Can’t Take That Away by Steven Salvatore

Can't Take That Away

CAN’T TAKE THAT AWAY BY STEVEN SALVATORE

Genre: Contemporary, YA, Queer, LGBT +
Pages: 384
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Rating: 4.45 stars (Goodreads)

Summary: An empowering and emotional debut about a genderqueer teen who finds the courage to stand up and speak out for equality when they are discriminated against by their high school administration.

Carey Parker dreams of being a diva, and bringing the house down with song. They can hit every note of all the top pop and Broadway hits. But despite their talent, emotional scars from an incident with a homophobic classmate and their grandmother’s spiraling dementia make it harder and harder for Carey to find their voice.

Then Carey meets Cris, a singer/guitarist who makes Carey feel seen for the first time in their life. With the rush of a promising new romantic relationship, Carey finds the confidence to audition for the role of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, in the school musical, setting off a chain reaction of prejudice by Carey’s tormentor and others in the school. It’s up to Carey, Cris, and their friends to defend their rights–and they refuse to be silenced.

Told in alternating chapters with identifying pronouns, debut author Steven Salvatore’s Can’t Take That Away conducts a powerful, uplifting anthem, a swoony romance, and an affirmation of self-identity that will ignite the activist in all of us.

YES! This is the book i’ve been looking for since i read Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, a comfort book about a genderqueer person! And such a great book. So let’s talk about it!

Carey is a genderqueer teen who has lost their singing voice after coming out to the whole school and losing their friend Joey. As they decide to be part of the school musical Wicked they discover that the bullying they were recieving by certain people in school gets worse and they find themself fighting with other for their rights and everyone elses. A book about never giving up, speaking up and finding your own worth.

This is the kind of book you fall in love with. I don’t know, maybe i’m being bias about it but this book moved me the way not many books do. Don’t get me wrong, this might be a book about fighting for who you are and being respected as you are but it isn’t a sad book at all. On the contrary this is a book so full of hope, it amazed me and made me super happy.

The story is simple, yet, important. You can see the author understands what they are writing about, or so it felt to me. Just by thinking about how Carey fights in this book gives me the chills.

I loved the characters in the book, although we only see the glow up Carey gets, i didn’t dislike their friends, family or love interest.

I think, this is the kind of book you read when you are feeling down and you need help to keep on fighting for yourself and others. The struggle Carey is in is real, it happens everywhere, genderqueer people are misgendered all the time because of the lack of knowledge in schools, even teachers aren’t always there to help these teens and having a book about how this kid gets supported by their community is just a huge step towards understand and accepting the others.

The book is full of heart and really, it will become a comfort read for me, for sure.

I, purposefully, am not disclosuring much of what happens in the book, i believe everyone deserves to discover it by themselves.

You should know though that it has misgendering, transphobia and homophobia.

Yet, the book is full of love, fluff and happiness. This book made me happy to the moon and back. I recommend it to everyone looking for an easy read (as in the writing is very relatable and flows extremely well), people wanting great representation, people looking for happy books (overall), and everyone, because this book is so worthy.

Thanks to the author for writing such a powerful, amazing debut novel!

Have you read the book? If so, what did you think about it?! Leave your comment down below!

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