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3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  2,483 Ratings  ·  313 Reviews
From the outside, Brendan Chase seems to have it pretty easy. He’s a star wrestler, a video game aficionado, and a loving boyfriend to his seemingly perfect match, Vanessa. But on the inside, Brendan struggles to understand why his body feels so wrong—why he sometimes fantasizes having long hair, soft skin, and gentle curves. Is there even a name for guys like him? Guys wh ...more
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published October 22nd 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (first published October 20th 2013)
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Apr 26, 2013 Giselle rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, own
As my first verse novel, Freakboy really surprised me. Not being a fan of poetry I was expecting verse novels to give me the worst kind of reading experience, but it was actually really moving and easier to get into the flow of it than I would have thought. The subject matter was also original and gave me a new insight in the subject of LGBT. I've read plenty of books about gay teens with confused sexualities and such, but this was my first time into the mind of a confused transsexual.

Freakboy i
Ellen Hopkins
Mar 23, 2013 Ellen Hopkins rated it it was amazing
Few writers dare to tackle such a difficult--and important--topic. Kudos, Kristin, for taking a major chance!
Kaje Harper
Feb 25, 2014 Kaje Harper rated it it was amazing
I stayed up until 2 AM reading this. It hit home, an arrow to the heart.

You may read "prose-poem" in the book description but don't be put off by that. This is a fairly straight-forward narrative, although it's written with less words per line, in a poem-like structure without a lot of description. It still reads smoothly and easily. It still moves, inexorably, through the story of a boy who has always liked girls, and girl things, and who comes to the realization that the way he likes them isn'
Wendy Darling
Glad the book was written, but this just confirms all over again that novels written in verse just aren't for me. I just want more from books, and it's hard to explore with a satisfying degree of depth and complexity and emotion within this kind of framework.

I support LGBTQ issues so wholeheartedly, but as with TWO BOYS KISSING, the style of storytelling just wasn't my cup of tea.
Lottie Eve
Aug 24, 2013 Lottie Eve rated it really liked it
Freakboy is the first Young Adult novel that I have read that properly addresses transexuality. And, while I am not going to pretend to know a lot about the subject, I do think that Clark did a great job at writing and portraying transexuality. Her characters are well-written and she obviously put a lot of thought into her story. This book also happens to be the first verse novel I have read in a long, long time, and even though verse novels aren’t really my thing, I have to admit that I thought ...more
Alicia O'Carrick
Sep 24, 2014 Alicia O'Carrick rated it really liked it

I’m Freakboy and
there will never
be a place for me.


Actual rating: 3 stars.

I’m not really into novels in verse; it’s hard to really get any depth out of the characters or the story. Plus, especially with this book, they tend to be full of short, clipped sentences, which is something that I can’t stand.

That being said, this is a powerful, heartbreaking story. Some people find out they are gay, transgender, or etc. and it’s not that big of a deal; it’s just who they are—but that’s not h
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
I read Freakboy as I traversed the United States. The row in front of me on the airplane, there was a baby, so I put my headphones in and blasted music into my ears. This actually really helped me focus in on the book, and remove the rest of the world. Usually, when I read, I’m distracted: by my cat, by the internet, by little sounds outside. The whole time I was reading Freakboy on the flight, I was basically trying not to be that weird girl crying on the airplane. Kristin Elizabeth Clark’s Fre ...more
Elise  (The Book Actress)
2 stars. So, this is yet another important book that just… isn’t actually very good.

Freakboy is a novel in verse about being nonbinary and trans. These are two really important topics, and they were both addressed well here, but the book doesn't have anything going for it besides the important issues. Freakboy ends up being nothing but an issues book, and not a very good one.

Angel... is a latina caricature. Yikes at the racial stereotyping. She’s also not nearly fleshed out enough, aside from h
Joanna Marple
Mar 28, 2013 Joanna Marple rated it it was amazing

This young adult novel is told in verse from three teen points of view, whose lives interweave as the plot develops. Brendon, the main protagonist, and for whom the book is titled is a white middle class teen from a divorced background, with atheistic beliefs, great commitment to his little sister, love of gaming, an ambivalence towards his wrestling team, a good relationship with his girlfriend with whom he enjoys sex (or at least being close to her body) but whose soft skin, long hair
Amy Rae
Nov 14, 2013 Amy Rae rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
I'm hesitant to decry this book overly, because it might well provide comfort to people with questions like the main character's. But the simple fact of the matter is that I wasn't all that impressed.

Of the three novels in verse I've read this year, this one has the worst poetry by far. It's artless and ineffective; the imagery is nothing to write home about, and the metaphors and similes are simplistic. Just because the characters are high-school aged doesn't mean it should read like high schoo
Oct 22, 2013 Liviania rated it really liked it

Kristin Elizabeth Clark certainly has ambition. Her debut novel, FREAKBOY, tackles the gender spectrum - in verse. I love novels in verse and I love novels that address LGBTQ issues. I had very high hopes for FREAKBOY, which can be a bad thing for a book. But I think Clark met her ambitions.

Brendan Chase is a fairly normal guy. He's on the wrestling team (and isn't that good) and has a girlfriend (who is a better wrestler than him). He loves Vanessa, knows that he likes girls in that way. At the
Sep 02, 2013 Katelynn rated it it was amazing

I love reading acknowledgments. They offer a rare glimpse into the view of the author. The author of FreakBoy shared a very special acknowledgment to fellow author, Ellen Hopkins- ..."who, when I went to her, wringing my hands and whining to her that she needed to write something for gender-variant kids, listened patiently, then said, 'No, this is a story you need to write yourself.' " I'm so glad you did. My hat's off to you, Kristin Elizabeth Clark, because this is a PHENOMENAL story!

This sum
May 03, 2013 Kelly rated it liked it

Brendan is a wrestler. He's got a great girlfriend named Vanessa. But that's where all of the "good" in his life really ends. Brendan's family life isn't stable, and Brendan doesn't know if he's entirely sure of who he is. He's questioning his sexuality -- even though Vanessa is great, he's wondering: am I really in the right body?

Vanessa loves Brendan, but she's about to find out that, while he loves her, he doesn't know if she's the right match because he doesn't know what it is he wan
Jun 01, 2016 Serena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Serena by: Julia Ember
This is my first purely poetic or lyrical book.

Some books build you up and some books break you down, by the end of Freakboy I came away asking myself if it's worth it to lose friends and loved ones to be true to ourselves in private or public in spite of social or cultural expectations. It's a hard question I wonder about a lot for a lot of various reasons but it's not really answered here. I'm glad it's not because it's a question you have to answer for yourself, or risk having that choice tak
Medeia Sharif
Sep 14, 2013 Medeia Sharif rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
Brendan has a girlfriend, but his attraction to girls is confusing. When he looks at a beautiful woman, it’s not because he wants to be with her. He imagines what it’s like to be her. His girlfriend, Vanessa, thinks he has a wandering eye, but that’s not the case.

Angel works at a safe house for GLBT youth. He sees Brendan one day and reaches out to him. In a fit of confusion, Brendan throws a rock at the house’s window and breaks it. People who work there think it’s a hate crime and vandalism,
Pam Howell
May 29, 2013 Pam Howell rated it it was amazing
I sat down at noon today to start reading this. I didn't put it on my Goodreads because I wanted to try a chapter before I committed to reading it in front of all of my social networks. I have this thing about novels in verse not really working for me. Maybe they do and I just don't read them often enough.

Freakboy is amazing. The subject matter is tough and it is dark but there are slivers of hope lined up inside for you while reading. I cried, I hoped, I wanted more than anything for Brendan to
Jan 27, 2013 Caitlin rated it it was amazing
Heartbreaking, hopeful, and beautifully written in verse. This is a wonderful book coming in fall 2013.
Feb 03, 2017 Brittany rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jenni Arndt
Apr 26, 2013 Jenni Arndt rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-own
Actual rating is 3.5

Here is another instance where I was kicking myself when a book I had requested arrived because it wasn’t until that moment that I realized the book is told in verse. Also, here is another instance where I was pleasantly surprised to have enjoyed said book much more than I had expected! Once again I am left baffled as to why the novel was told in verse when it read in my head like a regular novel. Sure there were poems in the shape of Christmas trees here and poems within poe
usagi ☆ミ
Yay, another book in YA addressing the trans population! This makes me happy. My co-blogger and I partially addressed this book in our LGBTQ Month of July post on the blog, but it's time for a proper review. "Freakboy" follows the same free verse approach that Ellen Hopkins does, and for the most part, it works well with each character's POV, getting across the main points of the book, and pumping up the tension a fair amount. Adding to my best of 2013 list, "Freakboy" is a book you simply can't ...more
Sep 26, 2013 Laura rated it it was amazing
I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

So, I didn’t even read the synopsis to Freakboy. I had a pretty good idea, just from the title, what it was going to be about. What I didn’t know was that it would be in verse. I’m not really into poetry, in general, but this was just a great book.

Freakboy follows Brendan as he struggles to find who he is and where he fits in. His girlfriend, Vane
Carrie Ardoin
Jul 07, 2013 Carrie Ardoin rated it really liked it
This was the first novel I've read in free verse, and I have to be honest, it isn't my favorite way to read. The line breaks and shapes interrupt the flow of reading. The subtle messages aren't so subtle. But I get it, this novel wasn't really written for someone like me. In spite of all that, I enjoyed it.

The book is written from three different characters' points of view. Brendan, high school jock who's beginning to think maybe being a boy isn't what's right for him. His girlfriend, Vanessa, w
Rawson Gordon II
Oct 12, 2013 Rawson Gordon II rated it really liked it
This free-verse poem novel contrasts the journeys of two transgender anatomical males - Brendan, the white, prep-school atheist child of divorce, and Angel, the black, Christ-loving, formerly trick-turning street kid. Of the two, who would you expect to be relatively content in her situation, and who would be suicidal? Ironically, or perhaps not so ironically, it is Brendan who is tortured, seeking escape from the pressure to conform by mothering his tiny sister, withholding purchased gift linge ...more
Jan 24, 2017 Dylan rated it really liked it
'Freakboy' is a book written in verse about three individuals,

Brendon- A seemingly "normal cisgender" boy, but in the beginning of this novel, he soon begins to fantasize about something much different that's expected of him. Brendon wants to be a girl.

Angel- A transgender Male to Female who works at a center for troubled LGBTQIIA+ teens.

Vanessa- Brendon's girlfriend who frankly- doesn't know what's really going on at all.

This book is so important because it shows the struggles of what it me
Shawn (ThatOneEnglishGradStudent)
I will do a full video review on this soon. For now, I'll just say that while I had some issues with the story and the writing, it's still a book that a lot of people, particularly in the target YA audience, could benefit from reading.
Apr 14, 2013 Bobby rated it liked it
Shelves: children
3.5 stars

Although I expected more from this book, I appreciate that Clark tackled a subject that isn't fully recognized in American society: identifying as gender-fluid and understanding what it means to be gender-fluid.
Mar 29, 2013 Cay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: glbt-ya
Let me start off with a confession: I don't like poems. Sure there are the odd exceptions, but on the whole I'm just not a poem person. So, while the blurb made Freakboy sound absolutely amazing, the verse novel form made me hesitant. Because, you see, I have never read a novel in verse before; what if I hate it? The beautifully fractured cover, however, kept taunting me on Netgalley, and in the end my curiosity won out. And... I loved it. In fact, I loved Freakboy so freakin' much, I'm going to ...more
Alice Lemon
Oct 01, 2016 Alice Lemon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction-gender
I really enjoyed this young adult verse novel about an AMAB teenager realizing that they're trans. It definitely had some problems---somewhat stereotyped characters and a few times where it felt like there were unexplained jumps---but I felt that Clark did a really good job of capturing her characters' emotions, and in particular Brendan's experience. I particularly liked the fact that she had her main character be a potentially non-binary AMAB person, and that the idea of wanting to be a woman ...more
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2014 Hub Reading ...: Freakboy 8 39 May 06, 2014 10:07PM  
YA LGBT Books: April 2014 BotM - Freakboy *spoilers* 8 75 May 06, 2014 05:35PM  
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Kristin Elizabeth Clark lives and writes in the Santa Cruz Mountains. She hikes with her dog and reads to her cats… but she’s not one of THOSE people. Really.

Her young adult debut, Freakboy, will be published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) on October 22nd, 2013.
More about Kristin Elizabeth Clark...

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“Because Honestly
is it trashy
to want something so bad
you go for it
even if it might kill you?

My opinion?

It's judging that's trashy.

Bad enough the world looks at us
under a (distorted) microscope.

Like the good Lord says,
we don't need to
judge each other.”
“My junk doesn't dictate who I am.” 5 likes
More quotes…