Title: To The Boys Who Wear Pink
Author: Revan Badinghan III
Date of publication: August 7, 2020
Publisher: Riley Palanca
Print length: Hardcover, 288 pages
Genre: Coming of Age, LGBT Fiction, Gay Romance, New Adult
Edition: ebook (ARC)
You can buy this book from Amazon
Writing Quality 4/5, Character Development 3/5, ‘Couldn’t put it down’ – ness 5/5, Intellectual Depth 5/5, Originality 5/5, Overall 4.4/5.
*This book contains TRIGGER WARNINGS such as profanity, sex, suicide, abuse, violence, rape, and death*
Jesus, Lord, sodomites, and bedwetters.
Honestly, when I started this book, I didn’t know what to expect. The title and the cover, both suggested being a Coming of Age novel and, as I’ve never read one before, I was eager to start this one. As it was a short piece of writing, the length of it also made me choose this book. It seemed like a light read, and oh boy, it wasn’t (I am not saying this in a wrong way, I enjoyed this novel).
Dreams are for rich kids like El and Percy. Boys like us, Eyes – boys like us have to live.
So now, the story is about 8 friends with some pretty strange nicknames. Some of them are Eyes, Joule, Sugar and Ueilton. A fun thing I understood after reaching 50% of the books, was that each nickname told something about each character, even if you don’t see it at first. I found that bright. The chapters are about each character, their backstory, but also the present time. To be honest, until the fourth chapter, I didn’t understand much. Friendly advice, don’t read this while tired, I’ve done that, not one of my most excellent decisions. Throughout the book, you understand that the characters haven’t seen each other in a while (since high school) and they gathered to a birthday party. They talked, had a good time, shared some drinks, some memories even, but at this point, we learn something significant that will turn the story upside down. The party is for one of their dead friends. Mindfuck yet? If you were like me (not convinced about this book in any shape or form), now your attention is finally waking up. You finally understand what is happening. Although my attention came back to life, I still had difficulty in keeping up with all of the characters. This is why the rating for this book falls at four stars out of five.
Let it go. It’s the past, be an Elsa and let it go.
I have always had a soft spot for the trigger warning novels, and oh dear Lord, ‘To the Boys Who Wear Pink’ has a lot of sensitive content. It covers any kind of subject you can think of: suicide, death, sex, rape, abuse (of any sort) and of course, violence. Throughout the party, we witness every character doing something prohibited or at least, around illegal. At this point, we learn how hard and how many problems all of them are going through. It was easy for me to connect with them. I liked all of their stories, but two, in particular, touched my heart. Zeke and Mickey’s story almost made my cry (that is something, giving the fact that I don’t cry while reading) and Si’s story. The twins’ story wasn’t a bid deal, I think that the author could have made their story a bit more heartfelt, but giving the fact that is Raven’s debut novel, we can cut some slack, can’t we?
Pain connected people. Pain built families. And pain shared was pain relieved.
Last but not least, the ending was explosive! Confusing as always, but it makes you think, and those are the best endings in the word. I am not going to say anything more, as I might give a spoiler, but you’ll see for yourself.
Overall, this book has been something I have never expected. While reading, I felt like slapping some of the characters, hug others and cry for the rest. This is why this novel has been one of the best books I have ever read. I need to mention that the book contains a lot of sensitive content and if you don’t have a problem with it, you should definitely give this book a try. I highly recommend it!
Everyone needed a living dairy to brag to.
I received an advanced review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Revan Badingham III is a queer Filipinx multidisciplinary artist.
As a theatre creator, they are the founding artistic director of Voices of Asia International, a Filipinx theatre company based in Montreal. Their last major production was Beats Around the Bush: The Word Opera, which ran in Newfoundland to critical acclaim.
Revan has also been involved in the spoken word scene. They were part of Spoken Word St. John’s and Throw Poetry Collective. As a poet-performer, they have performed in stages across Canada, including McSway, The Words & Music Festival, and the 100 Thousand Poets for Change. They have also facilitated workshops, including the Axana Poetry Spa.
In addition, Revan is a trained actor, musician, and designer. They can also speak ten languages.
To The Boys Who Wear Pink is their debut novel.
The description has been taken from their Goodreads page.