The Handsome Girl and Her Beautiful Boy by B.T. Gottfred is available now!
Read my thoughts on this extraordinary book!
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, obviously.
But there’s more 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 her.
What 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, B.T. Gottfred delves inside both characters’ heads in this story about love and living authentically.
I love this book and its characters so much, I don’t know what to do with myself now that I finished reading it. My brain and heart are still living inside this book and I honestly thing a little piece of me will stay inside of it until the end of times. WHY did it have to end? WHY did it have to end the way it did? HOW could you (I’m talking to you, B.T. Gottfred) do this to me?! WHY am I so frustrated and confused and sad and… happy at the same time?! I don’t know. And I don’t think I’ll ever find the perfect words to express how much this book confused me, pulled me out of my comfort zone, made me happy, frustrated me, made me swoon, made me cry and made me laugh so I guess here comes a very crappy, short and incoherent review.
I didn’t expect for this story to go down the road it went. Pardon my dumbness but I honestly didn’t expect it to be an LGBTQ+ book. I read the synopsis and thought, “oh, this is just a teenage romance where the girl is a tomboy and the guy is a little feminine”, and for about half the book I actually wasn’t technically wrong but then… I was wrong, AGAIN (I bet you are not surprised). Because the characters turned into sexually confused messes is the blink of an eye and I became even more confused than them. I had a lot of questions, “is she a lesbian? Is he gay? AM I GAY? Is my dog gay? WHAT IS HAPPENING?” (The answer is we are all a little bit gay so there’s that). I was mad for about two seconds because I just wanted a cute unproblematic romance story (is that too much to ask for?!) but because I loved the characters so much, I got over it pretty fast. I supported their relationship every step of the very-awkward-and-uncomfortable way while they tried to figure everything out and just prayed they wouldn’t break each other’s heart and my heart in the process.
Now that I made it pretty clear this is a very magical and dramatic and mystical romance story, let’s talk a bit more about how much more amazing this story is.
I’ve read some amazing LGBTQ+ Young Adult books in my life. They are all different yet they always end up being the same, you know what I mean? Of course, you do. Well, this book is on another lever of amazing. It is not about the characters being a hundred percent lesbian or gay or whatever but more about not putting your sexuality in a perfectly square box which was pretty freaking amazing. B.T. Gottfred did a wonderful job at writing an incredibly real and raw story that is also charming, hilarious, fluffy, and adorable at the same time.
The Handsome Girl and Her Beautiful Girl is different and original and extraordinary. It is eccentric. It is full of (good) weirdness and quirks to the point where I wasn’t sure I would end up enjoying it but I did, I REALLY did. I’ve never felt more uncomfortable AND comfortable at the same time while reading a book. I recommend this wonderful story to everyone who doesn’t like labels. People who love going on emotional roller coasters and reading about people who are unapologetically themselves.
PS. Guess this wasn’t a very short review after all!
Massive thanks to B.T. Gottfred for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! He is so cool!
4.5 / 5 flowers