Review of Where We Go from Here

Where We Go from Here
by Lucas Rocha; trans. from Brazilian Portuguese by Larissa Helena
High School    PUSH/Scholastic    288 pp.    g
6/20    978-1-338-55624-7    $18.99
e-book ed.  978-1-338-63375-7    $11.99

In this translated novel from Brazilian debut author Rocha, three young gay men (two protagonists are eighteen, one is twenty-one) living in contemporary Rio de Janeiro strive to define romance and relationships for themselves in the modern era. Henrique is HIV-positive, and when he reveals his status to Victor after several dates, Victor breaks off the relationship. Victor and Ian meet in a clinic, where they are both waiting to hear the results of their HIV tests. When Victor tests negative but Ian tests positive, Victor puts Ian in contact with the only other person he knows who is living with HIV: Henrique. In alternating narration, this trio navigates awkward conversations, tense doctor’s visits, and turbulent family drama while looking for love and connection. This heartfelt novel full of earnest dialogue about everything from coming out to the side effects of HIV drugs is a result of the author’s time spent working at a Brazilian foundation that sponsors free HIV medication. While it can often read like a primer on how to live safely with HIV, it will provide welcome insight to readers curious about the subject or experiencing it for the first time. Back matter includes an author’s note and an afterword with resources.

From the November/December 2020 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Jennifer Hubert Swan
Jennifer Hubert Swan is director of library services and middle school librarian at Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin High School in New York City. She is also a visiting assistant professor at Pratt Institute School of Information, where she teaches youth literature and library programming. She blogs at Reading Rants.

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