you know you are 18...right?" moments. Also something that is very much a me thing in that I got sad at parts that shouldn't have been sad. Because I am non-binary but I am also disabled and can not live on my own because of physical disabilit 4.5 Honestly words will not be able to describe how much I love this book and how important it is. Why is it 4.5 instead of 5 then? Small quibbles. A couple things I wish were a bit more fleshed out (but I didn't dislike at all, just wanted more) and some "you know you are 18...right?" moments. Also something that is very much a me thing in that I got sad at parts that shouldn't have been sad. Because I am non-binary but I am also disabled and can not live on my own because of physical disabilities. I don't have the privilege to say "fuck the queerphobic assholes" (not if I want to live). Some instances that as much as I was happy for Ben, I couldn't help but think "Wish I had that privilege" and of course I don't expect this book (or any book) to tackle all the things or anything and they are things most people don't realize are privileges. It just made me sad for personal reasons. So onto all the love I have for this book! For years I refused to look into "this non-binary business". I mean sure i'd respect people, it's not that hard and nothing good comes from being an asshat. But I refused to look into it/research it at all because I was already in my mid 20s before I heard the term and was afraid at what i'd find, for multiple reasons. I grew up not feeling like a girl, or boy, so I figured "well I must just be awful at being a girl because those are the only choices". I didn't know there was anything else. By the time I heard the word non-binary I figured it was too late, after all...you have to know everything about yourself by the time you're 20 right? WRONG. But that's what I was telling myself out of fear. Almost 2 months ago I got slapped in the face so to speak and realized...I'm non-binary. Not only can I not "pick a side" in terms of attraction (i'm bi), I can't "pick a side" to be. And that's ok. This is me. I wish this book existed when I was a teen and that somehow i'd have been able to read it. I'm so glad it exists now. And that, if you are still alive, it's never too late. Ben gets kicked out of their home with 3 simple little words. "I am Nonbinary". So they go live with their sister who they haven't spoken to in a decade when she left them, because of reasons. This book tackles some hard topics. Coming out. Misgendering. Dysphoria. Mental health with anxiety, depression, panic attacks. And I related so much to a lot of it. I saw myself in these pages. In Ben. I wanted to hug Ben (if they wanted a hug) or wrap them up in a blanket and protect them. This book is so important and needed. If you are non-binary, know someone who is, or just want to learn about what it means to be non-binary and be an ally, I highly recommend this book. Don’t ignore the problems,” he says. “Learn from them. But also, don’t knock what you get right. Every success deserves a celebration.” "Like, what do you do when your parents kick you out of your house? When your entire life is upheaved, all because you wanted to come out, to be respected and seen, to be called the right pronouns?"

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jananie (thisstoryaintover)

    THIS WAS SO WHOLESOME OMG. such good non-binary rep, but also a super cute romance and a really emotional family story

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dylan

    4.5 stars. I LOVED this. Great representation, pacing, and I haven't shipped two people together in such a long time! This is 4.5 for me though because for some reason, while the writing is great, I felt myself not feeling as emotionally attached to the characters as I'd like to be, but I'm positive that the very minor problem will fixed in Mason's second novel. This is SUCH an important novel (it being the first own voices non-binary experience I've ever read), and Deaver will soon be an even bigg 4.5 stars. I LOVED this. Great representation, pacing, and I haven't shipped two people together in such a long time! This is 4.5 for me though because for some reason, while the writing is great, I felt myself not feeling as emotionally attached to the characters as I'd like to be, but I'm positive that the very minor problem will fixed in Mason's second novel. This is SUCH an important novel (it being the first own voices non-binary experience I've ever read), and Deaver will soon be an even bigger name in the publishing world.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Hollis

    I'm leaving this one unrated because I honestly don't know what to give it. In so many ways it's such an important and relevant read and I'm so happy this'll be out in the world soon and that people will see themselves in it or identify with aspects of the journey described within. But at the same time.. it's not happy, it's often hard, and it's far from your typical fluffy YA -- which, to be fair, was something I knew going into this so I'm not throwing shade or anything; and not that I need al I'm leaving this one unrated because I honestly don't know what to give it. In so many ways it's such an important and relevant read and I'm so happy this'll be out in the world soon and that people will see themselves in it or identify with aspects of the journey described within. But at the same time.. it's not happy, it's often hard, and it's far from your typical fluffy YA -- which, to be fair, was something I knew going into this so I'm not throwing shade or anything; and not that I need all my YA to be fluffy, either. I WISH YOU ALL THE BEST is heavier, dealing with serious topics of identity, coming out, rejection, and the acceptance we all hope for but don't always receive. It's emotional, it's bittersweet, it's painful, but there are moments of lightness, even charm, and a hopeful ending and, again, this book is going to be so so important to so many people. I'm glad I read it. Did I love it? No. But that doesn't negate anything I've already said about this book. And it's also why I'm not rating it. A lack of stars does not, in any way, mean you shouldn't pick this up. You absolutely should. ** I received an ARC from the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **

  22. 4 out of 5

    Fadwa (Word Wonders)

    I read this one twice already and i can tell y'all it's a game changer. Get on it !!!!!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ava

    I've read this book twice already and I can say with great confidence that I'll be rereading it many times in the future. It is THAT good.

  24. 5 out of 5

    mahana

    🌼review can be found on my blog! 🌼

  25. 4 out of 5

    anna (readingpeaches)

    buddy read with charlotte for reads rainbow Things I loved: # Nathan. # romance isn’t actually the main focus here. Sure, it’s there, it’s hard to miss (unless you’re as oblivious as Ben), it’s beautiful & soft. But it’s not what the book is about. It doesn’t try to play it off as Nathan saving Ben, because they don’t need that, they can save themself through hard work & standing up for what’s important to them. # not the relationship Ben had with their parents, but the way it was handled buddy read with charlotte for reads rainbow Things I loved: # Nathan. # romance isn’t actually the main focus here. Sure, it’s there, it’s hard to miss (unless you’re as oblivious as Ben), it’s beautiful & soft. But it’s not what the book is about. It doesn’t try to play it off as Nathan saving Ben, because they don’t need that, they can save themself through hard work & standing up for what’s important to them. # not the relationship Ben had with their parents, but the way it was handled by the narrative. I don’t want to spoil anything, but this was the only way of going about this that I could accept & I’m so happy about that! # the fact that almost no one but the mc was white. I thought this was a really good way of writing poc rep from a position of a white author – not talking over people whose struggles we know nothing about, but simply showing that they are in the world. # the writing itself is actually really good, the pacing is excellent, the whole thing is just… a Blessing. My decision to start the review with “things I loved” makes it seem like there is a number of things I hated. But there aren’t. I actually can’t think of anything I would want to be handled differently… Honestly, it’s just such a tender book! A great way to (almost) close Pride for me this year. Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Bloglovin | Reads Rainbow

  26. 5 out of 5

    Eloise

    This story was soft and deep and comforting at the same time. You get a bit of lovely sweet romance, but mostly you get family dynamics, abusive parents, a rekindling of a sibling relationship, friendship, dealing with anxiety and depression, and most importantly finding people with whom you can live your true self without fear. At times I kind of wanted a little more out of a few things. If I'm being completely honest, I almost felt like the gender identity wasn't developed enough? But at the sam This story was soft and deep and comforting at the same time. You get a bit of lovely sweet romance, but mostly you get family dynamics, abusive parents, a rekindling of a sibling relationship, friendship, dealing with anxiety and depression, and most importantly finding people with whom you can live your true self without fear. At times I kind of wanted a little more out of a few things. If I'm being completely honest, I almost felt like the gender identity wasn't developed enough? But at the same time I think I appreciate the fact that not everything had to be explained like a textbook. Things just were. There is no need for pages of explanation about their feelings and how they express their identity. It is clearly a book written by a non binary person about a non binary person written first and foremost for non binary people to give them their own story and to show that they can find their happiness and their family, they can be who they are without being forced into silence and discretion. I was personally extremely touched by the relationship between Ben and their sister. Seeing how they dealt with their parents was, particularly at the moment, very touching to me on a personal level. Blood doesn't mean you have to forgive everything. You are allowed to seperate yourself from toxic people with whom you cannot live your full self. You can choose your real family. Thank you.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Madalyn (Novel Ink)

    A much-needed story that I’m so glad is being published! 💚

  28. 5 out of 5

    Elise (TheBookishActress)

    releases: 28 May 2019 this sounds so freaking cool and all my friends love it so much and I'm so excited

  29. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I loved this! It was sadder than I thought it would be but Ben was great and Nathan deserves the world. Small rtc

  30. 5 out of 5

    N (they/them)

    hi i haven't had the time to write a review yet, but I'm here to say please please please don't misgender Ben in your reviews. Ben is nonbinary. They only use they/them pronouns. this is stated explicitly multiple times in the book. just be a decent fucking person and use the right pronouns. ~~~ i don't know how to word properly but it was beautiful. RTC

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