G. Bianco, 2019
From the author of Running with Lions comes a new YA book about a last-ditch effort at summer fun between two best friends. Julian Winters’s Right Where I Left You, which comes out on March 15th, is light-hearted, fun, and a great book to add to your Spring/Summer TBR.
School’s out, senior year is over, and Isaac Martin is ready to kick off summer. His last before heading off to college in the fall where he won't have his best friend, Diego. Where—despite his social anxiety—he’ll be left to make friends on his own. Knowing his time with Diego is limited, Isaac enacts a foolproof plan: snatch up a pair of badges for the epic comic convention, Legends Con, and attend his first ever Teen Pride. Just him and Diego. The way it should be. But when an unexpected run-in with Davi—Isaac’s old crush—distracts him the day tickets go on sale, suddenly he’s two badges short of a perfect summer. Even worse, now he’s left making it up to Diego by hanging with him and his gamer buddies. Decidedly NOT part of the original plan. It’s not all bad, though. Some of Diego’s friends turn out to be pretty cool, and when things with Davi start heating up, Isaac is almost able to forget about his Legends Con blunder. Almost. Because then Diego finds out what really happened that day with Davi, and their friendship lands on thin ice. Isaac assumes he’s upset about missing the convention, but could Diego have other reasons for avoiding Isaac?
This book was a fun and quick read. This friends-to-lovers YA romcom leaned more on the side of coming-of-age story as Isaac navigates how the relationships in his life are changing and how he wants to move forward in his life before starting college. Additionally, this book also touches upon topics like sexuality, divorce, family relations, and more. However, readers definitely get their fill of relationship drama between Isaac, Davi, and Diego!
I enjoyed the parallels between the comic book series referenced throughout the book and Isaac’s own life. I also appreciated the way this book tried to highlight LGBTQ+ voices and diverse love stories. This book will really resonate with anyone who is part of a fandom, relates to certain characters in their fandoms, and bonds and creates friendships with those with similar interests to them.
Isaac can be a bit oblivious at times which can be frustrating, but I don’t think that there would even be a book if Isaac was as perceptive as I was while reading this book. Aside from Isaac, who highlights diversity as a gay, black/Latino teenager, this book is full of diverse characters of all ethnicities, sexual orientations, and backgrounds.
Overall, this was an enjoyable read and I think young adult audiences looking for books that highlight diversity will really enjoy this fresh and relevant read.
*I received an ARC from Penguin Teen in exchange for my honest opinion.
Hi! My name is Elisa and my bookshelf is quite literally overflowing! Join me in my journey of reading as many books as humanly possible!