Today I am reviewing a book which I found highly informative, Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett. My thanks to Camryn, and to Penguin Random House UK, for my copy of the book, which I received via NetGalley.
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…
From the second I opened this book, I knew that it was going to be an important book for all ages to read. Growing up in the 90s, I had thought that I was relatively well informed about HIV, but I found I learnt a lot from this book that I hadn’t previously considered.
Although Simone’s diagnosis was obviously a constant presence throughout the book, I loved how a lot of the focus of the story was just on how awkward it is being a teenager and discovering who you are, never mind if you are a teenager who happens to be HIV-positive.
People’s reactions to discovering Simone’s diagnosis really shocked me. I thought we were passed a lot of what happened, and it saddened me to realise that maybe we never will be.
Full Disclosure is an inspiring, heart-warming rollercoaster of emotions, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
It was only after I finished reading that I discovered that the author is just 19 years old, and that this was her debut novel. To me, this just makes the book even more astonishing in it’s skill and delicate handling of so many sensitive subjects. I think we can expect great things from Camryn, and I for one will be snapping up whatever comes next from this amazing talent.
You can find out more about Camryn and her writing on Goodreads