How to Be Remy Cameron

Duet. Sept. 2019. 304p. pap. $17.99. ISBN 9781945053801.
Gr 7 Up–Rembrandt “Remy” Joshua Cameron is known at Maplewood High School for his confidence and super-likable personality. He is one of five African American students and president of the Gay-Straight Alliance. He is the adopted son in a loving white family, which includes Uncle Dawson, who is also gay, and a beagle named Clover. He is a fan of indie pop music, and he aspires to attend the creative writing program at Emory College of Arts and Sciences. But when he’s assigned to write a personal essay about who he is, Remy isn’t sure what that means. While Remy dreads the Essay of Doom, he gains a new love interest, Ian Park, a Korean American 1980s pop music aficionado, and is sought after by Free Williams, a mysterious woman who has a surprising connection to his emotional journey. Winters has crafted a thought-provoking yet fun YA novel with a lot of wit and laugh-out-loud one-liners. The author pays homage to past and present LGBTQ wordsmiths Tennessee Williams and Benjamin Alire Sáenz, and has created an array of diverse characters without presenting them as preachy stereotypes and boxed-in caricatures.
VERDICT Winters deserves a place in the YA literary canon.

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