Review: ¡Hola Papi! by John Paul Brammer

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.

¡Hola Papi! How to Come Out in a Walmart Parking Lot and Other Life Lessons


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 in 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.13

Holy Papi! If you are looking for a biography to read ¡Hola Papi! is it!

Why? ¡Hola Papi! Tells the story of John Paul Brammer or as his readers call him Papi. Pai is a queer mixed-race Chicano who was raised in a religious home and community. He struggles with anxiety and comorbid illnesses.

Brammer covers his journey to queer awareness. He talks of his experiences with religion, racism, homophobia, and of course his love life. He tells his stories through letters to his readers. Some are funny and will have you shaking your head.

Others…I just wanted to hug him. Brammer tells one story of an incident that happens in his youth and I had to put the book down. The realism, pain, and the tears I cried for a boy who didn’t even understand what was going on. As I am writing this I still want to hug him.

Why continue reading? Brammer has more stories to tell.

Kudos to whomever did the layout of the stories because you get a chance to breathe.

Brammer’s writing style is easy and laid-back. His stories are told with humor, sensitivity, and depth. You feel as if you are walking by his side, sitting next to him getting crazy advice, or watching write this book. He takes you on his journey into the past with an openness that he realized after a bit of time needed to write with.

I love ¡Hola Papi! I am also crushing on Brammer. Let him take you on his journey, you will get to experience it all.

I received an ARC of this book and I am writing a review without prejudice and voluntarily.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

 “As a Bookshop and Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.” at no additional cost to you.

Further Details:

Publisher: Simon & Schuster, 9781982141493, 8 June 2021

Narrator: John Paul Brammer

Pages:  224

A An edited version was previously posted on Amazon on 29 June 2021.


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