Review: Act Cool by Tobly McSmith

Goodreads | Waterstones

Aspiring actor August Greene just landed a coveted spot at the prestigious School of Performing Arts in New York. There’s only one problem: His conservative parents won’t accept that he’s transgender. And to stay with his aunt in the city, August must promise them he won’t transition.
August is convinced he can play the part his parents want while acting cool and confident in the company of his talented new friends.
But who is August when the lights go down? And where will he turn when the roles start hitting a little too close to home?

Thank you to Harper 360 for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Harper 360 has a knack of managing to blow me away with stories when I really didn’t expect it. I’ve had this on my tbr for a while, and I wanted to pick up an audiobook last week. I noticed this one was available on Scribd (as many Harper books are which I love!), so I decided to pick it up and I really enjoyed it.

This book follows August, a trans boy who has run away from his unaccepting parents to live with his aunt in New York City and attend the School of Performing Arts. I loved August as a character and even though he wasn’t always 100 percent genuine or likeable, I did completely understand where he was coming from with a lot of his actions.

The main part of this book that I really loved was that it just hooked me. I really wanted to know what was happening and I became so hooked in August’s life. I kept thinking about this book when I wasn’t reading it, and I just love when that happens with books. There are so many aspects of this story that were difficult to read but so important to read about.

My only complaint is the plot felt a little off at times, and I don’t know if it quite balanced throughout the story. There was so much of this book that talked about the importance of trans characters having happy stories, so to see that not reflected in this story was an odd kind of irony and made me really sad.

Overall, this book was really enjoyable to read and I’ll definitely be picking up Stay Gold by the same author at some point!

TW: suicidal ideation, transphobia, homophobia, dead-naming, misgendering.

4.5 out of 5 stars


May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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One thought on “Review: Act Cool by Tobly McSmith

  1. Pingback: February Wrap-Up – The Books are Everywhere

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