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Publisher's Summary

"Dre and Dean have got my vote!" (Adib Khorram, award-winning author of Darius the Great Is Not Okay

When Dean Arnault’s mother decided to run for president, it wasn’t a surprise to anyone, least of all her son. But still, that doesn’t mean Dean wants to be part of the public spectacle that is the race for the White House - at least not until he meets Dre.

The only problem is that Dre Rosario's on the opposition; he’s the son of the Democratic nominee. But as Dean and Dre’s meetups on the campaign trail become less left to chance, their friendship quickly becomes a romantic connection unlike any either of the boys have ever known.

If it wasn’t hard enough falling in love across the aisle, the political scheming of a shady third-party candidate could cause Dean and Dre’s world to explode around them. It’s a new modern-day, star-crossed romance about what it really means to love your country - and yourself - from the acclaimed author of We Are the Ants and Brave Face, Shaun David Hutchinson. 

©2020 Shaun David Hutchinson (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about The State of Us

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  • 07-16-20

Shallow and Predictable

Right from the start this seemed like a ya version of Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. I wanted to like this book, I really did. But, the story was shallow and one of the main conflicts in the story, is totally unresolved by the end of the book. It seems like it was written by a white moderate left person and just seems very “fake woke”. While it mentions causes that are part of the liberal platform, it’s always presented as an “agreed to disagree” thing. Characters are mentioned or alluded to being black and Latinx, these traits have no real bearing on their characters place in the story or backgrounds and motivations so everyone just seems one dimensional. The star crossed lovers trope treats the political differences as secondary to “love conquers all” which just seems tone deaf given our current political climate and is a very privileged position to take. Finally, while foreshadowing is a perfectly valid literary device, and when done correctly let’s readers follow along and pick up clues on the future of the story, it was painfully obvious that the caricature of Musk/Bezos/Trump was the Real Badguy™️ and that the stories other conflicts would end in a very painfully predictable way. The book itself even describes it was “very Scooby Doo”. Maybe if I was 14 and reading this without any other queer literature as a frame of reference I would think it was good, but at the end of the book I was just left uninterested and feeling very meh about what I’d just read.

8 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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pretty good, but kinda simplified

A little unrealistic in a few ways, but overall a really interesting look at differing views in a relationship and how people can grow

2 people found this helpful

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Like it

Mel was a bad friend for 95% of the book, and the parents were kinda unsympathetic, and a bit slow to start, but I like the way Dre wasn’t totally in to politics, and I also liked that Dean was. I thought that it was a good teen novel, but that it was a bit young to be set in their senior year.

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Conflicted and annoyed

There were many pros and cons to this book. The cons, however, heavily outweigh the bad. Heavily.
While being well written, as all of Hutchinson's novels are (which I highly suggest you check out - all of which are better than this), I don’t know which was worse: the predictability, Andre's voice actor, or the characters themselves. Probably Andre's voice actor, considering throughout the run time, I felt annoyed, I couldn't stop thinking about how much better the book would’ve been if I had just picked up a physical copy, which I probably would’ve exchanged the audiobook and done, if the story itself wasn't so investing.