Title: The World is Ours
Author: Abby Elise
Publisher: Autumn Cat Publishing
Publication date: September 30th, 2019
If becoming an adult was a race and the junior class was Riley Wyman’s competition, he would be dead last. All his friends have jobs, know how to drive, and have all been in relationships. He’s never had a job, he doesn’t know how to drive, he’s never been in a relationship—only on small dates, and he’s never been on more than three dates with one girl. He isn’t really all that into dating, anyway. That is until he shares a brief moment of passion with a boy at a party, and the thought of liking boys becomes a lot more real and slightly less terrifying.
He had questioned his sexuality before, but was always too afraid to really let himself dive into it. Because of his mother’s strong Catholic beliefs and his father’s traditionalism, he is afraid to explore this self-discovery because of how it could impact his family, and ultimately, his safety. He keeps his first experiences with love and heartbreak a secret as he awaits the day he can show his true colors.
**Thank you to Autumn Cat Publishing and Abby Elise for providing an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review**
Riley is a typical 16 year old boy. He’s got a great friend group, does well in school, and has a pretty good life. The only thing lacking? He’s terrible with dating, and his best friend keeps setting him up on them in hopes he will find a girl he likes. While at a party, he shares a drunken kiss with another boy and his world is turned over. Riley then goes through an amazing period of self discovery to self acceptance, and realizes he is gay (which would explain the difficulty in dating girls).
Riley is a great character, and this book reads like it could absolutely happen. Sometimes books romanticize high school, or write about events that definitely would not happen in a typical high school, but The World Is Ours was very realistic. It also has great representation for LGBTIA. Riley’s experience will be relatable for others who had there own sexual orientation journey, or those who had difficulty coming out to parents who were less than accepting. You get to see Riley’s first forays into male/male relationships, as well as male/male sexual activities.
The other characters in TWIO are great as well, very well rounded and important to the story. You also get to see their personal growth and development, as the book spans about 1.5-2 years of time. I think Abby Elise did a good job telling Riley’s story and giving a story about a boy struggling with his identity a voice in today’s world.
For those of you who enjoy contemporary fiction, or are looking for a bookw ith LGBTQIA representation, this book will be for you. I will say that I believe all characters in this book are cisgendered, however Abby Elise does a good job of not providing exact descriptions of diverse attributes. You don’t know until almost the end that there are some racial undertones at play as well, between an interracial couple among the background characters.
Happy reading, bookish friends! 🙂