Monday, January 20, 2020

Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett

Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett
November 2019 Penguin


Simone is HIV-positive - and positive HIV won't define her. She also knows that celibacy is the best way to stay safe. 

Enter Miles Austin- intelligent, funny and way too sexy for Simone to resist. 

But her classmates don't know that she's HIV-positive - and what is the truth worth in the hands of the wrong person?

The peak of the AIDS epidemic was in 1987, I was 15.  I remember that HIV and AIDS held the biggest fear as far as STDs went.  There was the terrifying Grim Reaper advertisement that aired on televisions all across the country, putting the fear of god into everyone

Now in 2019, it's not something I really think about.  I know now that HIV is not a death sentence, and that HIV rates across Australia are declining....but not in all parts of Australia.. I have just learned  that Australia's worst HIV epidemic since the AIDS crisis is happening right now, in 2019 in the Northern Territory, so maybe this is the perfect time for a YA novel about HIV to be released.

Simone is HIV positive, she has had the virus from birth, contracted from her mother.  Simone was adopted by her two Dads and she has always known what it means to be HIV Positive, and knows how to look after herself.  She also know that she's not supposed to tell people about it, because most people just won't understand.  In fact Simone has recently started new school due the fallout that occurred at her previous school when she told people she thought she trusted.

HIV has never been an issue...but then Simone has never been a 17 year old girl before and with being a 17 year old girl comes hormones, cute boys and the desire to go further than just holding hands.

I seem to be reading a lot of YA at the moment where a character is different in some way, burn victims, amputees, ....  
Each of these characters have overcome their obstacle in different ways, but there are some seemingly universal factors that helped them along the way.  
One, having good friends. Having the right people around you can make all of the difference.  
Two, accepting what your (new) life is like and making the most of it.

With or without a disability/medical condition/disfigurement High School can be hard, and one of he most important things you can do is 'Find Your Tribe'.  Find the people who make you feel good about yourself, make you laugh, and make you want to be the best version of yourself.  That sounds like whole lot of 'inspirational quote' mumbo jumbo when I write it down, but honestly, I don't think I did that in High School.  I spent way too much time trying to be like other people and worrying what other people thought of me...maybe there's no way of getting away with that, but don't make it a full time thing.

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