And They Lived.

Bloomsbury. Mar. 2022. 384p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781547608195.
Gr 10 Up– After his gay stop-motion videos of Disney characters went viral during his senior year of high school, Chase, a queer nonbinary artist, is living his happily ever after as he starts freshman year in a prestigious animation program. But the reality of figuring out his gender identity, dealing with family trauma, fighting a bitter rivalry with a former best friend, and beginning a secret romance that has him questioning his self-worth is hardly the stuff of fairy tales. This novel is complicated, full of messy, flawed humans discovering themselves, their art, and how they want to live as brand new adults. Salvatore handles Chase’s body dysmorphia and eating disorder recovery with sensitive realism, acknowledging how it affects every aspect of his life, without letting the disorder become his defining characteristic. Chase and most of the main characters are white, with some diversity in secondary characters.
VERDICT A sex-positive, LGBTQIA+ romp through an artist’s freshman year of college, with quick, witty dialogue and sure pacing that makes it a perfect crossover title for older teens and college students in the vein of Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl and Margot Wood’s Fresh.

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