Book: Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett
Published October 2019 by Knopf Books For Young Readers|290 pages
Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library
Genre: YA Contemporary
In a community that isn’t always understanding, an HIV-positive teen must navigate fear, disclosure, and radical self-acceptance when she falls in love–and lust–for the first time. Powerful and uplifting, Full Disclosure will speak to fans of Angie Thomas and Nicola Yoon.
Simone Garcia-Hampton is starting over at a new school, and this time things will be different. She’s making real friends, making a name for herself as student director of Rent, and making a play for Miles, the guy who makes her melt every time he walks into a room. The last thing she wants is for word to get out that she’s HIV-positive, because last time . . . well, last time things got ugly.
Keeping her viral load under control is easy, but keeping her diagnosis under wraps is not so simple. As Simone and Miles start going out for real–shy kisses escalating into much more–she feels an uneasiness that goes beyond butterflies. She knows she has to tell him that she’s positive, especially if sex is a possibility, but she’s terrified of how he’ll react! And then she finds an anonymous note in her locker: I know you have HIV. You have until Thanksgiving to stop hanging out with Miles. Or everyone else will know too.
Simone’s first instinct is to protect her secret at all costs, but as she gains a deeper understanding of the prejudice and fear in her community, she begins to wonder if the only way to rise above is to face the haters head-on…
I liked Full Disclosure! I really felt for Simone, who’s pretty amazing.
It can’t be an easy diagnosis, and you see how much it affects her. Whether it’s telling friends, or a guy she likes, it’s not an easy thing for her to share. When it does get out to the whole school, people are completely horrible to her. People just don’t want to take the time to truly understand what it means.
Miles, Claudia and Lydia are pretty supportive, and even though Simone has her issues with them, they do care about her, and it’s clear they support her and still want to be around her. It’s especially important with Miles, since they’re pretty into each other. Being HIV positive is a pretty big deal in any romantic relationship, but he was great because it honestly didn’t seem to bother him or scare him away. It seemed like he was willing to take things slow and wait.
Her dads are pretty awesome too, and I love the relationship she has with both of them. It’s obvious they love her and would do anything for her. It’s also nice to see a YA book where the parents are around and involved in her life. A lot of times, it feels like the parents are absent or barely there, so it’s nice that they actually show up more than once or twice, if at all.
I also liked that we got the whole story with Sarah. It’s interesting that there was no flashback, but I thought it’s inclusion was well-done. And I get why it’s hard for Simone to trust people because of what happened with her. I really felt for her when it happened again. Because people can be horrible, especially with things they don’t understand. But she has a great support system with her dads, her best friends, and Miles. And even her support group was pretty cool too. They definitely understood what she was going through when no one else did.
It’s definitely an important read, and I’m glad I read it. I think Positive by Paige Rawls is a good read-alike for this one. Positive is a memoir, but I was reminded of it the whole time I read this book. Simone is more than her diagnosis, and she really came to life in this book. I’m not a musical person by any means, but for some reason, I feel like I’d get along with her. I thought it was interesting that Rent was the school musical, though I got really angry when one of the teachers involved with the musical was hoping that Simone, as a student director, would win the school a lot of theater awards. I hated she would try to use a student like that, but thankfully, the other teacher involved wasn’t about to let her do that.
3 stars. I liked Full Disclosure, though I didn’t love it. I’m not sure why, but regardless, this is a must-read!