cover image Full Disclosure

Full Disclosure

Camryn Garrett. Knopf, $18.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-9848-2995-5

New school, new friends, new crush, same old secret. Simone Garcia-Hampton, a black 17-year-old, is HIV-positive. And though she’s healthy, she knows how people react when they find out; bullying and other negative reactions are why she left her old school. But just as she’s settling in, directing the school play—the apposite Rent—and maybe starting a relationship, she starts getting notes threatening to reveal her HIV status. College-age author Garrett portrays an authentic sense of young adult sexuality in Simone, who is both knowledgeable about sex (masturbation and vibrators are both frankly discussed) and unsure about it. She also creates strong characters in Simone’s nontraditional family: her supportive, loving fathers (Pops is black; Dad is Latino) adopted her at birth. The plot mechanics grow a bit heavy-handed toward the book’s conclusion, and love interest Miles, always willing to listen to musical theater trivia and unafraid to show his feelings, can seem a bit too perfect. But the idea that even purportedly open-minded Bay Area parents freak out about the presence of an HIV-positive student feels all too believable, and readers will root for sympathetic Simone in this frankly sex-positive debut. Ages 14–up. [em]Agent: Brianne Johnson, Writers House. (Oct.) [/em]