I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver
May 14, 2019, from Push
Young adult contemporary
Goodreads | Amazon
When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they’re thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents’ rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school.
But Ben’s attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan’s friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life.
At turns heartbreaking and joyous, I Wish You All the Best is both a celebration of life, friendship, and love, and a shining example of hope in the face of adversity.
I’d heard a lot about I Wish You All the Best and how good it was. I haven’t read a lot of ownvoices books about non-binary characters, so I was excited to read this, and I was not disappointed. I Wish You All the Best is a soft book that deals with difficult subjects but ultimately manages to be uplifting and positive.
The book follows the main character, Ben, after they have been kicked out of their house for coming out as non-binary. In itself, this is heartbreaking, but the good thing is that it’s all up from the beginning. I really enjoyed the narration, mostly because Ben is so soft. They’re quiet, conflict-avoidant, and they just spend a lot of time on their art, and can I say it’s just so nice to see a character like this in YA lit? We don’t get these kinds of quiet, contemplative characters a lot, and it was so nice to read about Ben. They do learn to become more assertive and stand up for themself during the course of the book, but Ben is just a gentle soul at heart and I honestly love them so much.
Even though I Wish You All the Best deals with Ben’s life after they’re kicked out, it feels very much like a slice-of-life book. Not a lot really happens in this book, and there aren’t any huge conflicts, but I am definitely not complaining, because this style of plot suits the book’s tone so much. It’s just Ben’s growth to self-acceptance and self-love, and any huge plot points take a backseat to just reading about Ben’s character growth.
There’s not a whole lot to say about this book, but I did really enjoy I Wish You All the Best and recommend it to anyone who wants to read a soft, sweet contemporary novel.
content warnings | transphobia, misgendering, parental abuse
representation | non-binary main character, black bisexual love interest
have you read i wish you all the best? what are some other books with non-binary characters you enjoyed?
4 thoughts on “I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver | a soft, emotional, and lovely book”
Superb review 🌼💕
“Soft” truly is the best way to describe this book and Ben. ❤ I also really enjoyed how this was a slice-of-life book with not a ton happening, which definitely fit the whole book's mood. Great review!!
Thank you!! IWYATB just has such a calming mood.