This is like the movie Booksmart, but funnier, and to be honest, I liked it more. With Booksmart, they captured a time and place and while it was funny in parts, a lot of it was a massive cringe due to the really awkward stuff that went on. I found it really stressful!
Whereas this book has many cringe moments as well ( as someone who was "intimate" with her three best friends in our last year of high school, I can relate to getting in over your head romantically a LOT) there's much more humour in here to get you over the rough spots, and more good-heartedness all round.
(BTW, this book is definitely PG or T-rated)
Mack is a cute dork and I totally relate. I also totally relate to having the more socially-savvy friend there to kick you in the pants.
I myself came out nearly 35 years ago (thank goodness it was less turbulent than Mack's experience), but I really loved that it represents how you still need a certain kind of bravery to make that step, no matter much your parents know in advance or how accepting your friends are. The broader consequences are still real.
And I especially loved the depiction of how more "feminine"-appearing people validate and support more "masculine"-appearing people - it's so important - and how THEIR bravery inspires us "non-feminine" types to be better, more resilient people.
Some of us might look tough on the outside, but often that shell can be very brittle. Often we need others to show us how to be truly resilient. The strongest character in this book might be surprising, but her strength and determination are amazing.
I love it that she and the lead character inspire each other (that's how it should be).