Review: The Handsome Girl and Her Beautiful Boy by B.T. Gottfred

The Handsome Girl & Her Beautiful Boy
by B.T. Gottfred
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co
Publication date: May 8, 2018
Genre: Young Adult
Rating:

Everyone assumes that Zee is a lesbian. Her classmates, her gym buddies, even her so-called best friend. So many people think that Zee likes girls, even Zee is starting to wonder. Could they be onto something?

Everyone assumes that Art is gay. They take one look at his nice clothes and his pretty face and think: well, obviously.

But there’s more to Zee and Art than anyone realizes. When Art first meets Zee, he knows he’s found someone special–someone magical. Zee may not be able to see that magic in herself, but Art is bound and determined to show it to her.

What develops is a powerful connection between two people who are beautiful in all the ways they’ve been told are strange. As they explore their own complexities in gender, sexuality, and identity, they fall for the complexities they find in each other. With his trademark frankness, B.T. Gottfred delves inside both characters’ heads in this story about love and living authentically.

 

 

Zee has had a crush on her best friend for years, but he’s never noticed her as anything other than one of the guys. Maybe it’s the way she dresses, or the fact that she’s not a girly girl in any sense of the word. Either way, he’s never noticed her before and all she wants is for him to see her. Art is the complete opposite of Zee. He’s very up to date on fashion and never leaves the house without looking perfect. He’s a bit quirky in that he says what’s on his mind and can be over the top a lot of the time. Most people think he’s gay, but he’s had his eyes set on his one magical unicorn… Zee. The two strike up an unlikely friendship, which to me wasn’t so unlikely, and pretty soon the lines start to blur, and they find themselves questioning who they are.

This story is told both in Zee and Art’s point of view. Like, every other page was written in the other person’s POV. The author wrote the book in a way that made it so that you were in both of their heads almost at the same time. So, you always knew what the other was thinking. I was a little worried that that much flipping back and forth would mess with the flow of the story. However, the author did an amazing job with it. Each character was so completely different and yet so similar that the change between the two POVs was seamless.

While this is sort of a coming of age story about self discovery, the story arc isn’t all that different from normal young adult romances. Girl likes her best friend, who doesn’t see her as anything other than one of his buddies, girl meets non-threatening boy who’s secretly (or in Art’s case not so secretly) in love with said girl. He becomes one of her closest confidants as he helps her win over the guy. Now, of course there is a lot that sets this apart. Like the fact that everyone thinks the girl is a lesbian, and everyone thinks the boy is gay. The author takes it even further with the fact that while they both thought they were straight, they start to realize that maybe there’s more to their sexuality than what society dictates. You’re witness to watching two young teens come to the realization and discovery that their attraction to others is a bit more complex than just a black and white view on it all.

There’s other things that pop up in the story along the way that adds more layers to the story. Now, I will say that while I really enjoyed this story, I did feel like the ending was a bit rushed. The author took all this time to slowly pull from these characters lives, and then all of a sudden the ending is coming at us full force and it was a little bizarre. I can’t really say why I feel this way without giving away the ending, but I just felt like a lot was not just randomly brushed off and the readers were just supposed to accept it all.

THG&HBB was an entertaining read. It wasn’t perfect and there were things that took place that I didn’t fully agree with, but I was unable to put the book down.

 

 

4 Thoughts on “Review: The Handsome Girl and Her Beautiful Boy by B.T. Gottfred

  1. Even if it wasn’t great, the fact that it was hard to put down is good.

  2. Lauren Becker on 10 December, 2018 at 8:39 am said:

    I have to admit, I’ve never really been fond of this title. I don’t know…I AM glad that you really liked it overall though. It’s cool that the characters start to realize that maybe there is more to their sexuality than they first realized. We need books like that, where it’s not always obvious to the characters themselves if they are gay, straight, bi, or something else. Thanks for sharing!

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.net

  3. Sometimes flipping back and forth does mess up the flow of the story, so I love it when an author can pull it off. I do like seeing things from all points of view.
    sherry @ fundinmental

  4. While I’m sorry to hear about the ending being rushed (I don’t like when that’s the case), I’m curious about this book. The blurb instantly grabbed my attention, then your review sparked my curiosity, so I’m adding it to my list 🙂

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