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Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett - Review

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Where did I get it? I bought it. I'd seen people talking about in on Twitter, so I bought it on eBay because I liked the sound of it. 

What's it about? Simone is seventeen years old and lives in San Francisco with her two dads. She is HIV positive and has been since she was born, as her mother had the virus. Adopted by her dads because they have lost friends to Aids, she had to leave her last school because her HIV status was outed by her friend Sarah. 

She's now in school closer to home, and has made two close friends, Claudia and Lydia. She is directing the school musical, Rent. She's pretty obsessed with musicals. She has a crush on one of the crew, Miles. She wants to tell her friends that she is HIV positive, but she's fearful because of what happened last time.

She wants to get more information on how she can have sex with less risk, but her dads are super embarrassing and accompany her to all her medical appointments. She and Miles start dating - and he is SUPER cute and a definite YA hero - but then she starts getting threatening notes saying that someone will out her HIV status if she carries on dating Miles. 

The book is a really bouncy, happy, uplifting book. Part of that is Simone's character - she's irrepressible and I really liked that. I loved her obssession with musicals as I also love musicals. I loved her friendship with Claudia and Lydia. I loved her family. I had a couple of issues with the book BUT for the most part they were just because I'm an adult and that's fine - it's not a book for me. 

There's lots to learn about HIV in a really clear manner and I hope the book helps to dispel some misconceptions about the virus and about people living with it, but it's not done in a preachy way at all. I thought it was good!

What age range is it for? 14+, for a mature fourteen year old, for sure. 

Are any main characters LGBTQ+? Of course! Simone's dads, Dad and Pops, are gay. Claudia is lesbian and asexual and in a relationship with Emma (who I don't think we ever meet). Lydia is bisexual. Simone isn't entirely sure of her identity, which is part of the book. 

Are any main characters people of colour? Yes. Simone is black. Her Pops is, too. Her Dad is Hispanic. Miles is black too. I don't think Claudia is white but I'm not sure I picked up what her background was. 

Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? No. 

Is there any sex stuff? Yes. There's a lot of talk about it, because of Simon's HIV status. There's some sexual activity, which is a little graphic, but in keeping with the book. 

Are drugs mentioned or used? Illegal ones, no. Simone talks a little about her HIV medication, but it's not graphic. 

Is there any talk of death? Not overly. 

Are there swear words? A couple. 

What criticisms do I have? I'm not going to criticise it because I liked it. I do wish sometimes that teenagers in YA novels would turn to teachers or their parents more. 

Would I recommend the book? Yes absolutely. 

Why did I choose to read it at this point in life? It arrived and was down the side of the bed so I picked it up! 

What do I think of the cover? It's adorable! I loved how it shows Simone's afro. 

What other books is it like? Err. It reminded me a little of Jackpot by Nic Stone, but I can't explain why 

How many stars? Four out of five. 

Where is the book going now? I'm actually going to send it to a friend of mine because I think she'll enjoy it :) 

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