Separate from the actual character Kevin Keller and how he makes a life in Riverdale among the Archie group, it's really wonderful that the comic that...moreSeparate from the actual character Kevin Keller and how he makes a life in Riverdale among the Archie group, it's really wonderful that the comic that has been around for generations has included a homosexual character. I love that a company long standing is constantly evolving and trying to be all inclusive.
Immediately, what I didnt enjoy about the comic was the drawings. They felt different than the ones I'm used to and after reading the book I searched online to find out if the artists were the same throughout the comics and they were so I don't understand. This one felt more like an imitation and one that wasn't tightly drawn and detail specific as I remember them. This felt loose, the clothes not well thought out, and the dialogue was also awkward. If the dialogue was always this awkward in previous comics there must've been some charm to them that kept me entertained or I've just changed a lot.
Kevin Keller as a character is far too perfect and Mary Sue-ish for me. He doesn't seem to have any flaws, all the characters adore him, experiences come easily handed to him such as everyone voting for him to run for president and in my opinion the writers and artists of this series are trying to paint this image of him as being the ultimate gay person. While reading what other characters thought of him and his actions, it read to me like the book was saying "look how nonthreatening he is, he has all these amazing qualities, he's an upstanding citizen, he's loyal, and courageous, it's alright if he's gay". As if to get certain readers who are on the fence about homosexuals to not feel threatened by them which I'm not saying not to try to influence the thoughts of homophobic people, rather it felt like they were purposely trying to make him without flaws and even really a personality specifically to present his minority status as acceptable. And I could easily imagine inserting any minority oppressed into that slot instead of a gay character: "women, a black person, a transgendered person, Arabs" and it reading the same way as if to try to show a different perspective rather than the fear and judgment some people may have around this group. In this way they aren't even really a character, just more of a prop.
Kevin Keller seemed dull to me and where there was tension (the presidential election between him and a homophobic student) it was eye-roll worthy and false while the issue with the slightly homophobic parents in the supermarket felt natural. (less)
I really enjoyed this book. Like another reviewer on this site, I couldn't really get into it at the beginning. I was expecting that I would end up no...moreI really enjoyed this book. Like another reviewer on this site, I couldn't really get into it at the beginning. I was expecting that I would end up not finishing it and just bringing it back to the library. I'm glad I really got to absorb the book as I went on. I think I first heard about this book maybe 3 or 4 years ago, I thought this book was going to be about a person who does an experiment and pretends to pass as a boy to get a sense of being transgender. I thought this book was a memoir well a documentary on the author's experiment and she was telling us of what she encountered. I think even a little less than halfway I was thinking that and didn't make the connection that Nina was honestly going through an awareness about not liking her breasts. I don't even remember where I got the idea that this book was about the author's experiment, maybe it's an entirely different book, or younger Jardley read the synopsis wrong.
What I don't think I've read before in books about queers is the third gender or well the nongender. It's not something I've seen written aloud before and is an identity I really relate to. The author doesn't see herself as either man or woman and has friends who while largely transgender, fit into this different form as well. They keep certain parts of themselves feminine, even while removing their breast. I think the author really presents an awareness and an acceptance of this form, because it is alive and well even if it's not talked about as much as gay and lesbian identities are. While sometimes, and this could just be because I have never visited San Francisco, it seemed like the author lived in a queer utopia where everywhere Nick/Nina turned gays were there, her friends do reinforce that there were people who truly identified differently than one set box, even if many of them were transgender. Not all of them go through hormone therapy, or even surgery, and yet would identify as male, or some removed their breasts but their bodies stayed in the female form. Even Nina/Nick had I not seen the photos of him now and was just ending my knowledge of him based on how he physically ends in the book, he's stated he doesn't want hormone therapy just to remove his breasts. And that's such a different way of living than the mainstream is used to. By writing this book, detailing his thoughts and the lives of his friends, and myself being able to relate to this identity, there's a feeling that it's okay to be this way. It's valid too. I believe this book is the first of many I'll be reading on genderqueerness, and even though such a term still doesn't feel like it fits for me, I believe it's one step closer to finding out what does.
I also really enjoyed the relationship between Nina and her brother, they are very close and that's typically not shown or heard about with siblings. I identified with the ongoing discomfort with answering her mother's questions about her gender and identity, but didn't really enjoy reading about lavish trips after trips and basically how well off Nina's parents and by association Nina is. But, then again everyone's background in life is different, and hers is just as valid to learn about in the sexuality and identity quilt. (less)
very quick read, identified both past and present with Simon the other brother. Took the other brother's advice with a grain of salt, as one would wit...morevery quick read, identified both past and present with Simon the other brother. Took the other brother's advice with a grain of salt, as one would with other's opinions/advice.(less)