How It All Blew Up is Arvin Ahmadi’s best book yet. We follow Amir Azadi (which...seems to rhyme with the authors own name), as he’s about to be outed as gay by a bully at school. He doesn’t know what his family will say, so instead of dealing with it, he jumps on a plane to Rome.
In Rome, he finds a community of gay men who act as mentors to him. Particularly significant is a bartender who is gay, Persian, and Muslim, just like Amir himself. Through these great mentors (and some not so great) and a whirlwind romance that involves a make out scene IN THE VATICAN, Amir starts to come to terms with his many identities.
The writing is wonderful and the romantic romp through Europe has such a fun vibe, that this is a great go to. Romantic and fun and also with a serious side - what more could you ask for in a young adult novel? Maybe a few more make out scenes, but I’ll take what I can get.