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From popular LGBTQ advice columnist and writer John Paul Brammer comes a hilarious, heartwarming memoir-in-essays chronicling his journey growing up as a queer, mixed-race kid in America’s heartland to becoming the “Chicano Carrie Bradshaw” of his generation. The first time someone called John Paul (JP) Brammer “Papi” was on the popular gay hookup app Grindr. At first, it w From popular LGBTQ advice columnist and writer John Paul Brammer comes a hilarious, heartwarming memoir-in-essays chronicling his journey growing up as a queer, mixed-race kid in America’s heartland to becoming the “Chicano Carrie Bradshaw” of his generation. The first time someone called John Paul (JP) Brammer “Papi” was on the popular gay hookup app Grindr. At first, it was flattering; JP took this as white-guy speak for “hey, handsome.” Who doesn’t want to be called handsome? But then it happened again and again…and again, leaving JP wondering: Who the hell is Papi? What started as a racialized moniker given to him on a hookup app soon became the inspiration for his now wildly popular advice column “¡Hola Papi!”, launching his career as the Cheryl Strayed for young queer people everywhere—and some straight people too. JP had his doubts at first—what advice could he really offer while he himself stumbled through his early 20s? Sometimes the best advice to dole outcomes from looking within, which is what JP has done in his column and book—and readers have flocked to him for honest, heartfelt wisdom, and of course a few laughs. In ¡Hola Papi!, JP shares his story of growing up biracial and in the closet against the backdrop of America’s heartland, while attempting to answer some of life’s toughest questions: How do I let go of the past? How do I become the person I want to be? Is there such a thing as being too gay? Should I hook up with my grade school bully now that he’s out of the closet? Questions we’ve all asked ourselves, surely. With wit and wisdom in equal measure, ¡Hola Papi! is for anyone—gay, straight, and everything in between—who has ever taken stock of their unique place in the world, offering considered advice, intelligent discourse, and fits of laughter along the way. As #1 New York Times bestselling author Shea Serrano says: “I loved ¡Hola Papi! I’m certain you will too.”


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From popular LGBTQ advice columnist and writer John Paul Brammer comes a hilarious, heartwarming memoir-in-essays chronicling his journey growing up as a queer, mixed-race kid in America’s heartland to becoming the “Chicano Carrie Bradshaw” of his generation. The first time someone called John Paul (JP) Brammer “Papi” was on the popular gay hookup app Grindr. At first, it w From popular LGBTQ advice columnist and writer John Paul Brammer comes a hilarious, heartwarming memoir-in-essays chronicling his journey growing up as a queer, mixed-race kid in America’s heartland to becoming the “Chicano Carrie Bradshaw” of his generation. The first time someone called John Paul (JP) Brammer “Papi” was on the popular gay hookup app Grindr. At first, it was flattering; JP took this as white-guy speak for “hey, handsome.” Who doesn’t want to be called handsome? But then it happened again and again…and again, leaving JP wondering: Who the hell is Papi? What started as a racialized moniker given to him on a hookup app soon became the inspiration for his now wildly popular advice column “¡Hola Papi!”, launching his career as the Cheryl Strayed for young queer people everywhere—and some straight people too. JP had his doubts at first—what advice could he really offer while he himself stumbled through his early 20s? Sometimes the best advice to dole outcomes from looking within, which is what JP has done in his column and book—and readers have flocked to him for honest, heartfelt wisdom, and of course a few laughs. In ¡Hola Papi!, JP shares his story of growing up biracial and in the closet against the backdrop of America’s heartland, while attempting to answer some of life’s toughest questions: How do I let go of the past? How do I become the person I want to be? Is there such a thing as being too gay? Should I hook up with my grade school bully now that he’s out of the closet? Questions we’ve all asked ourselves, surely. With wit and wisdom in equal measure, ¡Hola Papi! is for anyone—gay, straight, and everything in between—who has ever taken stock of their unique place in the world, offering considered advice, intelligent discourse, and fits of laughter along the way. As #1 New York Times bestselling author Shea Serrano says: “I loved ¡Hola Papi! I’m certain you will too.”

30 review for Hola Papi: How to Come Out in a Walmart Parking Lot and Other Life Lessons

  1. 4 out of 5

    Elle

    If you are not familiar with JP’s work, you will just have to take my word for it that this will be excellent. *Thanks to Simon and Schuster & Netgalley for an advance copy! If you are not familiar with JP’s work, you will just have to take my word for it that this will be excellent. *Thanks to Simon and Schuster & Netgalley for an advance copy!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Erik

    Hola Papi is a surprisingly successful memoir-meets-advice-column that taps into the heart of queer millennialism. John Paul Brammer is a writer who has found much success writing for a variety of online and print forums, tapping into his past experiences growing up queer and Mexican in rural Oklahoma to tell stories that resonates with his readers. This book, Hola Papi builds on his well-known advice column by the same name. In this way, Brammer uses questions from readers to dig deep into h Hola Papi is a surprisingly successful memoir-meets-advice-column that taps into the heart of queer millennialism. John Paul Brammer is a writer who has found much success writing for a variety of online and print forums, tapping into his past experiences growing up queer and Mexican in rural Oklahoma to tell stories that resonates with his readers. This book, Hola Papi builds on his well-known advice column by the same name. In this way, Brammer uses questions from readers to dig deep into his life and tell stories about being bullied in middle school and having that middle school bully later reach out on Grindr. About experiences of sexual assault that can't be named until the world has shifted and given him the language to talk about it. And about experiences of learning how to be, dress, and act gay, only to eventually realize that such educational opportunities are far too nuanced to be easily learned and adhered to. Admittedly, I approached Hola Papi with trepidation: too many times straight-from-Twitter gay writers make their first book a memoir, and that memoir fails both because it is poorly written and because their stories are just not that interesting. But that is not the case with Brammer's writing. His stories are compelling and moving and his writing is firm and insightful. Though at times his writing slips into the world of Twitter humor - a voice that is just not right for long-form storytelling - for the most part Hola Papi is a moving memoir that you should most certainly read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    abbie

    Thanks to Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review! ¡Hola Pali! is a memoir/collection of essays. Each chapter starts with a question from a reader, and then the author spends the chapter telling a story from his life that relates back to that question and provides advice and validation. I was drawn to this book because I follow JP Brammer on Twitter (no idea when I followed him or how I found him) and his takes always make me laugh or think to myself “yes, huge Thanks to Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review! ¡Hola Pali! is a memoir/collection of essays. Each chapter starts with a question from a reader, and then the author spends the chapter telling a story from his life that relates back to that question and provides advice and validation. I was drawn to this book because I follow JP Brammer on Twitter (no idea when I followed him or how I found him) and his takes always make me laugh or think to myself “yes, huge same.” I just finished reading a heavy series before this one, so I thought to myself, “this will be perfect!! A light, funny read from this funny guy I follow on Twitter who tweets about eating pine cones!!” First and foremost, that was truly an incorrect assumption on my part — while this book does read like you’re talking to/listening to a friend, or someone you’re familiar with and love, it’s definitely heavy. It contains chapters about suicidal ideation, mental health struggles, sexual assault, heavy bullying, losing/finding identity, and homophobia (both internalized and external). A lot of those chapters are, obviously, tough to read because they’re about sensitive subjects and they’re coming from someone’s real, lived experiences. That being said, JP Brammer speaks on these topics very candidly and the way he’s so open makes you feel so seen and validated while you’re reading. His experiences and they way he reflects on them are so universal and validating, even if you haven’t lived them exactly like he has. I would recommend this book for anyone looking to read about love, identity, purpose, self forgiveness, navigating feelings of otherness, coming out and accepting your sexuality, being a millennial, and trying to figure out who you are and what you’re doing here (from someone who is also trying to figure all this out too, and who doesn’t have all the answers, but he’s willing to share what he’s learned along the way). I’ll leave this review with a quote that doesn’t really encompass the true depth of this book, but one that simply made me laugh: “I sipped my midday mimosa and refocused on the penis before me. Oh god, I thought. My abuela picked fruit in this country for me to become this.”

  4. 4 out of 5

    Will Skrip

    John Paul Brammer's HOLA PAPI is successful in its structure; Brammer correlates his successful advice-column with the stories that define him. Responding to complex questions about identity, love and self-worth, Brammer writes frankly about his own experience to illuminate a solidarity in the queer experience. The ways in which this memoir spoke to directly to my soul double-underlines the idea that regardless of where you're from and what you look like, being queer comes with a miraculously un John Paul Brammer's HOLA PAPI is successful in its structure; Brammer correlates his successful advice-column with the stories that define him. Responding to complex questions about identity, love and self-worth, Brammer writes frankly about his own experience to illuminate a solidarity in the queer experience. The ways in which this memoir spoke to directly to my soul double-underlines the idea that regardless of where you're from and what you look like, being queer comes with a miraculously unifying set of circumstances. The essays in which Brammer most directly examines his developing identity are the most compelling and singular. 'How to Lose a Rabbit,' his essay about bullying, 'How to Kiss your Girlfriend,' about the significance of first love, 'How to be a Real Mexican,' about uncovering authenticity and 'How to Come Out to Your Boyfriend in a Walmart Parking Lot' about finding the courage to put words to your interiority are the crown jewels of the collection. They are expansive, well-articulated, painfully relatable and offer some truly solid counsel. I felt that some of the later essays were a bit less defined and in some cases, felt like Brammer was trying to shoe-horn a story in rather than genuinely respond to the question. Small potatoes when regardless, Brammer's writing is always dynamic and engaging. Brammer is totally unpretentious in his advice. He never really sets out to fix someone's problems, but rather, to point out that we are all alike in them. This book will have you screaming "YES," will bring you back to your middle school lunch table, will remind you to deal with some unresolved shame and will affirm that you're on the right track.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    As someone who is afflicted with “being gay on the internet,” JP Brammer has always been a light. His advice column, “Hola Papi,” injected his personality into genuinely moving answers to questions about the gay experience, and helped him develop a devoted internet following. In his debut essay collection, Brammer borrows the setup of his column to structure the book, recounting his childhood experience with bullying, tentative first loves, millennial ennui, and his experience in online media whi As someone who is afflicted with “being gay on the internet,” JP Brammer has always been a light. His advice column, “Hola Papi,” injected his personality into genuinely moving answers to questions about the gay experience, and helped him develop a devoted internet following. In his debut essay collection, Brammer borrows the setup of his column to structure the book, recounting his childhood experience with bullying, tentative first loves, millennial ennui, and his experience in online media while blogging at a number of publications (some now defunct.) What comes through in each section is his warmth, sense of humor, as well as profound empathy for those he has encountered in his life. Brammer’s tales provided much-needed comfort during this dark era. Anyone familiar with his work will love this collection, and those who aren’t will have the pleasure of discovering the best person on the internet for the first time. This has my highest recommendation. Thank you to Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Casey Nielsen

    Follow me on IG for more reviews and content: @thebeerreader https://www.instagram.com/thebeerreader/ Thank you NetGalley and Simon & Schuster. I received an advanced copy of this title in exchange for an honest review. Where to start with this wonderful breath of fresh air? I found myself wanting to savor John Paul’s writing as he describes growing up, coming out, and finding himself. At the same time, I wanted to rip through this book because I kept wanting more. I couldn’t put it down. I found m Follow me on IG for more reviews and content: @thebeerreader https://www.instagram.com/thebeerreader/ Thank you NetGalley and Simon & Schuster. I received an advanced copy of this title in exchange for an honest review. Where to start with this wonderful breath of fresh air? I found myself wanting to savor John Paul’s writing as he describes growing up, coming out, and finding himself. At the same time, I wanted to rip through this book because I kept wanting more. I couldn’t put it down. I found myself in tears several times, laughing at the way John Paul wrote about pivotal moments. One passage that stood out was a high school JP meeting Corey, who attempted to get him to join his “Christian youth cult.” I couldn’t help but think of some similar moments from my high school years, even down to being lured in with promises of free pizza and skateboarding. There were other moments in the book where I did not laugh, but I instead felt sadness for John Paul. Sadness for his heartbreak or his loss. Pain for his aloneness. I appreciate that he relates to his letter writers and shares his stories. I hope to read more from him in the future.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Chris breeh

    Thank you netgalley for this ARC! I really enjoyed this book it was a quick read and it was really entertaining it touches down on stuff that alot of LGBT people go through growing up finding themselves etc. And sometimes while reading i related too alot of the stuff i was reading. Like when drag race was mentioned because when i was 17 that show helped me accept myself more and seeing people like me on national TV etc. I didnt know john until i read this book but i am glad i read this book becau Thank you netgalley for this ARC! I really enjoyed this book it was a quick read and it was really entertaining it touches down on stuff that alot of LGBT people go through growing up finding themselves etc. And sometimes while reading i related too alot of the stuff i was reading. Like when drag race was mentioned because when i was 17 that show helped me accept myself more and seeing people like me on national TV etc. I didnt know john until i read this book but i am glad i read this book because i love a good memoir/self help book. Just reading about people and how they grew up or went through etc. John had some really great stories to read about and also touched down on alot of stuff in the LGBT that people sometimes dont like to hear about regarding needing someone for validation from gay apps etc which isnt a bad THING but it could become a bad thing depending on the person and what it can do to your mental health. Overall this book was great!

  8. 4 out of 5

    kaitlyn

    Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review! I was *thrilled* to receive an ARC of this book. I love JP, and Hola Papi is the only newsletter I actually read. If you've read and enjoyed the column or anything he's written, you'll enjoy this book. It is Hola Papi--turned up a few notches, but with the same humor and heartbreak. I was honored by how much of himself JP was willing to share with us, though it did lead to a lot of content Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review! I was *thrilled* to receive an ARC of this book. I love JP, and Hola Papi is the only newsletter I actually read. If you've read and enjoyed the column or anything he's written, you'll enjoy this book. It is Hola Papi--turned up a few notches, but with the same humor and heartbreak. I was honored by how much of himself JP was willing to share with us, though it did lead to a lot of content warnings (see below). It's witty and uncomfortable and engaging and validating and I'm just really glad that this book exists in the world. TW: Bullying, homophobia, homophobic slurs, internalized homophobia, depression, suicidal thoughts, self harm, HP reference, eating disorder, sexual assault

  9. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    This is a collection of essays based on Brammer's advice columns. I really enjoyed his voice, funny and warm, very down-to-earth and matter-of-fact. He writes about many subjects, from family and fashion to coming out (or not), toxic relationships, breakups, cultural and ethnic identity, racism, work. It was a breezy read, his humor always shining through. I did find the structure a bit repetitive. Each essay is set up the same way: a reader asks a question, Brammer tells a story or stories from This is a collection of essays based on Brammer's advice columns. I really enjoyed his voice, funny and warm, very down-to-earth and matter-of-fact. He writes about many subjects, from family and fashion to coming out (or not), toxic relationships, breakups, cultural and ethnic identity, racism, work. It was a breezy read, his humor always shining through. I did find the structure a bit repetitive. Each essay is set up the same way: a reader asks a question, Brammer tells a story or stories from his life, and then he sums it up in the last few paragraphs, tying it all together. So while I really appreciated what he had to say, and can see this book resonating with a lot of people, there was a spark missing for me.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Carmen

    Thank you to NetGalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. Trigger / Content Warning: discussions of suicide, hate speech, sexual assault (I'm sure I'm missing others) I've been a fan of John Paul Brammer through Twitter and not surprised the book reads like his voice. I like how it started with an introduction of how he started since I wasn't aware of it. I identified with him *way* too much about a White dad and Mexican mom and that disconnect from your Mexican side. Thank you to NetGalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. Trigger / Content Warning: discussions of suicide, hate speech, sexual assault (I'm sure I'm missing others) I've been a fan of John Paul Brammer through Twitter and not surprised the book reads like his voice. I like how it started with an introduction of how he started since I wasn't aware of it. I identified with him *way* too much about a White dad and Mexican mom and that disconnect from your Mexican side.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I really enjoyed JP Brammer's essay collection based on his popular advice column Hola Papi. Brammer's essays are witty, sharp, and down to earth. I flew through this book and would definitely recommend! TW: homophobia, bullying, suicidal ideation Thank you to Simon & Schuster, the author and NetGalley for providing a copy for review! I really enjoyed JP Brammer's essay collection based on his popular advice column Hola Papi. Brammer's essays are witty, sharp, and down to earth. I flew through this book and would definitely recommend! TW: homophobia, bullying, suicidal ideation Thank you to Simon & Schuster, the author and NetGalley for providing a copy for review!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jilli | the long lost targaryen

    I don't particularly like self helps or guides or life lesson novels, nor do I particularly want to come out in a Walmart (considering I'd have to drive way too much to just get there) but I suppose it could be cathartic and I suppose this could be a riotously funny read so I'm rooting for Hola Papi I don't particularly like self helps or guides or life lesson novels, nor do I particularly want to come out in a Walmart (considering I'd have to drive way too much to just get there) but I suppose it could be cathartic and I suppose this could be a riotously funny read so I'm rooting for Hola Papi

  13. 4 out of 5

    Natty

    Definitely what I needed right now. Poignant yet humorous, and full of personality kindred to many of my own experiences. This pulled me out of a fairly deep funk and reminded me of the humanity of the community of queerness.

  14. 5 out of 5

    River

  15. 4 out of 5

    Marie

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lillian

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jasmin Brooks

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nik Leasure

  19. 5 out of 5

    Daylon A-150 nFT20 Attack Helicopter

  20. 5 out of 5

    R. Eric Thomas

  21. 5 out of 5

    Zachary Polendo

  22. 4 out of 5

    Byron Holzberger

  23. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

  24. 5 out of 5

    Victoria Beedle

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jason Blitman

  26. 4 out of 5

    Maranda

  27. 5 out of 5

    jamie ♡

  28. 4 out of 5

    EmilyKatherine

  29. 5 out of 5

    Emmett

  30. 5 out of 5

    Astrid

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