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Between Perfect and Real

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4.89  ·  Rating details ·  54 ratings  ·  16 reviews
A moving YA debut about a trans boy finding his voice—and himself.

Dean Foster knows he’s a trans guy. He’s watched enough YouTube videos and done enough questioning to be sure. But everyone at his high school thinks he’s a lesbian—including his girlfriend Zoe, and his theater director, who just cast him as a “nontraditional” Romeo. He wonders if maybe it would be easie
...more
Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Expected publication: April 13th 2021 by Amulet Books
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Average rating 4.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  54 ratings  ·  16 reviews


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daph pink  君は
Oct 17, 2020 marked it as to-read
2021 please come fast!
Miranda Reads
description

Just published my October Book Vlog and whew! It was a lot of reading but so worth it!
The Written Review
description
Dean Foster begins senior year between a rock and a hard place..

Dean's used girl pronouns her entire life and came out to her family as lesbian just a few years ago. (Dad is accepting, Mom is still slightly on the fence).

But she's increasingly feeling like something is wrong. It's only through YouTube and lots of research does she understand who she really is - and she's trans.

But kno
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Vee_Bookish // YA Book Blogger
Sep 20, 2020 marked it as not-yet-released
literally can't wait for this
Leo 飛べ
I wish it were 2021 already. I need this book in my life.
Alex
Oct 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 14-and-15
Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of Between Perfect and Real in exchange for an honest review.

THIS! This is how you write relatable teen characters. Dean and everyone in his life felt so much like actual people that it hurt my feelings. Dean is a trans, straight (I'm fairly sure), man and I'm a cis, queer, woman and yet I still found him to be one of the most relatable teens I've read in a long time despite us having pretty opposite identities because he's just so universally well w
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Chelsea
Oct 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you Abrams Kids and NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for review. All opinions are my own, as usual.

4.5 stars

Content Warning: Transphobia, discussion of suicide

Between Perfect and Real took a close look at a teen starting to transition. Dean knows he's a boy but doesn't know how to say it to the people that matter most. When he is cast as Romeo in his school's play, he knows this is the time to come out. This own-voices novel shows all of the ups and downs of Dean's senior year.

Not only d
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Jarka Alam
Oct 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I want to start by saying that one day this book will be very important to someone. The struggles faced by Dean throughout the story are sure to hit a cord with not just teens (or adults for that matter) struggling with their gender identity, but also with anyone who is struggling with their identity period. The story feels very real and honest and raw while still managing to remain accessible. There are clear struggles (romantic ones, friendship ones, family ones) but ultimately it is still a s ...more
Chloe
Nov 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
*Spoiler free*

A book with a trans main character was all I needed to know to want to read this book. A book with a trans main character figuring out his identity while play Romeo in his school's production of Romeo & Juliet was just more incentive for me to be absolutely to ready to read this book as soon as I can. Trigger warnings: discussion of suicide, transphobia, homophobia

In fact, I actually wanted to read this book so bad that I stooped to incredibly annoying levels to get it. (I am start
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Katie
Oct 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Before Perfect and Real is a wonderful and needed story that will make a difference in people's lives. I hate that the world makes showing who you really are inside such a scary and uncertain experience, but I'm glad there are stories like this one that give teens like Dean a chance to be seen and know that they aren’t alone.

Dean knows he’s trans, but he’s not sure if he’s ready to come out since everyone at school currently thinks he’s a lesbian, including his girlfriend. After being cast as a
...more
Phoebe E
Nov 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the kind of book that is going to change someone's life. "Between Perfect and Real" is a YA novel that combines the usual ups-and-downs of senior year in high school (college applications, stressing about the future, trying out for the school play, and so on) with a journey of self-discovery as Dean learns and begins to define who he is. And for Dean, that means realizing that he's trans and that he doesn't want to use the pronouns once given to him, that never sat quite right with him. ...more
micah
Nov 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
thank you to netgalley and abrams kids for a free e-arc of between perfect and real in exchange for an honest review.

this book is going to mean a lot to someone one day.

i feel like i could say that for many (every) lgbtq+ book i read. but it’s worth saying. this book is going to mean a lot to someone one day, and i’m so glad it exists.

between perfect and real introduces us to dean who just wants to be himself as he is: a trans guy. but he is still trying to figure out how to do that, and what it
...more
Margo F
Nov 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The second I started to read this book, I couldn't put it down. Some books need to be read in one sitting, and Between Perfect and Real is one of them.

First and foremost, I feel it's important to say that as someone who is not apart of the trans community, I cannot speak to the representation. However, with my knowledge as an ally and the book being own-voices I do feel comfortable with using this story to help myself learn and grow.

In this book, Stoeve may have done the best job writing realist
...more
Jarka Alam
Oct 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I want to start by saying that one day this book will be very important to someone. The struggles faced by Dean throughout the story are sure to hit a cord with not just teens (or adults for that matter) struggling with their gender identity, but also with anyone who is struggling with their identity period. The story feels very real and honest and raw while still managing to remain accessible. There are clear struggles (romantic ones, friendship ones, family ones) but ultimately it is still a s ...more
Andrew
Nov 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, fiction, lgbtq
Dean has always been a masculine person, but it's not until he lands the starring role of Romeo in the school play that it really hits him-- he's transgender. Until now, he's been okay living as a tomboy lesbian... but the more he explores his identity, both as Dean and Romeo, the more he realizes it's time to transition in the real world. I was glued to this novel, which expertly and authentically portrays both the positive and negative interactions one may face that come with the courageous an ...more
dani
Oct 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
E Arc provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

It's pretty rare that I basically read a book over night these days but I was so invested in Dean Foster's story. I loved this book! The story starts when Dean Foster gets the part of Romeo in his school play and follows him to his very last performance. His arc from beginning to end was so satisfying to me. And the sense of community and allyship literally brought tears to my eyes at some points. I think this story will be especially
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Morgan
Oct 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bring on all the trans coming out and self acceptance stories, please! This heartwarming story is about Dean Foster’s coming out and understanding himself as a trans guy. The timeline of the story starts with the auditions for Romeo and Juliet and follows through the last performance. I enjoyed the presence of high school theater and the way it gave Dean opportunities for growth without overtaking the plot.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story and the way it presented queer friendships and community.
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Lyndall Clipstone
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Sep 16, 2019
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Ray Stoeve is a queer & nonbinary writer. They received a 2016-2017 Made at Hugo House Fellowship for their young adult fiction.

They are a contributor to Take The Mic: Fictional Stories of Everyday Resistance, an anthology out now from Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic Books. Their first young adult novel, Between Perfect and Real, will be published by Amulet Books in April 2021, with a second standalon
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