Anaya’s mother wants better a better future for her. Her mother has worked hard to give her more opportunities, so Anaya has also worked hard for the plan – the plan to get good grades, the plan get into a good college with scholarships, the plan to be independent. It’s a good plan that serves her well, until she reaches a point where she begins wondering if the plan isn’t all there is to life, and the new plan is intricately linked to her best friend.
Eri has grown up hiding the fact that she is Eri from all except Anaya. She doesn’t feel safe being herself and knows that her parents wouldn’t accept what they would consider the loss of their son, Maurice. A cross-country road trip to take Anaya to her new college before Eri flies home to be the dutiful son changes things for them both.
M. Azmitia’s Rising Out isn’t a long novel. In fact, the book is extremely short and written in prose. There isn’t a lot of story development. However, the depth of emotion and representation in this book more than makes up for that. We aren’t seeing all of Anaya’s and Eri’s lives. We are glimpsing their discovery and embracing of who they are and how they want to live their lives.
This is a lovely quick YA queer read with fantastic representation. Available August 2021
Disclaimer: An advance copy was provided by West 44 Books.