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Autoboyography

Narrated by: Deacon Lee, Kyle Mason
Length: 9 hrs and 19 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (94 ratings)

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Summary

Includes an extended interview with Christina Hobbs, Lauren Billings, and narrator Deacon Lee!

Fangirl meets Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda in this funny and poignant coming-of-age novel from New York Times best-selling author Christina Lauren about two boys who fall in love in a writing class - one from a progressive family and the other from a conservative religious community.

Three years ago Tanner Scott's family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah.

But when his best friend, Autumn, dares him to take Provo High's prestigious Seminar - where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester - Tanner can't resist going against his better judgment and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity.

It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him.

©2017 Christina Lauren (P)2017 Simon & Schuster Audio
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A little bit heartbreaking

It took me a little while to get into the style of it but stick with it, because when you’re in, it’s really great.

The challenges in the book are heartbreaking - I really felt for the characters with the decisions and sacrifices they have to make. Beautifully told and narrated.

1 person found this helpful

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Beautiful Story

Listened to it all on one day. It is one of the most amazing books I've ever read. The story line is beautiful and gripping throughout. Definitely recommend.

1 person found this helpful

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A must listen to YA audiobook!

Compelling story for YA lgbt listeners, with a nice audio note conversation between authors and narrator at the end.

1 person found this helpful

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Great story with something fro everyone

Great story but the secret ingredient is the wonderful Deacon Lee empathetically guiding us through

1 person found this helpful

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incredibly hopeful

I loved this. it was sweet, heart wrenching and hilarious at the same time. read it!

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Is this my 10th time reading this baby?

Autoboyography, is just another CLo masterpiece.👏🙌
Whether you have read their books before or not this is A MUST READ!!
This coming of age novel has it all, so many swoon worthy moments, many heartbreaking moments, and most of all so many loving moments.
It's a story about finding yourself, falling in love, and most of all showing your love for friends and families and faith.💚💜💖

I was anticipating this read for so long and it was much worth the wait!! Christina Lauren have outdone themselves once again with such a loving, warming story, that I will for sure keep for the vast future and get my unborn children to read😂

Below are some of my very swoon worthy moment quotes and also pg109 really made *swoooonn* hard but if you wanna know why you better check out the book!! 💓
Speaking of the book the cover itself is a beauty, it had to be said!
All I can say is READ IT READ IT LOVE IT LOVE IT AND READ IT (also spread the word and get other teens and adults to read it as it is just amazing)!!!!!😻

'A mountain. Our hike. He's in his room, maybe thinking about our hike.'🗻

'...Sebastian texts me before bed with a simple snowy mountain-top emoji and it's kerosene dumped on the flickering candle in my chest.' ,🗻😍

'The door swings open, and the sight of him sucks every bit of oxygen in the porch.'💞

'It's not his first kiss - I know that - but it's his first real one.'👬💕

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Started good then went down hill

I was enjoying this book to begin with, and then the pace started to slow so I got a bit distracted and frustrated with it, then towards the end it’s as if the author didn’t quite finish the book. The tense and grammar was fine for most of it, then it bizarrely went to the third person for several chapters and it was really difficult to feel connected to the story and I got sick of hearing Sebastian thought this, and Sebastian that. Then the books was rushed at the end tied up in a sloppy bow, the end. What a waste of a potentially great story. Did they just forget it was an early draft or something?

ADDED NOTE: I continued listening to hear the author/narrator interview and it turns out the third person change was intentional. You’re supposed to view it as a summary of what happens after. I really don’t think that worked. Instead there was a good story that just wasn’t finished, so I really can’t give it a better rating.

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Couldn't finish it.

I just wasn't into this one. I decided half way through to quit the book, and save my time.
I just couldn't connect with the characters, and the narrator's voice was not to my liking.

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Profile Image for 🎧 Cyndi Marie 🎧
  • 🎧 Cyndi Marie 🎧
  • 16-06-18

✫✫ 4.5 Stars ✫✫

I really loved this story. I love how inspiring it was both for YA who are Gay/Bi and for religious aspect too. This book shows realistic issues that teens face everyday and how hard it can be but also shows that not everything has a sad ending. Tanner was a great character, he was sure of himself and his sexuality even if he was hiding, it wasn't because of him or his family. I really loved his parents the most in this book because they talked to their kids instead of at them, they supported their kids and genuinely just didn't want them to suffer because of other. Sebastian had the harder situation here I think because his heart was telling him he was in love and it was also telling him that he needed his religion and those two things can't combine. His family was a lot harder than I would have liked but they just wanted what they truly thought was best for him. In the end this book left me with smile on my face and I want to tell all the YA's I know to read it! Even though I had some issues with narration, it couldn't have ruin this book for me because I just loved the story that much!

Narration... well that's a hard one for me with this book. First lets talk about the narrators. 90% of this book is narrated by Deacon Lee who is a great narrator but he sounds like John Malkovich which means he sounds way to old to narrate 18/19 year old boys, the same goes for Kyle Mason in my opinion.
Now the narrative change in the end was very hard for me to get past. It wasn't about the narrators but the writing style. I know why they switched narrative style but it just pulled me out of this great story and I found it very hard to get back into it. Its a little hard to explain, it was almost like it was written in the first person unless he was talking about himself, then he refereed to himself in the third person. It has to be one or the other for me because it was just to distracting and I'll admit it kinda took away from the ending for me. That is the only reason this book lost .5 star from me.

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ana's Attic
  • 06-10-17

Amazing YA m-m book

Autobiography by Christina Lauren is not normally a book I would pick up. But I was sent this absolutely gorgeous hardcover, and I try to read the books that are going on my shelf. I realize now that I never even read the blurb, just fell for the cover. I couldn’t fit it in my reading schedule, but I had a credit on audible so I grabbed it there, not even knowing that it was YA. But being in a bit of a slump, I was looking for something different, and Autobiography totally fit the bill and lived up to the gorgeous cover.

“I’m just a bisexual half-Jewish kid who’s falling in love with an LDS guy. The path for me isn’t as clear.”

I love Tanner and his family so much. They moved from California to Provo, Utah when Tanner was 15. Tanner is bisexual and half Jewish, and Provo is a predominantly Mormon (LDS) town. His mom is an ex-Mormon and understands how it all works, and both of his parents are very accepting of Tanner.

“I forget not everyone lives in a household where a parent sleeps in a MY QUEER KID RULES nightgown.”

But they still encourage him to keep his sexuality a secret because in that town, they know he would have problems. He couldn’t even share it with his best friend, Autumn. When Tanner takes a writing seminar his senior year, they are expected to write a novel, and the teacher brought in his most prominent student from the previous year to help out, Sebastian Brother. Sebastian’s book was already published, and he is now a student at a Mormon University. He is following his expected path as a son of a Mormon bishop, and going on his mission as soon as he returns from his book tour. Sebastian loves his religion and is devoted to the church.

When Tanner sees Sebastian in the class, his reaction is all-consuming and immediate. He has no idea if Sebastian is straight or gay, but there is a spark, an immediate connection.

“Kissing boys feels good. Kissing girls feels good. But something tells me kissing Sebastian would be like a sparkler falling in the middle of a field of dry grass.”

Sebastian loves his church. But being gay is not yet accepted. You are allowed to have feelings for the same sex, but you are never allowed to act on it.

"But we’ve both been raised to care greatly what our family thinks about us— their esteem is everything. On top of that, Sebastian has the looming judgment of the Church, telling him wherever he looks that the God he loves thinks he’s a pretty foul human being. It’s impossible to know how to undo the damage they’re doing to him."

I really loved how the authors really researched the town and the religion and presented both the good and bad. They never vilified the church and often pointed out the good. I loved that they weren’t afraid to tackle a tough subject and show both sides.

“Sometimes I wonder whether it’s God or the church that feels the strongest about these things.”
“My opinion?” I say carefully. “A God worthy of your eternal love wouldn’t judge you for who you love while you’re here.”

It’s so sad that Sebastian really has to choose between two things he loves, his church and his sexuality. But while this is an extreme example, it happens to young gay kids every day, having to choose between their family, their faith and their sexuality.

"He’s gay; he didn’t die. Nobody is wounded. I know Sebastian’s parents are good people, but holy hell, they just inadvertently made their own son feel like there’s something about him that needs to be fixed. So much for acceptance. So much for welcoming."


Likes:

•I have major cover love.
•A completely unique story that I recommend to everyone 15 and up.
•How the authors never demonized the church.
•The research and accuracy (I read comments from people who are from there).
•There was a lot of light and funny scenes, as well as hugely emotional ones.
•The huge differences between how each boy was accepted.
•Autumn, Tanner's best friend.
•I learned a little about the Latter Day Saints.
•Tanner’s family. His parents were completely accepting and amazing about it, and were still good, strict parents.
•The book within a book.
•That it didn't just have a perfect, happy ending though it is a HFN.

Dislikes:

•The narration changed from first to third person during the book. In the audible version, there is an interview with the authors and narrator at the end and they explain it, and it makes perfect sense. But for me, while reading it, I was wondering if I had gone crazy and it was 3rd person all along, which really took me out of the story.

The Narration:
Narrated by two different men, I loved Tanner’s narrator. Sebastian’s not as much, and it confused me a bit when he came in as 3rd person. The interview at the end make the audiobook even more worth it.

The Down & Dirty:
Autoboygraphy is a must-read novel for high school and beyond. It was a beautiful story of young love, discovery, religion, family, commitments, expectations, acceptance, secrets, heartbreak, friendship, laughter and more. It was a well researched, well crafted novel that addressed the closed mindedness of religion without vilifying it. It was unique, educational and unputdownable. I am hoping it gets picked up in high schools and starts being required reading. Whether you are a YA fan or not, I think Autoboyography is so unique and socially relevant that anyone can pick it up and love it. It was a hugely refreshing change from all of the erotic romance I have been reading lately, and kept me riveted the entire time.

Rating: 4.5-5 stars, 4.5 narration (No heat rating)

9 people found this helpful

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  • G
  • 07-10-17

Enjoyable listen

I enjoyed the story and narration even though it felt a little "young." The consistent overuse of metaphor and simile was slightly annoying but also humorous and appropriate as it fit with the narrator's point of view as a high school writer.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 18-09-17

Beautiful, touching story.

Would you listen to Autoboyography again? Why?

Yes! I would love to listen to the story again because it was entertaining, funny and beautiful. The character's struggles were tangible.

Who was your favorite character and why?

It's hard to choose as the main characters, Tanner, Sebastian and Autumn were all so great. This is because they felt real, they all their own personalities distinct from one another.

What about Deacon Lee and Kyle Mason ’s performance did you like?

I loved the performance because they were just ON POINT.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I cried two times. Mostly because some of it was so touching to me, but it also released some negative emotions for me concerning coming out and my own family.

Any additional comments?

I loved that this book was different. Tanner was out to his supportive family but was told to keep himself a secret from the rest of the town, even his best friend. I loved that this character was unapologetically bisexual and insisted on his label and explained his feeling for both girls and boys. While it wasn't entirely how I experience bisexuality, it was still super important to read and I needed this book as a bisexual teen to know that it was okay to be bisexual.

I'm not very religious but this book helped me to be empathetic to Sebastian's struggles in the Mormon community. His struggles were so tangible to me and Tanner's insight's into Sebastian's mind provided deeper meaning to me.

The other characters in the book all played a role and Autumn was a great secondary character if not a main character. She provided a lot of fun to the novel.

I would read this again and considering buying a physical copy.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for thiscitygirl
  • thiscitygirl
  • 13-09-17

Swoons, Sighs and Heartichokes

What made the experience of listening to Autoboyography the most enjoyable?

Great story. Believable Dialogue. Great Narration.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Autumn -- for ultimately being the best, best friend.

What does Deacon Lee and Kyle Mason bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The nuance and layers of emotions.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Laughed several times throughout!

Any additional comments?

One of my favorite Christina Lauren books yet! A beautiful representation of a budding M/M romance with the added pressures of organized religion, family expectations and small town living. A great read with lots of swoons, heartichokes and sighs. I hope teens (and adults) in the LGBTQ community find themselves represented in the novel and thoroughly enjoy the read.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • ~E~
  • 28-09-17

I want more!

Please write a follow-up! I need to know what happens with Sebastian and his family!!

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Pat Johnson
  • Pat Johnson
  • 27-09-17

Just beautiful.

I so adored every part of this audio book the writing flowed and I swam along not breathing...
To see the conflict that Sebastian held was extremely sad but he overcame it to find his other soul- Tanner .......
The narrators were perfectly perfect....
Read the book then bought the audio ! ♥️

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Misty
  • 17-09-17

Everything

This book is so much of everything. A coming of age with religious and familial complications. 2 young men that fall in love but are separated so far by religion, family, school, history, miles... too much for one to think they will ever recover.

There are no words for how much I loved this book. It was so well written and so completely entertaining and engrossing that I literally couldn't turn it off. There was so much to learn from as a parent, that I will hold these lessons close to my heart forever.

Deacon Lee did a great job. His narration didn't jump out of my earbuds and wasn't distracting either. It was just a good compliment to a great story.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Catherine Puma
  • 09-06-20

Great Setup but Sloppy Ending

Five minutes after finishing this audiobook, I rated this 5/5 stars because I enjoyed it so much while reading it. However, upon reflection, I recognize a couple of flaws in the story and incomplete elements that require me to review this book at 4/5 stars.

"Autoboyography" is a contemporary Western USA high school story mainly told from the close first person POV of self-proclaimed recently re-closeted half-Jewish queer kid. Tanner is bisexual, and while out in CA, for his high school years in super-Mormon Provo, Utah, he is closeted again. This becomes challenging when he starts falling for the Bishop's hot 19-year-old son, who also turns out to be an in-denial closeted gay kid.

The structure of this novel is centered around a senior seminar creative writing class, in which students have to write a first draft of a book manuscript by the end of the year, and Tanner writes about his relationship with Sebastian. As a creative writer myself who has done NaNoWriMo and taken some creative writing classes, I really loved the meta-structure of this book BEING the autobiography Tanner writes while experiencing this formative year in his life.

Full disclosure, I am not LDS (Latter Day Saints, AKA: Mormon) and do not know about the LDS experience outside of what I learned from reading Tara Westover's "Educated" memoir (which is GREAT by the way, I highly recommend). However, my audiobook ends with a 24min interview with the authors, during which they describe interviewing LDS and ex-LDS members to make sure they got religious facts right, as well as staying in Provo, UT for weeks to get a feel for the town. As such, I trust they get LDS elements correct, but of course leave those criticisms to members of the LDS community.

As an LGBTQ book, I really appreciated the complex representations of bisexual, gay, allies, and non-supporters/homophobes in this story, and I think the authors do a great job of characterizing the main characters' relationships with their respective parents. As a romance, I really loved some of Tanner and Sebastian's scenes, especially how important hiking in the isolated mountains of Utah became to their routine as a secret couple. All of their intimate/kissing scenes are PERFECT! I loved how Sebastian's experiences during these shone through even though told in Tanner's POV.

Even so, there are some issues which prevent this book from being a 5/5 star review. #InstaLove is a cliche. Both Tanner and Sebastian have siblings, and while we get a good interaction or two with them, they aren't mentioned at all towards the end even though they're supposed to be "close" or whatever. Prom is a stickler stressful event discussed earlier on, but we never actually see Prom or find out what happens there. I know the authors wanted a happily-ever-after ending, but the "wrap-ups" seem sloppy and incomplete. I feel like a shorter book length was prioritized over properly winding down post-climax. I liked the POV shift 5/6ths of the way through the book and loved how Sebastian's book tour is handled, but we never see the large life-changing decisions Sebastian makes which affect his career, relationships, school, and living situation. There is a huge time jump, so the last chapter feels more like a lazy epilogue.

Overall, many elements in this book were so sweet/funny/sexy and important to read. Tanner's prose and perspective are the strongest sections of this work; the sloppy ending is its biggest weakness. I am so glad I read this, especially for Pride Month 2020, and now want to visit some of those Utah hiking trails!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Hsinju
  • Hsinju
  • 26-05-20

a heart-warming book with tensions and struggles

Autoboyography is a very cute and sweet story between a bisexual high school senior, Tanner, and a Mormon Brother, Sebastian. It is the sort of book that provides hope for readers, especially young and queer ones, but, sadly, does not reflect the real world. The overall story is a dream too good to be true. Maybe that is part of the reason why it was enjoyable: you get things you don’t get out of life. Deacon did a great job at narrating, too, even though he didn’t sound much like a high schooler. He gave this story a calmness that makes it even more soothing to listen to. Also, I finished the book in two days. That is approximately two sittings, which is weirdly fast for me.

Despite the cuteness overload, there are plenty of dark moments in the book where the relationship between Tanner and Sebastian was not healthy. And precisely during those parts where Sebastian struggles internally, goes into denial, and Tanner procrastinates dealing with his life, it couldn’t be more real.

The book did not demonise Mormons and did a fairly good job at staying on mutual grounds. I believe non-religious people can learn something about Mormon after reading this book, and possibly even spark an interest in wanting to know more about the religion.

In short, Autoboyography is a heart-warming book without absence of tensions and struggles. It has been an enjoyable process of listening to the audiobook.