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If We Shadows

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  43 ratings  ·  21 reviews
A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

Born female, all Jordan wants is to slip under the radar and live the last year of high school as a boy. His parents and siblings support him, but he’d rather be recognized for his acting and musical talents than his gender issues.

When Shakespeare’s Puck gives him three magical potions—true sight, true seeming, and true love—Jordan disc
ebook, 240 pages
Published March 6th 2014 by Harmony Ink Press (first published March 5th 2014)
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Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  43 ratings  ·  21 reviews

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Sherwood Smith
Mar 10, 2014 added it
Recommended to Sherwood by: Barry King
Shelves: fantasy
Oh, my.

I will have to read it again before I can give it a more considered (coherent!) review. I was reading so fast, as the emotional tension was so high, and so beautifully complex, that I might not have caught everything I ought to have, especially with regards to the Puckish (view spoiler)
Nov 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Jordan is a transgendered young man who, with the support of his family, is determined to live his final year of high school as a boy. He doesn’t want to be recognized or applauded for who he is, and would rather that gender not be an issue. Instead, he wants to be recognized for what he is - an actor and a musician. An actor, it must be said, who will be playing the gender-bending lead in A Midsummer Night's Dream.

As if taking on a controversial role in the musical production weren’t enough, Pu
Mar 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
I should probably say first that this is not necessarily an objective review. The author is a friend of mine, and I read the first draft back when it was originally written, so I've known Jordan for a long time now. The story remains largely unchanged from the original draft, and without going back to look at it, I couldn't say what exactly was changed.

I'm not going to go into a synopsis of what the book is about. You can read the blurb for yourself. But what readers should know going in is that
Oct 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
 If We Shadows is an excellent read for YA. It's so good to see another writer who gives perspective to teenagers on trans issues. Issues relating to the pressures of school,  peers, sibling and parental reactions.  This story covers early transition support for teenagers from female to male and vise versa.The teen characters are realistic with their humour, attitude, thoughts and concerns. The bravery in all they do to be themselves whilst knowing and understanding the dangers this could bring ...more
Stephanie Johnson
Mar 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed-on-btc
Atwood does a beautiful job of making you feel Jordan’s emotions, every ounce of his pain and confusion. This is not an easy book to read if you’re at all empathetic (or empathic) to the struggles of LGTBQAI+ persons. As far as I’m aware, Atwood does not have immediate knowledge of what it’s like to be a trans* person. I do not, either. With that said, she does a great job of portraying what Jordan’s going through, and makes it clear that she did research and has a great respect for the struggle ...more
Mar 12, 2014 added it
Shelves: ya-other, lgbt
A very enjoyable debut novel, in which Jordan -- a high school senior boy (who was born with a female body) -- ends up in playing Viola-playing-Cesario in a Shakespeare mashup school play, only to be gifted with potions for true love, true sight, and true seeming by Puck. When the potions get mixed up, things go awry, and meanwhile, some people aren't happy with the school play's gender bending ways and are trying to get the board to shut it down. Jordan has to undo the magic, save the play, and ...more
C.B. Lee
Apr 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
A coming-of-age story told with sincerity and heart. Jordan is a high school senior with a passion for the theater, and his plans for senior year get a major rehaul when he isn't cast as Puck in A Midsummer's Night Dream, but as Viola/Cesario. Jordan is trans, and at first wants to refuse the part, as he has no desire to play a girl playing a guy, but the vibrant and clever Pepper, is directing the play-- and she insists that it is a reinvention of the Shakespeare classic, pushing new boundaries ...more
While I think that a lot more books need to be written with trans protagonists, and am grateful to Atwood for adding to the ridiculously tiny number of trans-featuring stories, If We Shadows was a let-down. I had no problems with how Jordan's arc was handled, but the fantasy element wasn't very well integrated into the story at all; this read like a general-fic novel with some hallucinations thrown in, and teenagers accepting the existence of magic and fairies far too easily to be believable. I ...more
4.5 stars, rounded up.

For my honest and true view of this book, please read …MORE

Goodreads TOS-compliant review (I think, let me know when they tell us what the rules are):

"The book I just read is about two (or three) lovely people, written in beautiful language, by a very good and prolific author. I liked it very, very much.
It is for sale on Amazon.”

DISCLAIMER: My reviews now all have this pretty face, so that all and everyone on Goodreads can stay happy and beatific. I’ll let you know if I ch
Aug 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
This was a wonderfully written story about a transgendered youth -- born as a girl, but identifies as a boy -- and the struggles he has as he tries to get through his last year of high school. It was believable, and respectful, and I felt so thoroughly for Jordan. Added in the mix was that it also included Shakespeare's Puck, a bit of magical realism, and great supporting characters. Really enjoyed this piece.
Jess Faraday
Oct 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was an exquisitely plotted story with complex, well-drawn characters, high tension, and strong writing. I really liked that the practical issues of transitioning (therapy, hormone treatments, prosthetics, parents, school, love interests, etc.) were addressed realistically instead of being glossed over and romanticized. I loved this book and look forward to reading it again.
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
I was a bit confused with the potions and the protagonist's going to be girlfriend falls for her brother, etc.
Irina Christmann
Aug 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ihr wollt mal was ganz anderes lesen und dabei mehr über Transgender erfahren? Dann müsste ihr das hier lesen!
Dec 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed the book. I didn’t know what to expect when I began reading, this being my first time reading a book focused on the subject of a transgendered youth. I am so glad I read it though. It is a Young Adult story full of love and heart and courage, as the author takes us on a slightly mystical journey through a challenging senior year of high school for Jordan, the main character. The story is conveyed via multiple perspectives, including Jordan’s written thoughts in his journal for h ...more
Jason Kivela
Mar 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I first stated the book a while ago, but after a chapter got distracted with other things. This weekend I decided to pick it up again and just devoured it. The characters are well thought out and developed. Very deep and the reader is able to get into all of their heads. The pacing was great and the conflict built in a well developed fashion. The topic isn’t something I understand, personally, but I feel this book gave me a good look into how gender questioning affects people. At first I felt th ...more
Mar 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: trans, ya
4.5 stars

Excellent YA novel. The author is very creative in mashing Shakespeare's Plays and bringing them to life. The author also tackles some very tough topics in Transphobia and Homophobia.

I encourage anyone who is interested in learning more about the daily struggles of trans* people to read this book.
Apr 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: xx
3.5 stars.

This one's a weird book. On one side I loved the story about transgendered Jordan, how he struggles with his body image, his daily life, his friends. What I totally didn't get though was the “magical“ part. I could have worked with those potions if they were meant metaphorical, but ... for real? Nope, sorry. Still it's a great book
Laura Poff
Aug 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Although I found it to have a slow beginning I really enjoyed this book once the pace picked up. It handled the topic delicately but realistically. It's very difficult to find books on this topic that are appropriate for middle school readers. It is appropriate for ages 13 and up or grades 7 and up.
Elisa Rolle
Aug 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
2014 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention (5* from at least 1 judge)
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Apr 28, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Dec 26, 2017
Kay Walker
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Aug 07, 2015
Gregory Nunez
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Oct 08, 2016
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Jul 29, 2017
Ursula (Teddy)
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Oct 24, 2014
S. H.
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Nov 17, 2016
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Oct 21, 2016
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Jun 08, 2016
Debbie Brown
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May 05, 2016
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Jan 26, 2016
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