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I Knew Him based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
I'm blown away. I didn't expect to love this book so much. Julian is a bisexual senior high school student determined to stay in the closet and be as invisible as posible until graduation and college. His plan is derailed by Shakespare and the new boy in school, Sky. Honestly, Sky may be the cutest and sweetest teenage boy ever. His relationship with Julian was adorable but, most importantly, it was healthy. They didn't push each other, they respected each other and they loved each other. I really liked Julian's internal monologue. It was a little bit dramatic at first, but as you read you really get him and completely understand his fears and struggles. The few chapters were he visits his dad were beautiful. The secondary characters were all amazing and well rounded, even Will (view spoiler) Kudos to Abigail de Niverville for this amazing, sweet and heartwarming read. I would love a sequel! Julian and Sky in college? Maybe?
* I received this book before its release through NetGalley. All of my thoughts are my own, and this will be a spoiler-free review. TW: Biphobia. This book does have characters that are biphobic and it could potentially be hurtful to some readers, so be aware of that. I Knew Him is Abigail de Niverville's debut novel. It is a coming of age story about a bi character named Julian aka Jules. Jules lives in Ontario, Canada, and is in his senior year of High School . Jules soon meets a boy he begins to develop feelings for, Sky, and he must confront his sexuality, and begin to accept himself. I loved this book! I haven't read many books about bi characters coming out, but this one was fantastic! There is bi rep and gay rep in this book. I'd also never seen a gay character be biphobic, so that was surprising. Julian's dad is gay, divorced from Jules' mother, and has a boyfriend, David. There are also different ethnicities represented, with Sky and his family being Filipino. Too often the books we see with coming out stories have a primarily white cast of characters. I can not attest to how accurate the rep is, as I am not Filipino. This book also features the play Hamlet, as Julian plays Hamlet in his High School production. As a former theater kid, I very much relate to his experience in theater. For a good chunk of the book, the teenage angst was real!It seemed to me like there were a bunch of literary references in this book (with characters named Belle and Mrs. Lowry, at least). I also was unfamiliar with Hamlet, so it was really cool to hear it explained that Hamlet and Horatio can be read as gay, and Shakespeare may have had same sex relationships in his life. Sky is my favorite. I mean, the way he sends pictures of "cool birds" to Julian? Sign me up for that! Sky is artistic and smart, sensitive and genuine, and just a lovely character. Such a great love interest! He was patient with Julian coming out, and he understood the struggle, as he had issues coming out as gay to his family. Sky and Julian had a bunch of flirty banter early in the book and it was so cute! A few critiques: Sometimes what characters said seemed ingenuine, and it seemed as though their dialogue was just placed in the story to create conflict (such as Jules' friend Will). There wasn't much of a back story as to how they thought that way and it seemed like a jump from previous characterization and dialogue, presenting as rather confusing. Also, one character kind of disappeared halfway through the book, and I felt as though there needed to be some closure. Overall, I loved this book! It was a great story and the characters felt very genuine. I want many of them to be my friends! I hope we get a companion novel about Kelsey and Ruth, I got strong relationship-y vibes from them. Pick this story up if you like - bi rep - literary references - flirty banter - teenage angst - cute, artsy characters - accepting best friends - theatre - Shakespeare