Contemporary · lgbtq+ · Teen · young adult

I Promise No Lies by Annabeth Chatwin

This book about about two friends called James and Heath. James has just come out to his friends and family as gay. Heath, on the other hand, is unsure about his sexuality. He is adamant that he is straight but something in him is telling him he is a bisexual. Heath is in love with James but he is terrified about the whole situation.

I loved reading this book. The storyline was heartbreaking but also eye opening. Reading about James who had come out to his friends and family, was seeing one side of coming out. James knows who he is as he has been struggling for so long. He has no trouble telling people he is gay. On the other hand, Heath is still unsure. I feel like he does not want to label himself as bisexual. He finds it difficult to come to terms with because he has grown up being straight. Heath does not know how to react to these feelings which he has only just noticed. 

The different between the boys is that Heath does not want to come out yet as he is scared. People’s judgements are worrying for him. Heath does not know how to come to terms with his sexuality. It is painful to read about how he is struggling and how he is isolating himself from other people. Whereas James was calm when telling people. Although, James has been holding this secret in since he was a child so I can hear the pain he was in. Realising your sexuality can be a long and painful process for some people.

The story of these two boys shows how people are drastically different when dealing with their sexuality. Some people are open and are out, but others are not comfortable with the entire world knowing. I understand that something like this takes great strength to come out and say to people. Some people are more prepared than others. 

This book was short but straight to the point. Like the authors other novel I read, I felt like the characters were so easy to get to know and were so lovable. I could really feel for them and what they were going through. It is amazing how the author can portray these feelings in such a short number of pages but it is written beautifully. I feel both the books from this author can help people who may relate to these characters. In my opinion, the first book mainly discusses how to deal with other people’s reactions and this book deals with your internal reactions. For example, how we see ourselves and how we think other people see us. 

I enjoyed reading this book, it was heartfelt and amazingly written. I am excited to see what is next for the author. I’m looking forward to reading more LGBTQ+ stories. Obviously I am giving this book 5/5 stars, thank you to Annabeth for sending me the advance readers copy of the book. The cover is also so pretty! Here is the link to the book on amazon and goodreads

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