I Wish You All The Best Book Review

Photo credit: Photo credit https://www.masondeaverwrites.com/i-wish-you-all-the-best

Photo credit: Photo credit https://www.masondeaverwrites.com/i-wish-you-all-the-best

Reilly Babinski, Writer

I Wish You All The Best is by Mason Deaver, a nonbinary author and bookseller from a small town in North Carolina.  According to Deaver, when they started to write this book their “one hope was that it would help people feel less alone, no matter how or why they related to Ben- or even Nathan, or Hannah, or anyone else in this book.” 

Set in Raleigh, NC the book follows Ben De Backer through their struggles and growth. After coming out over winter break to their parents as nonbinary, Ben is kicked out of their house and moves in with their older sister Hannah, who they haven’t seen in 10 years, and her husband Thomas, who Ben has never met. Now struggling with fully embracing their identity, having to finish their senior year at a new school and going to therapy, Ben only comes out to Hannah, Thomas, their therapist and their dear online friend Mariam. But once Ben meets Nathan Allen, they are given new opportunities for friendships, personal growth and a possible relationship that turns the horrible event Ben went through into a chance for something much better. 

Ben De Backer is the protagonist of the book. They are fairly introverted, anxious and just want to make it through their senior year without any more issues. As the book progresses, Ben starts to come out of their shell and express themself more within their new friend group and around their sister and therapist. Ben develops more confidence dealing with their parents and the controlling, unsupportive attitudes their parents have towards them and their identity. 

Nathan Allen is the loveable, new best friend of Ben who ends up becoming the main person Ben turns to for comfort and support. Throughout the book Nathan is always there for Ben, checking up on them, supporting them in every way, admiring Ben’s artwork and getting them out of their comfort zone all while being unaware that Ben is nonbinary. 

The actual content of the book is a captivating rollercoaster of emotions that ultimately finishes with a happy ending. There are moments in the book that depict panic attacks, depression, strained familial relationships, supportive friends, identity exploration and all types of love and relationships. In the words of Meredith Russo, the author of If I Was Your Girl, I Wish You All The Best is “tender and bursting with humanity, I Wish You All The Best tells a heartwarming queer love story without compromise.” 

I loved this book. The main characters were relatable and written as humans, not as some perfect flawless robots but as people with emotions, flaws and real problems. I adored how sweet Ben and Nathan’s relationship was, how Deaver displayed the struggles of coming to terms with your identity and the effect not having familial support can have on an individual. The friends were all well written with distinct personalities and the growth of Ben’s crush, and realization of said crush, on Nathan came across as natural. 

Deaver’s style of writing flows and keeps the reader engaged throughout the entire book. The way they wrote small details that may seem insignificant but added depth to the characters, such as Ben having a fear of the ocean, really pulls the reader into the story. This book is incredibly interesting and insightful for those who want a better understanding of the struggles that come with being LGBTQIA+, specifically nonbinary, or for those who want a love story that doesn’t give up crucial parts of each character for the sake of a relationship. I absolutely recommend this book for everyone to read.