There’s one thing Jay Collier knows for sure—he’s a statistical anomaly as the only out gay kid in his small rural Washington town. While all this friends can’t stop talking about their heterosexual hookups and relationships, Jay can only dream of his own firsts, compiling a romance to-do list of all the things he hopes to one day experience—his Gay Agenda.
Then, against all odds, Jay’s family moves to Seattle and he starts his senior year at a new high school with a thriving LGBTQIA+ community. For the first time ever, Jay feels like he’s found where he truly belongs, where he can flirt with Very Sexy Boys and search for love. But as Jay begins crossing items off his list, he’ll soon be torn between his heart and his hormones, his old friends and his new ones…because after all, life and love don’t always go according to plan.
From debut novelist Jason June comes a moving and hilarious sex-positive story about the complexities of first loves, first hookups, and first heartbreaks—and how to stay true to yourself while embracing what you never saw coming.
I absolutely loved this book! A coming-of-age gay story, full of humour and heartfelt moments.
Jay is such a loveable character, I think he will resonate with a lot of people, regardless of sexuality, you get to the stage where you feel your friends are growing up and having experiences before you and you are getting left behind. Some poor decisions and mistakes can be made. As Jay’s dad says ‘We all make mistakes as we develop into the person we are meant to be.’ But as for poor Jay, he is quite naive and completely inexperienced due to the location he grew up in. So when he moves to Seattle it is a massive change and he wants to just dive right in! He does make some terrible mistakes (although I do feel Max was partially to blame for this, the whole DTR thing was bad advice) and at times you feel like you want to say to Jay ‘WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!’ But you can’t help but feel for him and relate to him.
I enjoyed Jay’s interactions with Lu, Max, and Albert, the way he had to learn how to balance these people in his life. Tony was a knob but essential for the plot so I get it!
The story, whilst filled with humour, heart-melting, and at times heartbreaking moments has a great theme of taking responsibility for your actions, owning your mistakes, making things right, and growing from them.
Jay’s Gay Agenda is a really fun, energetic read with great themes around responsibility, sex, friendships, and romance.
Thank you Harper Teen and Edelweiss+ for the e-arc to review.
Jason June (it’s a two-name first name, like Mary-Kate without the hyphen or the Olsen twin) is a genderqueer writer mermaid who loves to create picture books that mix the flamboyantly whacky with the slightly dark, and young adult contemporary rom-coms full of love and lust and hijinks.
When not writing, JJ zips about Austin, Texas. He loves dinosaurs, unicorns, Pomeranians, and anything magical that takes you to a different world or time. JJ is a tried and true Laura Dern stan, and he is actively looking for an Andalite friend.
His picture books include WHOBERT WHOVER, OWL DETECTIVE, illustrated by Jess Pauwels, and PORCUPINE CUPID, a queer-inclusive Valentine’s Day story, illustrated by Lori Richmond, both from Margaret K. McElderry Books/Simon & Schuster. For under-the-sea whimsical adventures, check out the MERMICORN ISLAND chapter book series from Scholastic! And get ready for JAY’S GAY AGENDA, Jason June’s debut YA, queer rom-com, coming June 1, 2021 from HarperTeen!