Jessica's Reviews > Luna

Luna by Julie Anne Peters
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Oct 05, 2008

it was amazing

Liam has always known that he was a girl and has kept this knowledge locked away in a steamer trunk to be revealed only at night. Regan has been protecting her brother Liam since she can remember; protecting his secret from the world. During one fateful year, Liam and Regan’s carefully orchestrated lives begin to unravel when Liam can no longer keep Luna under lock and key to be seen only at night. Told from the perspective of Regan, Luna takes the reader on a journey through one teen’s transformative process from a body that is foreign to one that begins to feel like home, a sister’s release from a secret that has ruled most of her life, and the disastrous effects of unsupportive parents living in denial.

Luna is a beautifully written, well-developed, and thoughtful novel about the issues confronting transgender teens. Peters employs a few interesting narrative constructs to flesh out her story that include a narrator other than Luna herself and the use of the present tense in the flashbacks. Although Peters’ decision to have Regan as the narrator rather than Luna had to do with authenticity of voice , it was an interesting way to capture the ripple effect transgender identities have on family and friends. The present-tense flashbacks create an immediacy of the past that is at times uncomfortable, as if the characters are in two places at once with barely a tether. Moreover, Luna has been nominated for numerous awards both within the industry and reader’s choice arena and is a National Book Award Finalist.

Overall, this book is a wonderful read. YA literature has come a long way since my teen days in the 1980s. Peters’ writing style is both sophisticated and approachable. The present-tense flashbacks are highly effective in piecing the often storied lives of the characters. As I mentioned earlier, I did struggle a bit with Regan as narrator. I’m not sure I believe that a non-transgendered person couldn’t write an authentic and plausible voice for a TS character. With Regan as narrator, I was unable to delve deeper into Luna’s thoughts and life without having them vetted through her sister first, especially Luna’s unfolding relationship with Terri Lynn. In the end, I guess I didn’t want the book to end.
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