Book Title:
Full Disclosure
Book Author:
Camryn Garrett
Page Count:
290
Publishing Date:
October 29th, 2019
Publisher:
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Date Read:
February 6th, 2020
Format:
Hardcover
Source:
Purchased

Synopsis

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...

My Review

Full Disclosure was a book that I didn’t even know anything about until I saw it on the Book of the Month club website, and I decided to give it a go after reading about it on Goodreads. It was the kind of book that really sounded like itΒ  would be easy to fall in love with the main character, as well as the overall plot, and I was really excited to read it. So when I got the book, I pushed everything else that I was currently doing and reading aside to get lost in the story.

There was so much to like about Full Disclosure. The characters. The situation. The way the book educates about HIV (honestly, I didn’t know most of what I know now, and since I like books that education and entertain, I’m pretty happy with that). It’s a great book to introduce to readers in their teenage years and up, because there is just so much information in the pages. Also, I haven’t read a book about a character with HIV in a really long time, so I was pretty excited to dive into this one.

With my parents, I don’t have to worry about disclosure or people being afraid of me or getting angry. Here. I’m just part of our family, and there’s nothing but love.

Simone is a teenager who has been diagnosed with HIV as a baby, which she got from her mother. While she has learned to deal with it over the years, taking her medication and trying to stay out of the spotlight, she has learned that there are only certain people that she can trust, such as her family. Her two fathers adopted her when she was an infant, fully knowing she was HIV positive and wanting to call her their own daughter. Simone loves them and trusts them, but she also wanted friends.

Last time Simone trusted someone outside of her family, enough to make a friend, it backfired. Everyone at her old school knew about her HIV, and they made her life a living hell. Now that she has started at a new school, Simone has decided to keep it a complete secret this time – sharing with absolutely no one. She feels that this way will be foolproof in giving her the ability to make friends and fit in the best she can.

In short, Simone knows how to keep her school life separate from her personal life, where she manages her HIV and attends group therapy sessions with other kids.

However, Simone is growing up, noticing boys, and trying to figure out how she could possibly manage a relationship without exposing her HIV.

I’m not sitting around, looking for people to have sex with, but I want it. I want to look at someone and love them the way other people are able to.

When Simone meets a boy that she finds herself falling for, she begins getting threatening notes that tell her to stay away from him, or her HIV will be exposed for everyone in the school to find out about.

Trying to come to terms with what to do, Simone finds herself contemplating taking the plunge and telling her best friends and her now boyfriend, or letting it go to see how it plays out on its own.

While helping to direct a school play and dealing with the drama with her friends, boyfriend, and now the notes, Simone has a hard time finding the ability to process everything.

There are two things that connect me to this woman: she had me, and she passed HIV down to me. I’ve never wanted to talk to her before, but for the first time, I wish she were here. This is the one thing she’d understand better than my parents do. Maybe she’d know what to do. Maybe, if she were here, I wouldn’t feel so alone.

All along, Simone wonders about her birth mother, and as things spiral more and more out of control for her, she knows she has to come up with a solution, and fast. Should she tell, before someone else exposes her?

Full Disclosure was such a well-written novel, and I have to say that I adored the plot. Simone’s character is also a well-written part of the book, and I found myself really liking her. Along with dealing with everything else, Simone is also discovering what it is like to question her own sexuality, where she wonders if maybe she could be bisexual, like her friend. Her other friend is a lesbian and is asexual, and of course, she has two fathers.

While I really liked the LGBTQ+ representation in the book, part of me felt like it was just overdone. I mean, almost every character in the book was questioning or already out, and I guess it just felt like it was forced at that point. I hate that I felt that way (I’m bisexual myself, so I’m always loving books with bisexual characters).

Also, I was really freaking creeped out in this book during the scenes when Simone’s dad accompanied her to her gynecologist appointment. I mean sure, the girl is going to her first appointment and everything and since she doesn’t have her biological mom with her or another female influence, maybe she would want her there. But it’s just…no. Strange. Too far.

All in all, if you like contemporary and like being educated about really important things while reading, DO NOT MISS THIS BOOK. It is fantastic and I found myself reading it over the course of one day because I couldn’t put it down. Simone’s character is the perfect mix of sassy and sweet, and I just adored her. I look forward to more books by this author.

4.5 stars
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