Almost pitch-perfect portrayal of the relationship between a transgender teen & her admirer, crush, friend and eventual lover. I appreciated Katch...moreAlmost pitch-perfect portrayal of the relationship between a transgender teen & her admirer, crush, friend and eventual lover. I appreciated Katcher's decision to put the reader into our male protagonist Logan's head rather than Sage's; filtering the experience through the narrator might make it more accessible to ya readers unfamiliar with what it means to be transgendered. Logan's alternating desire, confusion, anger, and sympathy is written realistically without making him either a saint or a monster. His reactions are rather idealized for someone as sheltered from the unusual as he is written to be, but are certainly possible for an empathetic, sensitive and thoughtful teen. My one caveat against realism is how quickly the protagonist cycles between his feelings of revulsion to acceptance (and back again), but I suppose this could be explained by a few different reasons - the tempestuous nature of being a teen, when emotions can and do switch between extremes within minutes, or the need for a compressed time line based on the framing of the narrative (final term of high school). I finished the book with lots of sympathy for all of the characters, admiration for Katcher's masterful handling of Logan's gradually growing empathy not only for Sage but also her family, his own mother, former girlfriend, and new acquaintances, and a burning desire for a sequel. Clearly they are soulmates, dammit, so let's find out what happens when they meet up again!
Some other reviewers are unhappy with what they see as Logan's transphobia or homophobia and complain about cis writers telling stories about trans characters. The fact is that appropriation of voice is inevitable in fiction - if we only write about what we personally know and experience, all we'd have is non-fiction. I believe that Katcher has addressed this appropriation issue in part by telling Logan's story rather than Sage's. And the more stories we hear about other people's lives and ideas, the more empathy we develop. Logan is NOT flawless, and there are major issues with how he interacts with Sage, even as the book closes and he is supposedly mostly enlightened - but as Sage herself says, he always TRIES! And that is the most important thing that we can ask readers to do - to TRY and understand and empathize with people whose experiences, desires, wants, needs and lives are different from our own.(less)
**spoiler alert** Disappointing and ultimately misleading. One can't cure oneself of mental illness by driving over a cliff. Started very strong, veer...more**spoiler alert** Disappointing and ultimately misleading. One can't cure oneself of mental illness by driving over a cliff. Started very strong, veered off course by the end.(less)
Latest entry in the social issues-bullying is bad books that I have been reading. Not as powerful as Leverage, if you are looking to read a brutally g...moreLatest entry in the social issues-bullying is bad books that I have been reading. Not as powerful as Leverage, if you are looking to read a brutally graphic and painful book on male bullying. Also, the author's tendency to have his characters smirk at all times and all seasons grates after a while. Overall, though, a worthy enough addition to this burgeoning group of YA titles.(less)