Lose You to Find Me

HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. May 2023. 368p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780063055025.
Gr 8 Up–Brown’s sophomore YA novel is the queer romantic comedy readers need. High school senior Tommy works at Sunset Estates, a retirement community, hoping for an assignment in the kitchen to further his dream of going to culinary school and following in his father’s footsteps. However, when he’s assigned to train the new guy, he recognizes the name right away—Gabe, his very first crush from summer camp. Now Tommy must juggle the path towards his dream job, his dream boy from the past, and of course his football-player friend with benefits. It’s a good thing he has the Sunset Estates crew to help him along the way. While many queer romances fall victim to the same old love tropes, this breaks the mold and adds laugh-out-loud moments. The plot and solid writing are captivating from the start. While relatively tame, the plot does touch on homophobia, grieving a parent, and sex (a heavy makeout scene does occur but is not overly explicit). Tommy is white, Gabe is Latino, and Tommy’s best friend Ava is Black; a handful of supporting characters are also people of color.
VERDICT With this novel, Brown reveals himself as an author to watch in the YA queer romance scene. Recommended first purchase for all collections.

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