Wednesday 10 February 2016

Review on When Everything Feels Like the Movies

Jude Rothesay is in his last year of middle school, but unlike most teenagers his age he has big plans for his future. Jude plans on moving to Hollywood and becoming a movie star. He wants to get away from his small town and his abusive step dad. Not to mention the bullying he has to suffer due to his sexuality and unconventional gender identity. At his school, Jude doesn't fit in anywhere. He isn't popular like a movie star, yet he isn't ignored completely like an extra. However, once he moves to Hollywood, everything will change for the better

I found this book while browsing through Netgalley as the gorgeous cover caught my eye, and as it is extremely rare to find a YA novel with a gay protagonist I knew I had to read it! When Everything Feels Like The Movies follows Jude Rothesay, a boy in his last year of middle school who doesn't quite fit into normal society. Jude enjoys wearing make up and borrowing his mothers clothes, and is constantly bullied by his peers for it. I thought that Jude was an extremely funny protagonist, and although he is quite vulgar in his language I thought that it showed an accurate portrayal of what the majority of teenagers are like. I feel as if a lot of YA novels try to make teenagers seem innocent, when the reality is that many teenagers do take part in underage sex,swearing, drinking alcohol and taking drugs. I find it strange that I've seen reviews on this book where people have been offended by the content when the truth is this book is a lot more accurate to how teenagers really act than the majority of YA books out there.

Although I initially liked Angela, I started to dislike her as the book progressed. I felt that she was the only person in Jude's life who he could actually talk to about his problems, and she seemed to turn against him like everyone else near the end of the book. I also hated that that even though Jude had told her that he had a crush on Luke, she still went ahead and tried to sleep with him.

Although there is a lot of comedy in this book, I loved that it also covered extremely important themes such as homophobia and domestic abuse. Ray was the perfect example of how not to treat your child, and I found the scene where he abused Keefer for wearing make up extremely powerful. I have personally witnessed on several occasions fathers telling their sons off for playing with toys that are meant for “girls” as if it is a shameful thing to do and that it will “make them gay.” Children do not understand the insane gender roles that society has created, and I feel as if parents should let their children be children and play with whatever toys they want to. Just because your son wants to play with barbies or your daughter wants to play with toy cars doesn't mean it is going to affect their sexuality or gender identity.

I found his relationship with Abel adorable and was rooting for Jude to forget all about Luke and get with Abel instead! I loved how Abel seemed to be struggling with his sexuality, as although he had a girlfriend he also had feelings for Jude. I feel as if this is something that many teenagers go through and I loved how it was portrayed in this book.

The ending of the book was extremely shocking and upsetting and I was not expecting that to happen at all! I am still emotionally distraught by how it ended as I was expecting Jude to get his happy ending. I would like to point out that there are quite a few themes that people could find upsetting or triggering, including self harm, bulemia, domestic abuse and drugs. However I feel as if this book is a step in the right direction towards portraying LGBT characters in YA novels and I highly recommend it!

When Everything Feels Like the Movies is now available to purchase! It will be available in hardback in the UK from February 11th so be sure to pre-order it!

Amazon US Amazon UK  | Waterstones  | WH Smith | Barnes & Noble

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