This young adult adaptation of Chasten Glezman Buttigieg’s memoir was such a sweet and wholesome coming of age story. Through his own words, we learn about Chasten’s teenage years growing up in a small conservative Midwestern town, his experience as an exchange student in Germany and his dawning realization that him always being seen as “special” and “unique” might have something to do with his sexual orientation and his struggle to come to terms with that.
Even though Chasten is the husband of the former Democratic presidential candidate (Peter Buttegieg) this book was not a political one, but a personal story meant to give courage and inspiration to teenagers today by sharing the good and the bad, the hardship, fear and pain, as well as the joy and the relief, on the journey of being true to yourself. And it certainly succeeded in that! I Have Something to Tell You was a truly hopeful and earnest story. I enjoyed the direct conversational writing style and how Chasten used a lot of his humor when telling it, and how he wasn’t afraid of showing his own shortcomings nor shy away from awkward situations. It was also really heartwarming to see the love for and from his family even though they all went through a bit of a rough path after he came out.
A minor thing though is that I, personally, would have liked to read more about how Chasten and his husband Peter met and fell in love, not just being told about it in such a matter-of-fact kind of way that felt different from the other parts of the story. It would have added a lot to the story if it had included more of their first meetings, letting us readers feel the attraction and butterflies, and seeing it evolve into their current HEA. I would also have liked to know more about Chasten’s experiences after coming out and learning to be comfortable as a gay man before meeting Peter. But I’m guessing that those parts were included in the full memoir for adults and had been edited away to keep this story shorter and more focused on the early ages. Which makes complete sense, and also makes me want to read the full memoir to find out!
All in all, this was a beautiful, raw and honest memoir focusing on Chasten Buttigieg’s early years, giving hope for teens struggling with the same questions, showing that they are not alone and that they deserve to be loved for exactly who they are. It’s also a wonderful resource to use for parents, teachers and others, to reflect on the way to support the LGBTQ+ community, to make this world a safe and inclusive place for everyone. I’m really glad that Chasten decided to share his experience in such a candid way, and I’m sure that this book will give courage and support to so many. Not only by the message in the book itself, but also by learning about Chasten and his husband’s groundbreaking presidential campaign and seeing in practice that there are no limits but that you can reach any goal you have while still being true to who you are.
Thank you to Pride Book Tours and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this ARC. I can’t wait for the upcoming book tour to talk about it more!
4.5 stars rounding up to 5
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Simon & Schuster
Chasten Glezman Buttigieg
All 1 Star 2 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars 5 Stars Abbi Glines Abdi Nazemian Adam Silvera Adib Khorram Aiden Thomas Aisha Saeed Aislinn Brophy AJ Collins Alexandra Christo Alex Beltran Alexene Farol Follmuth Alexis Hall Alex Kelly Alex Sanchez Alice Dolman Alice Oseman Ali Hazelwood Alison Cochrun Al Riske Alwyn Hamilton Amanda Ferreira A. Meredith Walters Amy Aislin Amy Harmon Amy S. Foster Amy Spalding André Aciman Andy V Roamer Angie Thomas Annabeth Albert A. Poland Ashley Poston Ashley Woodfolk Ashlyn Kane Audrey Coulthurst Ban Gilmartin Becca Fitzpatrick Becky Albertalli Benjamin Alire Saenz Beth Bolden Bill Konigsberg B.L. Maxwell Briar Prescott Bri Spicer Brooke Skipstone Cale Dietrich Cara Dee Casey McQuiston Cassandra Clare C.F. White C.G. Drews Charlie Adhara Charli Meadows Chasten Buttigieg Chris Bedell Christina Lauren Ciara Smyth Clarissa Pattern C.L. Beaumont Colette Davison Colleen Hoover Courtney Kae Crystal Frasier C.S. Pacat Dallas Smith Daven McQueen David Biddle David Yoon Dean Atta Debbie McGowan Debbie Rigaud Debbie Schrack Deborah Harkness Delia Owens D.G. Carothers Dhonielle Clayton D.N. Bryn Douglas Stuart Dustin Thao Elisa A. Bonnin Elizabeth Acevedo Elizabeth Arroyo Elle Kennedy Elle Wright E.L. Massey E. Lockhart Emery Lee Emily M. Danforth Emily Mims Erin Watt Ernest Cline Evan J. Corbin Eve Morton Everina Maxwell Evie Dunmore Felice Stevens F.T. Lukens Grace Williams Gwen Martin Hannah Grace Hanya Yanagihara Hayden Stone Heather Truett H.E. Edgmon Hettie Bell Holly Black Hope Irving H.S. Valley Hudson Lin Ingrid Sterling Jacqueline Lee Jacqueline Woodson James L. Sutter Jamie Deacon Jandy Nelson Jax Calder Jay Hogan Jeanette Winterson Jeff Zentner Jen Bailey Jenna Evans Welch Jenn Burke Jennifer E. Smith Jennifer G. Edelson Jennifer Gilmore Jennifer Iacopelli Jennifer Kropf Jennifer Niven Jenny Downham Jenny Han Jeremy Ray Jesse H. Reign Joelle Lynne John Green Jonny Garza Villa Julianne Donaldson Julian Winters Kacen Callender Kami Garcia Kara Leigh Miller Kasie West Kate Larkindale Katharine McGee Kathleen Mareé Kathy Anderson KD Casey Kendall Grey Kevin Van Whye Kiley Reid Kim Fielding Kim Holden Kim Liggett Kitty Bardot Kris Ripper K.S. Marsden Laura Hall Laura Pavlov Laura Silverman Lauren James Lauren Shippen Laurie Frankel Leah Johnson Lee Matthew Goldberg Leigh Bardugo Leylah Attar Lisa Henry Lisa Williamson Lisa Wingate Liv Rancourt Liz Plum Lola Noire Lynn Michaels Mackenzi Lee Madeline Miller Magdalena Di Sotru Maggie Doolin Maggie Stiefvater Malin Persson Giolito Malorie Blackman Margaret Stohl Marie Lu Mary E. Pearson Mason Deaver Matthew R. Corr Melina Marchetta Meredith Russo Miel Moreland Mila Gray Miranda Kenneally Moa Backe Astot Morgan James M. Tasia Nancy Garden Natalie Haynes Nathaniel Shea Nicholas Sparks Nicola Yoon Nic Starr Nic Stone Nina Kenwood Nita Tyndall Nora Sakavic N.R. Walker Nyla K. Owen Lach Penny Aimes Phil Stamper Quinn Anderson Rachael Brownell Rachael Lippincott Rachel Hawkins Racquel Marie Rainbow Rowell Ray Stoeve Renée Dahlia Rhiannon Wilde Riley Hart River Braun Roan Parrish Robin Gow Roseanne A. Brown Rowan MacKemsley Ruby Moone Ruta Sepetys Ryan La Sala Sally Green Sally Rooney Sarah J. Maas Sarah Waters Sarina Bowen Sasha Laurens Saundra Mitchell Saxon James Serena Bell Shannon O’Connor Sidney Bell Simone Elkeles Siryn Sueng Sophia DeRise Sophia Soames Sophie Gonzales S.R. Lane Stephen Chbosky Stephenie Meyer Steven Salvatore Susan Mac Nicol Suzanne Collins Tahereh Mafi Tal Bauer Tamara Girardi Taylor Jenkins Reid Teagan Hunter Terry J. Benton-Walker Tiffany D. Jackson Timothy Janovsky T.J. Klune T.L. Bradford Tobly McSmith Tomasz Jedrowski Tomi Adeyemi Tracy Deonn Tucker Shaw Val Wise Veronica Rossi Veronica Roth V.E. Schwab Wesley Chu Victor Dixen Victoria Aveyard V.L. Stuart Xan Van Rooyen Yamile Saied Méndez