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FULL OWNVOICES REVIEW COMPREHENSIVE RECEIPTSTW homophobia, transphobia, lesbophobia, islamophobiaI wish I was gay because no gay person would ever be expected to be good at working out Except Bryan He s not really gay Of course he is, but he s Bryan than he is gay, so he doesn t countYou re welcome, goodreads I wanted to stop reading this many times over but I told myself I had to finish it so that I would have the full story and would be able to make complete judgements I finished this so that other queer teens don t have to Welcome to hell, aka this book The Handsome Girl and Her Beautiful Boy tells the story of Zee and Art, 2 teens who are presumed to be gay based on the way they present themselves however, they both feel as though they re straight and then they fall into a queer platonic relationship with each other which eventually morphs into a romantic relationship Then they experiment and realize that they re not so straight after all If this were all the book was, maybe I would have liked it I can definitely see how this book was TRYING to break stereotypes, but you know what it Failed It Tried and it Failed Epically.Do you ever read a book and think that there is no way that this could be so problematic without trying I m gonna go through and break down every issue I had with this book, receipts included.Homophobia.I have a genuine question Am I supposed to like Art Because I really would, if he weren t the most homophobic little sh t I ve ever met That quote at the beginning That s from Mr Arthur Adams here He s literally such a homophobe and he treats his best friend SO awfully He knows that Bryan has had a crush on him for YEARS, and he seriously leads him on so f cking much it s despicable.There s one scene where he says,I m finding you attractive for the first time ever,and then,I submit You can kiss me,AS A JOKE TO HIS BEST FRIEND WHO HAS LIKED HIM FOR YEARS.And I know he apologizes for it when Bryan doesn t find it funny, but it s still so gross Here s another fun part where Art describes Bryan s life Bryan is an only child, so he gets whatever he wants New car New clothes New video games and computers and a credit card he can use to buy whatever food he wants whenever he wants He s so lucky His life would be perfect if I was his boyfriend and his parents stopped pretending he wasn t gay So maybe it all equals out Yeah, no.This book also,,,, really does dirty its other canon gay character, Jayden Jayden is a creep and a stalker He s constantly texting Art, and he even Freaking Dresses up in the same outfit as Zee to try and get Art to like him That s so creepy and I reaaaaaaalllllllyyyyy hate that this gay character and the lesbian character on her later are both written so awfully I m so sick of the predatory gay trope NextPeople have kids so they can delude themselves into believing they have cheated death and are now immortal SO do you know what happens when two people have one child and that one child is gay The delusion of immortality dies IT IS MURDERED BY GAY CHILDREN And when the delusion of immortality dies, a part of them feels like they re already dead That s why my parents and other parents are terrified their kids are gay All the church, religious, moral stuff is just a bunch of bolognaI don t even,,,, this is homophobia AND transphobia and I m just,,,, how do writers come up with this sh t I live in a very religious household and my parents are extremely homophobic and saying that they re really homophobic because gay kids can t pass on their genes uwu is just gross and wrong and invalidates SO many lgbt youth s experiences with religiously homophobic relatives Also, saying thatThe delusion of immortality IS MURDERED BY GAY CHILDREN,is literally so offensive I kind of felt like it was trying to joke that it s not the parents faults that they re homophobic their gay kids are literally MURDERING their dreams Because it s not like LGBT children whose parents reject them are way likely to commit suicide than the ones who accept them And it s not like there s parents out there who have murdered or kicked out their children for being gay But the kids are the ones who are murdering their parents dreams Lmao ok That s BSWe were gender and sexually fluid before it was cool because we didn t do it to be cool we did it to be who we truly areHonestly I am so sick of this trope where cishets think that queer people just say they re queer because they think it s cool I think my mom Penelope Alvarez says it best in One Day At a Time when she sys yeah, she wants the sweet taste of oppression because being a teenager isn t difficult enough We aren t saying we re gay to be part of the trend or whatever, we say it because it s WHO WE ARE, Acting like it s anything other than that obviously shows that this book has a huge misunderstanding on what it s like to be a queer person, especially a queer teenager or kid, in modern day Jesus Christ Lesbophobia.Y all,,, why tf am I even surprised The lesbophobia in this book is so gross but I guess that s what I get for reading a book with wlw that s not written by a wlw I literally don t even know how to start, so I m just going to jump right in with a quote This is Art talking about ZeeI m sure everyone at school thinks she s boring or ugly or a lesbian, but she transcends beauty She s androgynous but not in an unsexy waydo you guys understand how done I am with men who call masculine girls ugly And saying that androgyny is, as a whole, unsexy in case you were wondering, the answer is so done I don t care if Art is an mlm, it s misogyny and lesbophobia and tbh I m sick of it Also what s with putting the word lesbian with boring and ugly I know it sounds like I m being really nitpicky but after nineteen years of my life having to deal with people calling real life lesbians like me boring and ugly, esp if we re gnc, it just isn t fun Moving onI also might be trying to decide if I m really a lesbian or maybe I just really like Iris or maybe I just really hate Cam and he s making me a lesbianI really thought that we were past these jokes but cishets are still doing this sh t in the year of our lord and savior 2018 I m so sick of the trope where straight girls are like I wish I was gay or saying that,, hating a guy so much must make them gay I don t know I get that these homophobic lesbophobic things that Zee and Art say in this book are supposed to be jokes and it s supposed to make them quirky, but as someone who has had to live their entire life hearing these jokes, and sometimes they re not jokes, it s really annoying, jarring, and awful to read this stuff in a book that s supposed to be breaking down walls in the LGBT community These jokes aren t funny for people who have had to live with this crap our entire lives lmao And now for the doozy of all doozies, Iris s confession when she and Zee were having their sleepover The only word that I can think of that describes my emotions when I read this, is yucky It s just yucky It was so gross and made me feel so bad and angry and GOD I m just gonna put the quote in I m putting it under a spoiler tag not because it s a spoiler, but in case any reader just doesn t even want to read it and wants to scroll past It s also very nsfw You have been warned Here goes view spoilerI ll tell you one of my secrets that I ve told no one Not even Pen She pauses again, giggles Yeah Oh my god, I m so nervous I just told you stuff that s got to be stranger than anything you could possibly tell me I find what you said very normal compared to my secret, but we re probably just all terrified of our own secret stuff Good point Okay, here I go Iris takes a deep breath, When Stacy and I when she would be, doing down there She lowered her eyes towards her lap I got it She was great at it, she broke my heart, but she was great at that but I couldn t finish, you know I got it I couldn t finish unless I imagined a boy was Iris did this tiny thrust, with her tiny giggle, you know I knowhide spoiler [[ PDF ]] ↝ The Handsome Girl & Her Beautiful Boy ⇻ Everyone Assumes That Zee Is A Lesbian Her Classmates, Her Gym Buddies, Even Her So Called Best Friend So Many People Think That Zee Likes Girls, Even Zee Is Starting To Wonder Could They Be Onto Something Everyone Assumes That Art Is Gay They Take One Look At His Nice Clothes And His Pretty Face And Think Well, ObviouslyBut There S To Zee And Art Than Anyone Realizes When Art First Meets Zee, He Knows He S Found Someone Special Someone Magical Zee May Not Be Able To See That Magic In Herself, But Art Is Bound And Determined To Show It To HerWhat Develops Is A Powerful Connection Between Two People Who Are Beautiful In All The Ways They Ve Been Told Are Strange As They Explore Their Own Complexities In Gender, Sexuality, And Identity, They Fall For The Complexities They Find In Each Other With His Trademark Frankness, BT Gottfred Delves Inside Both Characters Heads In This Story About Love And Living Authentically 3.25 This story is weird Really weird I kind of liked it, but I m also weirded out I do not recommend this to those people who complain about contemporaries not being realistic enough.The dialogue and internal monologue is pretty unrealistic Overall the story is written in a strange style Duo perspective from the 2 main characters Art and Zee The story switches back and forth between them in a first person perspective in very short chapters throughout the story In between a single scene their perspectives would switch giving both their thoughts on the situation which is why the style of this story is very unique.If you ve read the description of this book everyone thinks Art likes guys and Zee likes girls So for the first half of this book I was like what the fuck because they were both STRAIGHT AS FUCK So the main guy character Art looks feminine and is creative so apparently people assume he s gay The main girl character Zee doesn t like dressing girly, works out, and has short hair so that makes her a lesbian I was like what is this shit that doesn t actually happen in real life I read this because I thought the premise of this sounded really strange and crazy.So there s this weird turn in the 2nd half of the book where they both suddenly become fluid in their sexualities and it s really strange because for the whole first half of the book they are extremely straight and now they are not.For the first part of the book Art was seriously EXTRA straight Besides the whole he s feminine thing the story was trying to push he was a super straight dude in every way If there was a straight to gay meter I would be straight and he would shoot beyond that point into the XTRA straight category and then every one would be pissed because he broke the damn meter.Zee was really straight too she was just in denial about liking Art The transition into the whole 2nd half of the book was pretty messy because it just went from 1 to 100 real quick I just don t understand how they both went from straight to fluid and it was not great Their romance starts as instalove from Art so I guess I shouldn t be surprised It does take a long time for Zee to actually like him so there s still a lot of build up.Art has this weird personality where he is extremely cocky and confident I would actually like him if he wasn t so strange He s super extra He s weird Really weird So Zee used Art for the first half of the book to make herself feel better about the negative things in her life while not actually liking him leading him on and that pissed me off because I think she s stupid for thinking she might be a lesbian just because other people think so How does that even work That s so stupid Also she keeps thinking he s gay for a while even thought he is absolutely obsessed with her and it really doesn t make any sense.The middle portion of this story is of them fucking in a motel.Yeah this is one of those weird concept stories like the one I read about the porn addict and this sure is weird so if that s what you want to read here you go. See of my reviews on my blog the Book Deviant My review for this book ended up being 2k words long I don t want to post the whole thing here, so the beginning is just below When the full review is posted on my blog, I will update this review with a link Until then, official review below I originally found this book on NetGalley, but it was up for Wish for It I still wanted to read it, so I emailed the publisher and never got a response In a really desperate attempt, I put a note on my review in Goodreads, asking if it was possible for a trans reviewer to get an ARC Lo and behold, I later got a message via Goodreads from author BT Gottfred, in which he asked me to fill out his contact form on his website, and he d forward my info to his publisher.Throughout our emailing, he was very nice and friendly, and by the end of our conversation, I can very well say that Gottfred wrote this book with good intentions, but I couldn t yet say if he wrote accurately About a month later, I got a physical ARC copy in the mail with a note from the publisher noting that the author had requested I was sent one Meaning that Gottfred had come through, that he wanted to know an OwnVoices opinion Unfortunately, that s where the majority of the Pros end I can say, wholeheartedly, that I would not recommend The Handsome Girl Her Beautiful Boy to teen readers, and even less so to queer readers It s made very obvious from the outside and summary of this book that Gottfred was attempting to challenge stereotypes by reiterating that being a feminine boy being gay, and being a masculine girl being a lesbian To do this, however, Gottfred utilized other, harmful stereotypes, specifically ones that made me question adult s sanity Do they really think we act like this Here s a link to my full review.Here s a link to my friend Rachel s review, which I highly recommend reading She discusses scenes that I didn t get to. My written interview with the author can be found here A man who reads effeminate may well be consistently heterosexual, and another one might be gay We can t read sexuality off of gender Judith ButlerHave you ever been subjected to gender stereotypes That s probably a rhetorical question Hahaha I myself have experienced being criticized for not conforming to traditional or hegemonic masculinity Even though there are many kinds of masculinity, most people prefer only one the kind that includes athleticism, big muscles, and other macho qualities The same can be said of traditional femininity, which is typically tantamount to outward beauty, gentleness, and silence In college, I learned about a feminist named Judith Butler According to her, gender is a social construct or performance In other words, your gender behavior isn t determined by your sex genitals males aren t necessarily masculine, and females aren t necessarily feminine Following this logic, I can t help but think that gender stereotypes are stupid Why It s foolish to expect or ask people to behave in a certain way just because they have a dick or pussy The Handsome Girl Her Beautiful Boy is a novel that powerfully illustrates the latter truth It s the story of two teenagers who are bombarded by gender stereotypes Because of their divergent looks and behavior, Zee s and Art s sexuality is always put into question It eventually comes to a point where they themselves aren t sure of their orientation However, as Zee and Art become closer, they realize that gender is not as solid as people want it to be.It was my first time to read a book by B.T Gottfred, so I was pleasantly surprised by his humor and candor He didn t sugarcoat anything in this supposedly YA book The emotions and conversations of the characters were raw, and the love scenes were pretty graphic Hence, although this book features YA characters, its content is for a mature audience I personally did not enjoy the explicit scenes, but I commended the author for deviating from the norm, just like his characters I plan to read of his novels, so I guess I should prepare myself Haha.Zee and Art were unquestionably quirky and fascinating I had never encountered such a weird yet perfect couple Zee was turned on by Art s effeminate looks and behavior, and vice versa There were times when I was so confused because I didn t know if they were straight, gay, or bisexual Seriously, there were so many mixed signals, and it was impossible to label them using gender stereotypes In the end, it occurred to me that that was probably the author s intention Zee and Art were in love with each other, so what was the point of labels In addition to gender discourse, this book had lots of family drama Zee suddenly met her biological father after losing her mother to cancer, and Art s parents separated after one of them became unemployed I found their problems to be of equal magnitude, but I was particularly invested in Zee s dilemma She had a lot of hang ups to address before she could start a relationship with her dad That being said, I loved Art because he was selfless enough to set aside his issues and help Zee attain reconciliation.Overall, I gave The Handsome Girl Her Beautiful Boy 4.5 stars because it was very funny and insightful Readers who are familiar with Judith Butler s theory of gender performativity will definitely enjoy it Art and Zee powerfully illustrate the fluidity of masculinity and femininity, so this book is perfect for anyone who hates gender stereotypes. The Handsome Girl Her Beautiful Girlby B.T Gottfred3.35 5 Stars This whole review contains spoilers.This book is definitely not you typical YA contemporary book, it deals with heavy issues death, health issues, sexuality, putting labels on people and it s kind of a coming of age form of a book, too This was one of the messiest books I ve read, but not in a bad way The weird thing is that this was a very strange story yet I liked it.So, a little about the story Everyone thinks Zee is a lesbian because she dresses like a tomboy and likes stuff boys like for example going to the gym or lifting weights etc And everyone also thinks that Art is gay because of his feminine style always wearing pristine clothes, using lotion every day and etc.Zee is in love with her bestfriend of six years Cam, and Art s bestfriend Bryan is in love with him The relationships in this book were so confusing I ll get to that part soon.So, Art is really sweet guy but annoying always making everything about him such an attention seeker like the word Drama Queen was made especially for him He was the definition of being extra.Bryan always using the word bitch , in every one of his sentence like dude take a chill pill, I m not joking that word was used 31 times in this book yes, most of them were used in Bryan s sentences and yes, I counted how many times that word was used.Writing style It was as if a 14 year old wrote it, I mean I get why the author did that because the main characters were teenagers It was very quirky and I liked it, as if you re in the teenagers minds However Art was constantly thinking that he was hilarious I mean sometimes he was but other times I was like OK dude we get it, you re funny stop repeating it over and over again.Literally every guy in this book cried Was there anyone in this book who hasn t cried The answer is no Seriously the boys cried than the girls Whenever one of them started crying I was like But I loved the whole idea and the concept of the story in general, putting labels on people is wrong, just let them be or live how they like, we shouldn t judge people based on their appearance or how they dress.Relationships I wasn t fully convinced on Art and Zee s relationship, Art fell in love with Zee the second he saw her, but I wasn t buying it, he was just obsessed with the idea of being in love with her and another thing that bothered me was that Zee is older than Art that is always a minus for me, I don t like when the girl is older than the guy, especially if they re in a relationship That s just my personal opinion, though.But the whole relationships were so messy, the main characters were with different people every time Art loves Zee, Zee loves Cam, Cam loves Abby Art s sister who later on starts dating her ex boyfriend, Bryan loves Art and then forgets about his undying love for Art the minute he starts dating Taylor, and Jayden his was the weirdest, he knows Art is in love with Zee so he starts dressing up like Zee to make Art love him and Art likes it Oh, and Zee starts liking a girl named Iris or that s how she thinks that, then she crushes on another boy, and Cam dumps Abby for Zee because he saw Zee wearing girly clothes You see my point and why I was extremly confused with all these Like, who likes who Who s dating who It was strange.One of the things I really enjoyed in this book was the acknowledgment and the author s note that was one of the best parts of the book. There are a lot of stories in the YA LGBTQ genre Almost all of them feature characters that have queer identities that fall clearly under some category in the LGBTQ spectrum The Handsome Girl and Her Beautiful Boy is for all the kids who don t fit in any category This is about the non binary kids who defy labels in order to be their most authentic selves The thing I love most about any book by B.T Gottfred is the characters This time we are following the story of Art and Zee Art is a feminine boy and Zee is a masculine girl Both of them are kind of misfits and when they re together it just works He s the yin to her yang essentially The story follows their rather unique love story Even if I don t necessarily always have anything in common with the characters there is always something about all these kids that s still universal and endears me to them Anyone who has ever been a teenager can relate to the inherent awkwardness that comes with teenage or for the most part adult ones as well relationships The Handsome Girl and Her Beautiful Boy is adorable and fluffy at times and in others it s deep and thought provoking Sometimes it s funny and sometimes it s sad Just as the story isn t necessarily only one kind of story, Art and Zee aren t only one thing We are watching two kids figure out who they are without having to put a label on it I think the whole idea here is that when you remove all the expectations that society put on your personality, you really can find out who you truly are and who you get to share it with P.S Art is the manic pixie dream boy of my soul and I love him intensely First of all, this book beneath the jacket is the most beautiful color blue I ve ever seen in my life I m so tempted to paint my walls to match it, you have no idea.Second of all, this is a really hard review to write Because even though I stayed up until 5am finishing it reading 200 pages to do so , I m not totally in love with it Art is a lot Zee is sorta relatable Everyone else is just there.The drama there toward the end, though Oh man that was entertaining Also the diversity is great But yeah Nothing really wowed me, and when a contemporary because that s how I d categorize it is 400 pages, it really needs to wow me to get a high rating 3.5 stars the half star is for the blue cover ngl I love this book so muchOkayThere are a lot of things i dont like about this book but there is a lot that i like about itThe way it addresses sexuality and toxic masculinity just makes my heart go soft.Art and rebecca just make me so in love with themThe way art is soft but yet strong and confident in himSelf just makes me smile there is this part where he says everyone is gay, even the homophobic people he is byran than he is gay that makes me think of how someone is just themselves and not gay than themselves I love the way death and loss was dealt with in this book and its just amazingI was confused but enlightened at the same time.Love has no definition and this book is a great example of that. I m sure everyone at school thinks she s boring or ugly or a lesbian, but she transcends beauty She s androgynous but not in an unsexy way