Tracie's Reviews > Almost Perfect

Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher
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Jan 20, 2011

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bookshelves: novelist, young_adult_fiction
Read from July 06 to 15, 2011

** spoiler alert ** Upcoming book discussion guide for NoveList, and winner of the 2011 Stonewall Award for young adult GLBT literature.

High school senior Logan navigates his feelings for Sage, a transexual new student who was born a boy but dresses and lives as a girl.

This is an important, albeit message-driven book that bravely tackles a tough topic that we don't often see much of in literature: transexuality. The focus of the book, however, is more on Logan's feelings toward Sage than Sage's identity struggle. Although Logan has fallen in love with Sage, this revelation scares the hell out of him; he worries that loving a transvestite means he is gay; he worries about what his friends and family will think. The story is told in the past tense, and I got the sense that an older-and-wiser Logan was looking back on his life in a wistful, don't-be-as-dumb-and-narrow-minded-as-I-was-at-18 kind of way. I'm not sure I would hand this to a kid who is grappling with gender identity issues, because some of the things that Logan says and feels are pretty hurtful...but I would hand this novel to that kid's Mom, Dad, best friend, and siblings.

One thing I particularly liked about this book, however, is that it is not a happily-ever-after kind of story. Sage and Logan's love is a bumpy road, and it does not stand the test of time (or societal pressure). Logan is a flawed character; he messes up and knows it. I found this to be a refreshingly realistic spin on first love, as it is tempting for YA authors who work with romance to write those romance lines through rose-colored glasses.

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