The Last Boyfriends Rules for Revenge

Delacorte. Apr. 2024. 368p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780593707173.
Gr 9 Up–Hubbard’s debut is a clever, funny, coming-of-age romance where teens who are being silenced for who they are learn to fight for what they believe in, and in the process revolutionize a whole freedom movement. Ezra and his best friends Finley and Lucas are out for revenge against their ex-boyfriends for the way they were humiliated during their relationships. Their plans for revenge are full of the antics reminiscent of 1990s teen comedies. But these antics are set in today’s Alabama where a school district is enforcing their campaign of “Watch What You Say” to silence LGBTQIA+ students and maintain the old “family traditions.” As each boy enacts his revenge, they learn more about themselves and the idea of forgiveness, but they get the notice of the school board who want them silenced. When Ezra decides to run for Winter Formal King against his ex-boyfriend things begin to get serious as some adults take to harassing him to stop. Witty dialogue abounds; Hubbard’s ability to add humor amidst serious moments is truly a wonderful gift. The friendship between the boys is written so well, readers will want to hang out with them. And Ezra’s dad couldn’t be a more perfect single dad.
VERDICT This book is already getting social media buzz, so students are going to gravitate to it. The messages within this lovely, powerful novel will give courage to teens to believe in themselves no matter what path in life they follow.

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