If you like that, try these … Anything Could Happen

Hi all!

Welcome to another post of If you like that, try these …, my fortnightly post series where I share book (and sometimes movie or TV show) recommendations based on a book I’ve read. A new post comes out every second Thursday!


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“There’s sickness, and there’s sadness. But the thing is, there’s love, too. I try never to forget that.”


anythingWhat’s it about?

Tretch lives in a very small town where everyone knows everyone’s business, so keeping crush on his straight best friend is very hard. And Matt, his best friend, is oblivious. This isn’t the only problem Tretch has: his family doesn’t know he’s gay, a girl has a crush on him, and he’s being bullied — and the bully is close to guessing Tretch’s truth. It’s time for Tretch to step outside his comfort zone.

What are the themes/elements?

Bullying, coming out, discussion of death and suicide (not overt), exploration of identity, exploration of friendship, living a lie, no romance, unrequited love.

So …

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18300265What’s it about?

Persuaded by a friend that the match is unworthy, Anne Elliot breaks off her engagement to a naval officer named Frederick Wentworth. Anne forever regrets her decision. Eight years later, Wentworth returns to town a rich and successful captain, and he finds Anne’s family on the brink of financial ruin. But the question is: will Anna and Wentworth be reunited?

Why did I choose it?

I chose Persuasion because Tretch and Anne feel quite similar to me: they both live a lie — Tretch hiding his sexuality and his love for his best friend, Anne her deep regret in breaking up with Wentworth — and they’re both kind and loving, and will do anything for those they love. Persuasion has elements of unrequited love when Anne breaks up with Wentworth (or so she thinks), much like Tretch has unrequited feelings for his best friend — basically Anne is living a lie.


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arianddateWhat’s it about?

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. One day he meets Dante, a know-it-all with a unique way of looking at the world. They have nothing in common, but become the best of friends. Dante shows Ari important truths about himself, as their friendship develops into something more.

Why did I choose it?

I chose Ari and Dante because the writing styles between Anything Could Happen and Ari and Dante are so very similar: they both give the same feel: it’s initially light-hearted but then deepens with angst. They also have so many of the same elements including: exploration of friendship, coming out, living a lie, and exploring one’s identity. While there is romance in the book, its not overt or a primary focus.


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40221509What’s it about?

A year after her whirlwind tour across Europe with her brother and his boyfriend, Felicity has one goal: proving that she’s good enough to get into medical school, despite the fact that women are barred. But then her hero, Alexander Platt, is looking for research assistants, but he’s in Germany and is engaged to her childhood friend, Johanna. A mysterious woman named Sim is willing to pay Felicity’s way there, but once Sim’s motivations are revealed, Felicity is taken on a perilous quest.

Why did I choose it?

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy is set for publication October 2.

I chose The Lady’s Guide because the friendship elements are so reminiscent of the friendship between Tretch and Matt — it’s loving, strong, and for life. The Lady’s Guide also features an exploration of identity on the part of Felicity, as she discovers that she is asexual, and there’s also no romance in the book.


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morehappyWhat’s it about?

Sixteen-year-old Aaron Soto is struggling to find happiness after his father’s suicide, even with the support of his girlfriend and his mother. But then he meets the new boy in the Bronx, Thomas, who gets Aaron to open up about his past. But as Thomas and Aaron get closer, Aaron begins to discover things about himself that will shatter his newfound happiness.

Why did I choose it?

While Anything Could Happen does delve into some deep and angsty topics, More Happy Than Not is very tragic. However, it does feature an exploration of friendship through Aaron, Thomas and Genevieve, the struggle of coming out, a lot of discussion around death and suicide, and a small amount of romance. The writing styles are also very similar and evoke the same feeling when reading Anything Could Happen. 


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240095What’s it about?

An illustrated collection of poems by a revolutionary poet, artist, and craftsman. Blake’s songs of innocence are products of his innocent imagination, untrained by the world, while his songs of experience are products of his indignation of mankind.

Why did I choose it? 

I chose this collection of poems because the idea of innocence and experience sort of comes up in Anything Could Happen. Tretch is in the closet for a portion of the novel, oblivious to a girl’s feelings — the “innocence” stage of his life. When he begins to come out and realise who he is and how the world will treat him, he becomes “experienced”, in a way.


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28919058What’s it about?

Three years ago, Tanner’s family moved to a Mormon town in Utah, which forced the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Then his best friend Autumn dares him to sign up for his high school’s prestigious seminar, where students draft a book in a semester. The seminar is lead by Sebastian Brother, a Mormon prodigy who sold his book the year before from the class, and who Tanner begins to fall for.

Why did I choose it? 

Autoboyography is a story of friendship and coming out. Tanner is forced back into the closet by his parents, but he struggles to tell his friends that’s he’s bi because he’s afraid they won’t accept him. Tanner, like Tretch, is in the closet and has unrequited feelings for a close friend. Sebastian explores his identity, struggling to come to terms with the fact that he’s gay, like Tretch explores his identity.


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andrew-brawley-book-coverWhat’s it about?

Andrew Brawley’s parents and sister died and now he lives in the hospital, sleeping in a forgotten supply closet, and hiding from people who are trying to find him. Then one night a boy called Rusty is wheeled into the ER, burns on half his body done by hateful, homophobic classmates. Drew and Rusty become close through their pain and grief. But Death roams the hospital — he lost his family, he’s not about to lose Rusty too.

Why did I choose it? 

The Five Stages features bullying in the extreme, much like Anything Could Happen. Tretch is bullied by a homophobic guy at school who guesses Tretch’s sexuality, while Rusty is set on fire by his classmates for being gay. The Five Stages also focuses on the idea of living a lie, as Drew is hiding from his true self. There’s also a discussion around death and suicide.


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