Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett
Simone wants a boyfriend, but she’s HIV-positive. While this shouldn’t have to hinder her, the fear and stigma around HIV mean most people want nothing to do with her if they find out. That’s why she’s moved schools, after the last school viciously bullied her. But now it seems she’s finally met someone who loves her anyway, and if it wasn’t for the threatening notes she finds in her locker, she’d be incredibly happy.
Young adult, queer, contemporary
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.
This is a book with all kinds of rare representation. The main character, Simone, is Black, HIV-positive, and bisexual. A bisexual girl who ends up with a man is so rare to see, because of biphobia labeling these girls “straight.” I’ve never read a book with an HIV-positive protagonist before either. I hardly know anything about HIV, and this book helped me realize that. I actually learned a lot from it about how it works and how people can still have sex lives while staying safe. The stigma against HIV is still huge, so it’s important to have a book like this.
Simone has a bisexual friend and an asexual lesbian friend. The friendship was well developed, which is great because usually YA characters’ best friends are just blank background characters. I loved how they had conflict but the friends were very loyal to Simone.
This book wasn’t the most original, and was a pretty standard YA contemporary, but a standard YA contemporary with a main character like this is so rare. Straight white girls get most of the YA contemporaries, so why not finally have a Black girl get one? Not every book has to be 100% unique, and so many marginalized groups never get to be in the fun, fluffy stories.
A recommended read!