"Adam stared up at the tree leading to Kelsey Winslow's bedroom window."
When Adam Freedman -- a skinny, awkward, inexperienced teenager from Piedmont, California -- goes to stay with his older sister Casey in New York City, he is hopeful that his life is about to change. And it sure does.
It is the Summer of 2006. Gay marriage and transgender rights are in the air, and Casey has thrust herself into a wild lesbian subculture. Soon Adam is tagging along to underground clubs, where there are hot older women everywhere he turns. It takes some time for him to realize that many in this new crowd assume he is trans -- a boy who was born a girl. Why else would this baby-faced guy always be around?
Then Adam meets Gillian, the girl of his dreams -- but she couldn't possibly be interested in him. Unless passing as a trans guy might actually work in his favor...
Ariel Schrag's scathingly funny and poignant debut novel puts a fresh spin on questions of love, attraction, self-definition, and what it takes to be at home in your own skin.
Gah! This book is so frustrating. I'm really mad at it. Maybe that was the point? Adam is a typical teen boy with no real knowledge of the world around him. He travels to NYC to stay with his college-age sister for the summer, during which time he becomes enlightened to the LGBT community. His sister, lesbian dating transgender, brings him to parties and introduces him to a whole new world. The potential to be something great was here, and the Author did a great job (in my opinion as a cis-female) giving a nice overview and facts surrounding what someone transgender has to go through.
While the beginning of the book started impressing me, the lies start stacking up... and if there is one thing I hate more than anything is the kind of lies that can destroy someone. Adam stacked his lies SO high that you knew it would crumble before the end. I don't want to give much away but it's hard for me because the majority of my gripes come from that awful ending.
I'm going to make this review very brief because of spoilers BUT I will say the message the Author was heading towards was extremely thoughtful and intriguing. However, the ending unraveled everything the Author worked towards in one fell swoop. The audacity to write something so well researched and informative but then wipe all that away with a terribly offensive ending, was heartbreaking. Maybe this is what makes the book controversial but I'd rather have not read it at all. I threw the book at the wall in anguish at how terrible this made me feel, I was angry at everything it represented and I guess that might be why I should have rated it higher, it made me feel something, right? I just can't get past it...
For those of you who know the ending, I'd gladly discuss this in the comments (those who don't want spoilers, avoid the comments please).
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