A Kirkus Reviews Best Young Adult Book of 2022
Enrique “Quique” Luna has one goal this summer—get over his crush on Saleem Kanazi by pursuing his other romantic prospects. Never mind that he’s only out to his best friend, Fabiola. Never mind that he has absolutely zero game. And definitely forget the fact that good and kind and, not to mention, beautiful Saleem is leaving L.A. for the summer to meet a girl his parents are trying to set him up with.
Luckily, Quique’s prospects are each intriguing in their own ways. There’s stoner-jock Tyler Montana, who might be just as interested in Fabiola as he is in Quique; straight-laced senior class president, Ziggy Jackson; and Manny Zuniga, who keeps looking at Quique like he’s carne asada fresh off the grill. With all these choices, Quique is sure to forget about Saleem in no time.
But as the summer heats up and his deep-seated fears and anxieties boil over, Quique soon realizes that getting over one guy by getting under a bunch of others may not have been the best laid plan and living his truth can come at a high cost.
THIS IS WHY THEY HATE US is out now from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.
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“Tight, fast-paced prose guides readers through Quique’s attempts to unpack complicated tangles of desire, sexuality, and depression while laugh-out-loud punchlines pop up on every page. Aceves’ debut novel honors queer kids of color with earnest, honest depictions of messy teenage life. The tender portrayal of Palestinian American Saleem and his struggles with his family’s displacement in the Nakba is particularly bold and notable. An outstanding portrait of teenage longing, angst, and self-discovery.”Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Jokes land and humorous banter abounds among the quirky, distinctively limned cast, but Aceves avoids a shallow flight from boy to boy, granting the romantic and sexual exploration by queer youth of color the gravitas it deserves.”Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Aceves has written a well-plotted, thoughtful coming-of-age novel featuring a complex, fully realized protagonist—not to mention Enrique’s friend Afro–Puerto Rican Cuban Fabiola, a force of life, and, of course, Saleem, whom readers will love as much as Enrique does. LGBTQIA+ literature needs more stories about male bisexuals, especially ones that are as good as this.”Booklist, starred review