Jay’s Gay Agenda by Jason June – REVIEW

There’s one thing Jay Collier knows for sure—he’s a statistical anomaly as the only out gay kid in his small rural Washington town. While all this friends can’t stop talking about their heterosexual hookups and relationships, Jay can only dream of his own firsts, compiling a romance to-do list of all the things he hopes to one day experience—his Gay Agenda.

Then, against all odds, Jay’s family moves to Seattle and he starts his senior year at a new high school with a thriving LGBTQIA+ community. For the first time ever, Jay feels like he’s found where he truly belongs, where he can flirt with Very Sexy Boys and search for love. But as Jay begins crossing items off his list, he’ll soon be torn between his heart and his hormones, his old friends and his new ones…because after all, life and love don’t always go according to plan.

From debut novelist Jason June comes a moving and hilarious sex-positive story about the complexities of first loves, first hookups, and first heartbreaks—and how to stay true to yourself while embracing what you never saw coming.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Harper Teen and Pride Book Tours.
Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

“I’m not exactly sure what the stats are on people realising they’re gay because of pop stars, but for me it was 100 percent.”

I absolutely adored this quirky YA contemporary about gay teenager Jay discovering himself after moving to Seattle from his country school where he was the only out LGBTQIA+ kid. Jay is almost eighteen years old but he’s missed all the relationship milestones his heterosexual peers have been celebrating for years. Wanting to tick as many of these milestones off his list as possible, Jay soon becomes lost in a haze of lust and freedom.

“The Gay Agenda made me feel more complete. Like a human being worthy of love and connection instead of some lonely sideshow.”

Jay was such an endearing main character and I loved how sex-positive this book was. Jay views intimacy as a connection and he’s desperate to forge as many ties as possible within the gay community. I loved his friendship with the iconic Max and his blossoming relationship with adorkable Albert. His parents were also great supporting characters and it was refreshing to read about such a functional family unit.

“Albert’s confession made me realise just how dangerous stereotypes could be…How they can dehumanise someone so much that they make choices that feel completely wrong just to prove they are human.”

I also appreciated the nuanced exploration of gay culture and the pressures sometimes put on gay kids by the older community. The author also incisively examines the damaging effect stereotypes and gender conformity can have. Jay’s Gay Agenda is hilarious, heartwarming and comforting; perfect for fans of Becky Albertalli and Simon James Green.

(Goodreads | Amazon UK | Book Depository | Bookshop.org)

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