BookView review: The Mixtape to the Real Me by Jake Martinez

BookView Review rated it:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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Pub date March 24, 2020

ISBN 979-8630379481

Price $12.99 (USD) Paperback, $4.99 Kindle edition

In Martinez’s moving exploration of love, perseverance, and hope, two struggling teens find each other and themselves. Justin Ortega and Dominic Mendoza have finally found love, but declaring themselves out in the open is a risk they are unwilling to take. And Garza High is not a friendly place for queer couples. When Roger Gates, a bisexual teen, arrives in school, who has no qualms about making his sexual orientation known, Justin and Dominic see a ray of hope. They soon come out, but everyone is not welcoming. Things get more tense after Dominic’s estranged father shows up. The narration alternates between Justin and Dominic, precisely getting readers into both teenagers’ heads. The anxiety and self-doubt that Justin feels come through clearly, as he constantly battles the conflicting emotions and worries about others’ opinion of his sexual orientation, as do Dominic’s particular anxieties: Will he be able to get over his insecurities and traumatic childhood? Will he ever feel safe enough? Will there be happily-ever-after for him and Justin in the face of his life’s new challenging circumstances? As much a story about self-discovery as a romance, this novel will resonate with all YA romance readers. A definite winner.


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