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4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  154 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Dean, a 22-year old female-to-male-transsexual, is no LGBT poster boy. Unemployed, depressed, mid-transition, and still living in the upstairs bedroom of his parents’ house in a conservative suburb, he can think of little to do but write his memoir. In the third person, he tells the tale of his would-be love affair with his college roommate, Colin, another trans man with a ...more
Paperback, 348 pages
Published April 11th 2011 by Createspace (first published April 1st 2011)
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Jul 19, 2013 Nora rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: transgender
I loved this one! Six stars! This novel really spoke to my condition, so YMMV, but I will tell you why I liked it. I will let you live vicariously through my reading experience. As soon as I saw that Refuse was about a depressed young man who is transgender and obsessed with Morrissey, I knew that I had to read it. But terrific subject matter does not neccessarily make a terrific self-published novel, so I was also very apprehensive about this book. Clearly before I even cracked the cover I had ...more
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Logan Plonski
Jun 12, 2015 Logan Plonski rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: queer
This was generally an enjoyable read, but suffered from a lot of structural and grammatical problems which could have been easily prevented if DeLine had bothered to hire a copy editor.

The cover photo was low-quality and pixellated, which gives the whole thing an unprofessional, juvenile appearance. DeLine didn't seem to have a whole lot of respect for the book itself, while also seeming to think of himself as the writer of a contemporary queer classic. That's actually the problem I had with th
Potentially really offensive (and obnoxious!), but it was thrilling to finally read a novel with characters whose lives are like mine (trans & queer).

Also, the narrator hints at some really compelling issues of identity and being --especially in the conversations between Dean and Teddy-- but then quickly retreats. I would've enjoyed further explorations of those themes. (Sure, I've read tons theory about gender and transness, and I've done a lot of thinking of my own, but sometimes I wonder
EZRead eBookstore
Jul 19, 2011 EZRead eBookstore rated it liked it
Shelves: amelia-reviews
Summary: Dean is not your average, run of the mill, happy-go-lucky, young adult. Not only is he a transsexual male who questions his sexual preferences, but he seemingly hates everything around him, including himself. Then again, having rage against the world and not knowing who he really is could be considered a common trait amongst many of today’s youth. What teenager or young adult doesn’t feel awkward and out of place? Sadly, it is Dean’s discomfort and self-hatred of himself that has him fe ...more
Jan 01, 2016 Vince rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i love love LOVED this book!! I literally keep thinking about it, and I wish it was longer to keep reading. I don't want to let go and say bye to Dean. I just absolutely loved everything about this book; the writing style kept me wanting to read more.I loved the sarcasm, the quick witted come backs, and just the way i was kept engrossed into the story, and couldn't put it down. And there were some moments where it had me questioning life, and society.

Also, I'm from North Syracuse, as well, and
Jan 30, 2015 Hope rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I love that I hated this book yet couldn't stop reading the trainwreck it became. I hate that all the young people talked like they were in their forties and fifties or were living in the 1940s and 1950s. I mean, I know they wore cardigans and some had money, but was too much (including the endless references to cardigans) and they all sounded the same. And if Dean bit his lip on more time...! This book reminded me of Donna Tartt's The Secret History - though without the murder or wel ...more
Alex Everette
Mar 14, 2017 Alex Everette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtqa
Dean, who named himself for his legendary hero, James Dean, takes a step back to narrate time in college he spent falling in and out of love with Colin Mahr, soon-to-be-famous guitarist. They're introduced on the assumption that the only two trans guys on their college campus would want to know each other, and they do hit it off. Colin finds Dean's Holden Caulfield-esque personality endearing rather than repulsive, as Dean insists many others have.
To say they wind up in a love triangle with Magg
Kaleb Fischer
Let me begin by saying that Refuse had a lot of potential. DeLine is clearly skilled in prose, but the overall impression I received in reading this was that it could have benefited from more substantial editing.

Yeah, I get that it's edgy and radical or whatever to self-publish, but DeLine just doesn't get there with this novel. One can maintain the indie image just as effectively through radical/queer publishers of which there is a plethora.

One of my chief criticisms of Refuse is the diatribe
Christopher Moss
So many transgender novels I have read are light, humorous, safe, but not this one. The dark mood of this novel as an authenticity not often found in the genre, baring the self-absorbed and sarcastically pitiable world view of late adolescents. It follows transgender student Dean as he enters college and starts to find his fellow transmen. Obsessed with the British indie rock band The Smiths Dean is drawn to his new roommate, himself a musician bound for success in the indie rock industry, also ...more
Eccessivo, crudo, ossessivo. Uno spaccato di eccessi giovanili, ricerca di identià e del sè. Forse ho superato l'età in cui posso identificarmi. Di sicuro i disagi, il male di vivere e le psicosi sono tipici di una generazione e non solo. In particolare il problema identità di genere e transizione sono solo una delle tante sfaccettature del disagio. Il protagonista potrebbe semplicemente essere, gay, nero, drogato o con turbe caratteriali. Libro cupo, in cui nessuno si salva, in cui emergono le ...more
Ben Payne
May 01, 2016 Ben Payne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a really nice surprise. A coming-of-age novel about a trans (FTM) guy in college, coming to terms with his identity and relationships. It avoids cliches and presents a broad variety of trans characters. Dean, the narrator, is smart and cynical, spiky and hard to get to know. His defensiveness is by turns off-putting and charming. Dean is also obsessed with Morrissey and The Smiths, and the book is littered with indie music references that added to its charm. Ultimately I found it a movi ...more
Jul 19, 2011 Amelia rated it liked it
Confusion was a big theme of this book. My inability to understand Dean’s reasoning probably equaled his own. Like a jigsaw puzzle for a brain, his outlook was scattered across the table, and finding a single piece of the puzzle was never enough to understand the whole picture that made up Dean.

Does he like women, does he like men, or does he like transgender men or women? Does Dean ever find closure and acceptance with himself? Those are questions best answered by reading the book.
Wart Hill
Aug 01, 2013 Wart Hill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtq
I've been trying for the better part of today to put my thoughts together in a way that forms a coherent review without just pulling quotes. I still haven't really been able to, but I'm going to give it a go.

There's a quote about 84% of the way through: "That's the tragedy of Dean." And I think that does begin to show you what this book is. But I'd say it's also the triumph of Dean.

This story, Dean's story, is very human. Very real.
Apr 17, 2011 Andrea rated it liked it
I had to make my way past the heavy self-referentiality and teen angst to enjoy this story of the romantic travails of a group of contemporary queer and trans college kids. Dean, our hero, is a fey and contrary fellow who loves the Smiths and is rebelling against whatever you got, which I'm always going to appreciate. There's a real voice here, and a sharp ear for dialogue, but the novel as a whole wants editing, badly. Still, I'll be looking for more from this young writer Elliot DeLine.
Feb 06, 2012 Marq rated it liked it
I downloaded this a while back but did not get far into it. Then, I read John Irving's new In One Person and thought Refuse would be a good followup. Found it awkward to follow and while I enjoyed parts and hated others. Glad I finished it although had it not been for Irving's book, I doubt I would have finished.
Aug 28, 2012 Jd rated it it was amazing
Shelves: transgender, ftm, owned
This book was moving, sad, acerbic, and hysterically funny, and I enjoyed it immensely. The main character is a young trans man in college struggling with feeling socially awkward and isolated, wrestling with his depression and doubts, vulnerability and attractions, based on experiences and feelings that I found very resonant as a trans woman. Read this!
Mar 06, 2016 Jake rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's honest, and that's what makes it a good read. There is absolutely no sugar-coating when it comes to this book, which is what we all need once in a while, and the characters are relatable from the start. I'd absolutely recommend it.
Bell C.
Jul 26, 2016 Bell C. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I ADORED THIS BOOK SO MUCH. It was funny and cynical and dark and deep and emotional. I really felt for Dean the entire time.
Raven Engelking
Oct 28, 2014 Raven Engelking rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I truly loved this book. It spoke to my soul and I know it will speak to others if they can relate to the main characters...
Oct 24, 2014 Lotta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Refreshing coming-of-age trans story. Up-dates a typical transnarrative. Bold, funny and original.
Elisa Rolle
Aug 11, 2015 Elisa Rolle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
2011 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention (5* from at least 1 judge)
Apr 27, 2016 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm glad this book exists. Dean, for surely Dean is an excellent character. The end is great. The typos crushed me a little bit. xo
Sebastian Jay
Mar 14, 2015 Sebastian Jay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very relatable to me as a transman.
Justin Lymner
Jun 27, 2015 Justin Lymner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting ride... Feels like you're in the character's head. :) recommend read!
Talya rated it it was amazing
Aug 10, 2014
Lor rated it it was amazing
Mar 04, 2017
Dean rated it it was amazing
Jan 29, 2014
علي يس
علي يس rated it liked it
Nov 24, 2014
Daniela rated it liked it
May 07, 2011
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Elliott DeLine (born 1988) is a writer from Syracuse, NY. He is the author of the novel Refuse, the novella I Know Very Well How I Got My Name, and his latest, Show Trans: A Nonfiction Novel. His essays and excerpts have been featured in The New York Times, The Collection: Short Fiction from the Transgender Vanguard, Original Plumbing Magazine and The Advocate. He is currently a content writer for ...more
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