Deposing Nathan

Deposing Nathan

Nate never imagined that he would be attacked by his best friend, Cam.Now, Nate is being called to deliver a sworn statement that will get Cam convicted. The problem is, the real story isn’t that easy or convenient—just like Nate and Cam’s friendship. Cam challenged Nate on every level from the day the boys met. He pushed him to break the rules, to dream, and to accept him...

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Title:Deposing Nathan
Author:Zack Smedley
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Deposing Nathan Reviews

  • Tom (T.J. Reads the Stars)

    This book REALLY took me by surprise. Though simply written with the occasional trope, this story was beautifully done. It explores a lot of moral complexities that YA contemporaries in general tend to shy away from, as both Nate and Cameron are very aware of their own flaws and how it affects them. As a result, Nate and Cameron’s relationship was one of the most refreshing dynamics between two characters I’ve read about in a contemporary for some time. It balanced being both tense and unpredict

    This book REALLY took me by surprise. Though simply written with the occasional trope, this story was beautifully done. It explores a lot of moral complexities that YA contemporaries in general tend to shy away from, as both Nate and Cameron are very aware of their own flaws and how it affects them. As a result, Nate and Cameron’s relationship was one of the most refreshing dynamics between two characters I’ve read about in a contemporary for some time. It balanced being both tense and unpredictable whilst also being beautiful and insightful and I was crying my way through the last 30 pages!!! So yeah, LOVED this one, it was such a brilliant debut, and I CANNOT wait for it to be released so EVERYONE can read it!!!!!

    “I am who I am. I’ve never acted on less than that, and I never want to.”

    - Nathan Copeland

  • Kai

    This book reads like a punch in the gut feels so naturally it's 5 out of 5 stars.

    was one of my most anticipated books of 2019. I knew it was going to hurt. I knew it was going to wreck me. I knew it would love it. And I was 100% right.

    Let me start with saying that I really love

    This book reads like a punch in the gut feels so naturally it's 5 out of 5 stars.

    was one of my most anticipated books of 2019. I knew it was going to hurt. I knew it was going to wreck me. I knew it would love it. And I was 100% right.

    Let me start with saying that I really love main-characters that enjoy cursing. No matter what you're gonna say, it's FUN and Nathan and Cameron seem to think so, too. So prepare yourself for a high dose of curse words. I also really love books about boys who fall in love with boys.

    is about coming to terms with who you are, it's about self-discovery and self-acceptance. Here comes a brief plot overview:

    Nathan lives with his dad and his aunt, who moved in after his mother died when Nathan was 7 years old. He has an amazing girlfriend, he believes in God, he likes to paint and draw but doubts that his parents will let him take an art-degree. When Cam, the new boy in school approaches him on their first day after the summer break, they become instant friends. Cameron challenges Nathan's beliefs and turns his world upside down, to the strong dismay of his aunt. Every time Nathan disobeys her, her rules become stricter, her punishments crueller, and his relationship with Cam slowly breaks under the pressure. It doesn't help that their feelings for each other are more than those of just friends. One thing leads to another and one day Nathan wakes up on the lawn in front of his house, with a deep cut in his stomach and blood pooling around him. But the truth of what happened might hurt much more. And it will have to come out.

    This is not an easy book. I won't coddle you, it won't hold back, it will show you just how messy life can be sometimes. But that is exactly why you should read it. On the one hand, it talks about the importance of truth and trust in all sorts of relationships - friends, lovers, family. On the other hand - spoilers ahead - it deals with the harsh reality of domestic abuse. There is a difference between strict parents and parents that enjoy punishing their children. Nathan's aunt definitely loves to see Nathan suffer. The smallest sidestep and she turns into a vicious beast. Seeing Nathan being humiliated by her hurt a lot, but it also made my blood boil in a way that few fictional characters ever did. She is basically a muggle version of Dolores Umbridge.

    Just when I thought that this book could not get any better, it surprised me once again. So many YA books - romance, dystopian, fantasy - depict unhealthy and toxic relationships. I'm used to two characters getting a happily ever after even though they're clearly not supposed to be together.

    I had not seen that coming. Fifty pages earlier I had thought the exact same thing. And it was then that I knew that this book would receive no less than 5 stars.

    Young adult literature manages to surprise me again and again. Books like this one are brave because they're not afraid to test the limits of what YA can do. They remind me why I love YA. Because it can move mountains. Because it lends a voice to matters that have mostly gone unheard. Because it gives strength to those in need. Because it doesn't underestimate teenagers. I could go on but all that's left to say is one thing: read

    .

  • Zack Smedley

    Made it with my own two brain cells <3

  • Sha

    Disclaimer: I received this ARC courtesy of Page Street Kids through NetGalley. I am grateful for the opportunity to review an ARC for my readers, but this will not influence my final rating. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and based solely on the book. 

    I don't know how to wrap my head around this book.

    I wrote and re-wrote this review, but nothing sounded authentic. I felt like I was trying to make sense of a book that to me, was a wholly emotional experience. From the moment I

    Disclaimer: I received this ARC courtesy of Page Street Kids through NetGalley. I am grateful for the opportunity to review an ARC for my readers, but this will not influence my final rating. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and based solely on the book. 

    I don't know how to wrap my head around this book.

    I wrote and re-wrote this review, but nothing sounded authentic. I felt like I was trying to make sense of a book that to me, was a wholly emotional experience. From the moment I started reading, I became a captive listener to Nate's journey, a young man who—from the moment Cam comes into his life—no longer knows what to think, but everything he feels is so strong and raw. 

    What CAN I tell you about Deposing Nathan?

    I was emotional from start to finish. Smedley brought me from laughing aloud to crying to full-blown frustration and anger then back around. I feel like it's an understatement to say that by the end of this book, I was thoroughly exhausted, but my mind was still going a mile a minute.

    Truly, the 400-pages of Deposing Nathan left me emotionally wrecked, but oh wow was that ending satisfying in the worst way.

    This book focused on themes of sexuality, religion, parent-child relationships, and friendships. Each one of these themes is explored so fully and realistically from a teenager's point of view. Nate is unapologetic about what he thinks, which can make him frustrating (and yes, unlikeable) at times. There were several instances in the book I objected strongly to his view points, but I could see at the same time how he was trying to learn.

    📌 SEXUALITY: (disclaimer. i am not lgbtq+ and while i have an opinion on the representation in this book, i encourage you to seek the thoughts of lgbtq+ reviewers.) Deposing Nathan provided a nuanced depiction of bisexuality. One character in the book rejects the "idea" of bisexual ("you think I'm half gay, half straight?") but is educated throughout the book. It's never a Sit Down and Learn About Bisexuals situation, but more a self-exploration which was more authentic to the character (and to how people learn in general). One of my favourite lines is when a character Googles a test to see if he is bisexual, and the only question is "I consider myself to be bisexual."

    If you dislike books that contain anti-bi rhetoric, I would not recommend. I will only say that Smedley provides a great deal of depth to the topic, does not handle it lightly, and always reinforces the fact that bisexuality is real, is valid, is accepted.

    📌 RELIGION: I did not know religion was going to be part of this book. (it wasn't on the original summary.) I'm so glad it was though. Smedley added a whole conversation about the Christian God and sexuality that really made me think. (In my opinion, this aspect of the book is interesting for religious and non-religious readers alike.)

    📌 PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIPS: Okay but this was really well done? I ached inside reading the paragraphs between Nate and his Aunt Lori. There's a lot of emotional abuse and psychological abuse at first, which is the worst because people tend to brush it off like, "Everyone acts like this," and "it's normal." It's not! It's really not!

    Later in the book, the effects of poor/abusing parenting on the child is seen when Nate himself lashes it. It's painful to read. But so gddmn real.

    I wish I could pour my emotions out on screen and call it a review. Smedley so well handles the morally grey dynamics of a toxic relationship. An author to watch out for.

    IMPORTANT. This book is not a "fun read". There is no cute romance. Please look very closely at my content warnings. Nate has been abused, he is repressed, and he lashes out within the book. Many of the characters in this book are morally grey.

    rating: 4.5 crowns

    representation: bisexual rep, Christian rep

    content warnings: swearing, homophobic slurs, physical abuse, psychological abuse, toxic relationship, anti-bi rhetoric, religious anti-gay rhetoric, masturbation, child abuse, infidelity

  • Julie Christensen

    Brilliant and heartbreaking, but also so true

    I really loved this book. The structure of the story is unique – jumping back and forth between a deposition and flashbacks, and the author does it so well – it’s utterly seamless. In some ways I felt like I was watching a movie. I never got bored, which is one of the biggest compliments I can give a book. But it’s also got a great voice. The voice of an adolescent male, with all the bravado, stupid jokes, and geek-out moments of real people. I don’t

    Brilliant and heartbreaking, but also so true

    I really loved this book. The structure of the story is unique – jumping back and forth between a deposition and flashbacks, and the author does it so well – it’s utterly seamless. In some ways I felt like I was watching a movie. I never got bored, which is one of the biggest compliments I can give a book. But it’s also got a great voice. The voice of an adolescent male, with all the bravado, stupid jokes, and geek-out moments of real people. I don’t know when I’ve read a YA book with such an authentic teen boy voice.

    The main character, Nathan, is flawed but still likeable. It was heartbreaking at times to watch him try to avoid various truths because of one single truth that he thought would destroy his world. And thinking more about this, post-read, maybe there were two truths he couldn’t face, but I won’t say more because…spoilers. His fears felt real and I think that many young adults will see themselves in his character.

    It’s refreshing to read a YA novel that centers on a bi character and the topic of religion is handled deftly. Any religious teen struggling with issues that his or her church frowns on will get something from this story.

    I kept wondering how this book would end. So often, the ending takes the steam out of the book, but I really loved how the author ended Nathan’s story. It was pitch perfect. There were some good twists in the plot, too, which I didn’t see coming.

    I think this book will teach readers to expect and demand more of their romantic partners. It gives all teens, but especially ones in the LBGTQQIA community, a script to follow - a way to help a friend in need, but then, once their safety net is in place, to turn the focus back on their own well-being and take care of themselves. Of all the gems in this book, this last part might be the best gift of all. I can see this novel becoming one of those dog-eared books that people carry around with them and reference often for inspiration and also to reminders of how to respond in difficult conversations. I recommend this book for anyone, but especially for religious, questioning teens.

  • Matt

    This is such a needed book in the YA and LGBT genres. Not only are the characters compelling and well-rounded, but it tackles some incredibly important and difficult topics. What's most impressive is how Smedley balances writing a bisexual main character who is also religious. It was extremely refreshing to see how faith and sexuality are not mutually exclusive and this book deserves so much praise for walking that line so perfectly and authentically. This book made me think, smile and hurt all

    This is such a needed book in the YA and LGBT genres. Not only are the characters compelling and well-rounded, but it tackles some incredibly important and difficult topics. What's most impressive is how Smedley balances writing a bisexual main character who is also religious. It was extremely refreshing to see how faith and sexuality are not mutually exclusive and this book deserves so much praise for walking that line so perfectly and authentically. This book made me think, smile and hurt all at once. Give it a read for sure!

  • Chris

    Nate’s always been a good kid. But when he becomes friends with the new guy at school, Cam, his family notices a change. Cam’s the kind of guy who forces him to think about life, the universe, and his dreams … and, yeah, sometimes they break the rules. Soon their two worlds twist around each other and, as Nate explores his feelings for Cam, everything implodes in a fistfight that ends up with Nate stabbed and Cam in jail. Now Nate’s forced to give a statement under oath. But to tell the truth ab

    Nate’s always been a good kid. But when he becomes friends with the new guy at school, Cam, his family notices a change. Cam’s the kind of guy who forces him to think about life, the universe, and his dreams … and, yeah, sometimes they break the rules. Soon their two worlds twist around each other and, as Nate explores his feelings for Cam, everything implodes in a fistfight that ends up with Nate stabbed and Cam in jail. Now Nate’s forced to give a statement under oath. But to tell the truth about everything that happened? Well, that’s complicated.

    Never before has a debut caused so much emotional whiplash. However much praise Zack Smedley is currently getting for this book is not enough. Deposing Nathan is nothing short of a complete triumph. Period. Full Stop. And yes, that might sound like raving praise, but so rarely does a novel come along, particularly a debut, that provides such a complicated and satisfying reading experience as this one does.

    Smedley achieves this by using a unique framing device. The opening showcases how everything brutally ends: Nate and Cam fighting. However, Smedley quickly pulls back and reveals that this action has already happened. Nate’s actually speaking at a deposition, reliving the past several months under the gaze of the very cast of characters that caused so much tumult: his father, his aunt Lori, and, of course, Cam himself. It’s awkward and uncomfortable as Nate recounts how a simple friendship blossomed into something violent, and Smedley draws as much tension from these scenes as possible.

    Genuisely, this setting also gives heft to Nate’s story. While some of his actions might make him seem like an unreliable narrator, the fact that he’s at a deposition suggests that the reader is hearing the whole truth.

    With that, it’s the characters themselves that make everything click. They’re unapologtically messy, caught in the weird period of transition that is high school. Nate struggles with himself, his faith, and his family all without examining his legitimate problems. Cam, cocky but vulnerable, confuses him with his constant questioning and unique worldview. Their relationship and interactions are entirely believable in a way that isn’t always happy or pleasant, but it’s always real.

    It helps that Smedley has an amazingly readable style. Short chapters packed with action and snappy banter, this book flies by. And yet it’s anything but breezy. Rather, it’s like a roller coaster without a visible ending. It loops and turns, careening dangerously until it suddenly stops. And upon exit, there’s a moment of sadness that it’s over, but pure contentment that it happened at all.

    This is the book to read this year.

    Note: I received a free ARC of this book through NetGalley.

  • JJ || This Dark Material

    The socially- and self-conscious dialogue is a little too on point and well delivered for high schoolers at times, but Deposing Nathan covers a lot of important ground and, for the most part, covers it well. Full review TK.

  • Hamad

    This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found

    🌟 So one of my friends have told me you are the stingiest reader when it comes to 5 stars! I think I deserve that title because this is my 50th book for this year and still no 5 stars. I feel like I need to explain why this is not a 5 stars book for

    This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found

    🌟 So one of my friends have told me you are the stingiest reader when it comes to 5 stars! I think I deserve that title because this is my 50th book for this year and still no 5 stars. I feel like I need to explain why this is not a 5 stars book for me as all of my friends who read it gave it 5 stars. And it is not that I am losing anything if I give 5 stars but I feel that there is an ethical obligation for me to be as honest as possible so let’s break my thoughts into the elements of the story as usual!

    🌟 I am starting with the characters as I felt they were the focus of the story. Nathan and Cam are both well written and realistic, the YA genre is filled with precocious or immature characters but the characters in this book acted according to their age; they were cursing and were confused and were still discovering themselves and the world which is cool. But their drama may have been a bit repetitive and too much toward the end!

    We also have aunt Lori, she reminds me of Dolores Umbridge and I may have wanted to punch her in the face the whole book. Nate’s father was absent a lot and he mentions that in the book so it is OK. What I didn’t like is related to the plot so I will leave it for there.

    🌟 The writing is good, not too poetic not rigid. It was not special but I think it was very good as a debut, I also like the nerdy trivia in the book!

    🌟The plot was interesting, because the story starts from the end and then we go back and forth to know what happens. I know some readers don’t like this but I assure you that it was not confusing and mostly the story was set in the past. We are trying to know why Nate and Cam who are supposed to be close friends had a fight almost to death! The story is fast paced and can be finished in one day.

    🌟 What irked me was that Cam had an eidetic memory, that alone is not sufficient to make him an expert in all fields, medicine for example is more than just mere doses and information to cram. Cam was giving drugs and doses just because he knows them?! That was a tiny detail that I feel originates from the author’s degree in chemistry (Yes, I do read acknowledgments and about the author pages!).

    🌟 I like to keep my reviews spoiler free so this is hard to write, There were 2 plot twists at the end, one regarding the deposition which I liked and actually could guess a few pages before it happened. The second one may have been good but I think someone with an eidetic memory should have realized this long before the ending! This sounds vague but when you read it you will understand what I mean!

    🌟 So overall, it was a great debut with an amazing LGBT representation and friends dynamics, it is a fast read and worth reading but I still think that some of the details could have been better!

  • Dahlia

    I tried to keep my expectations neutral on this one because I felt like it could go in so many ways based on the premise, some of which were not positive, and they were kind of blown out of the water, if I'm being honest. This isn't a book about a trial so much as it is about two guys who quickly become really close and how they each handle it when that relationship turns into something they didn't expect. I see I'm the first review on this, so I really don't want to spoil anything, but I'll go

    I tried to keep my expectations neutral on this one because I felt like it could go in so many ways based on the premise, some of which were not positive, and they were kind of blown out of the water, if I'm being honest. This isn't a book about a trial so much as it is about two guys who quickly become really close and how they each handle it when that relationship turns into something they didn't expect. I see I'm the first review on this, so I really don't want to spoil anything, but I'll go with this:

    1) Think THE DANGEROUS ART OF BLENDING IN meets BEEN HERE ALL ALONG, with shades of THE WICKER KING.

    2) This is one of the few m/m (or f/f, tbh) books I've read that's very explicitly careful with bisexuality, not disavowing past relationships, checking stereotypes, etc.

    3) I cried, repeatedly. And I didn't expect the ultimate ending but I did appreciate it.

    CW: biphobia, gay bashing, abuse

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