The Last Boyfriends Rules for Revenge | Matthew Hubbard


Coming April 30th, 2024 from Delacorte Press; 258 pages

About the Author: “Matthew Hubbard writes the kind of stories he wished he’d had as a teen in rural Alabama. He grew up on a mountaintop farm and knows more than he is willing to admit about small towns. He studied English, marketing, and psychology in college and has spent a majority of his life speaking up to make a difference. When he isn’t writing, Matthew can be found on a hike in search of breathtaking views, reading as many books as he can get his hands on, and cheering for his favorite hockey team. He lives in Chattanooga with his husband, their dogs, Layla and Phillip, and Jay Gatsby the cat. The Last Boyfriends Rules for Revenge is his first novel” (Bio from author’s website).

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“Maybe it was time to give them the last thing they wanted.” 

Set in rural Alabama, The Last Boyfriends Rules for Revenge follows Ezra, Lucas, and Finley, three queer high school students who are each going through messy break-ups with their problematic boyfriends. They agree to begin plotting revenge against their exes, but when Ezra posts a TikTok that goes viral, their vengeful mission quickly turns into a much more important battle for their right to exist amidst the school district’s anti-gay policies. 

A queer reimagining of 1996’s The First Wives Club, The Last Boyfriends Rules for Revenge is a uniquely affecting story of teens on the brink of adulthood navigating the tumultuous world of the rural southern US. The three main characters coming-of-age felt very true to life, their choices surprising but inevitable. Author Matthew Hubbard effectively does the difficult act of bringing the nuances of social media into literature without seeming heavy handed or out of touch. Living in a teenager’s head for 250 pages can be exhausting, but Hubbard’s acute sense of the LGBT+ communities attitudes and lexicon made it easy to stick with Ezra through to the end. In the acknowledgements section, Hubbard mentions the anger he felt while writing the book. He talks about watching the news and seeing queer kids suffering the consequences of book bans, Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” laws, and the passing of anti-trans legislation. When I started reading, I was expecting a John Hughsian rom-com, but what I got was a protest cry. A triumphant shout, screaming these fateful words: We’re here. 

The Last Boyfriends Rules for Revenge releases on April 30th, 2024.

Pine Reads Review would like to thank NetGalley, Random House Children’s, and Delacorte Press for sending us an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes are taken from an advanced copy and may be subject to change before final publication.

Kasey Taylor, Pine Reads Review Writer