Book - 2013
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Told from three viewpoints, seventeen-year-old Brendan, a wrestler, struggles to come to terms with his place on the transgender spectrum while Vanessa, the girl he loves, and Angel, a transgender acquaintance, try to help.
Publisher: New York : Farrar Straus Giroux, 2013.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780374324728
Branch Call Number: CLA Y
Characteristics: 435 p. ; 22 cm


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Dec 02, 2015

A tearful story about being born in the wrong body.

FindingJane Nov 23, 2015

Gender issues are front and center these days. It remains controversial and mysterious, the notion that gender isn’t sex, isn’t the way you look or even the body parts you possess, issues that presumably are settled at birth when the doctor checks “f” or “m” on the birth sheet.

The problems Brendan fights through—his inner confusions, his outer relationships with his mother, sister, stepfather and girlfriend—are no easier to read because they’re in poetry. There is plenty of poetry to quote here, to savor as eye opening, startling or hurtful. But it’s a story, first and foremost, and one that shines through with all the awkwardness you expect from its youthful protagonists, each one touched in different ways by Brendan’s dilemma. Is he? Isn’t he? Is she?

It’s first-rate material and just might stand the test of time, even if (when) future generations look back at their backward, hate-filled ancestors and wonder why we made such a fuss about this.

Oct 02, 2015

Beautifully crafted though a trans community perspective set in high school can be a little shortsighted, in that youth are still figuring out who they are and are not able to do it autonomously very well at all (honestly, for that matter, they are not able to do many things yet in most cases) think if the setting was college it may have gone a little better, but cheers to young people needing guides anyway and to the beautiful craft of writing!

Apr 27, 2014

I wanted to love this books based on the premise, however if I wanted to read verse I'd read poetry. Because this is written in verse, if just couldn't get into it and made it only half way. I prefer narrative story telling. I liked the characters but felt disconnected.

JCLDennisR Mar 14, 2014

Kristin Clark made me feel so strongly about someone and something that is completely foreign to me, by reminding me of all that I have in common with Brendan and Vanessa and Angel. This is in the same league as Brian Katcher's ALMOST PERFECT. "My junk doesn't dictate who I am."

JCLAmyF Nov 23, 2013

I don't always go in for books in verse - too many of them previously have struck me as "those are just sentences why are you putting in weird line breaks this isn't verse!!!"

But this was good - the verse didn't distract me. (it may have still mostly just been regular sentences with weird line breaks... but at least they were good sentences.)


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Oct 02, 2015

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JCLAmyF Nov 23, 2013

The book alternates between three different viewpoints and all three are interesting and compelling. Brendan is trying to figure out who he is and what he really wants - and if that's ever something he can be comfortable with. He doesn't let his girlfriend Vanessa in on his struggle, so she's not sure what's going on in her relationship with him. And then there's Angel (whom I kept picturing as the Rent character), who befriends Brendan and has some of her own non-Brendan-related plotline as well.


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