Laura Ann Dunks's Reviews > Confessions of a Teenage Hermaphrodite

Confessions of a Teenage Hermaphrodite by Lianne Simon
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it was amazing
bookshelves: ya-realistic, lgbt, young-adult

The main character, Jamie is an intersex (hermaphrodite) girl who has been forced by her parents to be a boy her whole life. She struggles with her feelings, God, her friends, and love interests in an attempt to determine the right course of action. She needs to take the hormones to induce a normal puberty, male or female, before it is too late. I will not describe the plot in too much detail because i don’t want to spoil it.
I was gripped by her dilemmas as she tries to please everyone around her and admired her courage as she becomes an adult. I certainly had tears in my eyes a few times. The book covered two year. And yet, there were no areas which I didn’t find gripping. The book was not longer than it should be. And I think that young-adult books should cover a greater time period than is often the case as this can be the most realistic way to tell the story.
The Christian element of the book was present and pushes the boundaries of Christian fiction, but I think stays true to them in the long term. I think it is important for other Christians to realise that God doesn’t make mistakes. I think the book would still appeal to non-Christians, because the message supersedes religion and is not the only focus of the book. It is just one part of Jamie’s journey.
The scientific information was accurate, and as far as I can determine, the experiences of a teenage hermaphrodite have been well portrayed. The voice and use of language are also realistic for a teenager. The style of writing was well done with vivid descriptions and beautiful imagery. The use of grammar and spelling were also successful. I feel the subject and use of language are all appealing to young adult readers, although adult readers like me can emphasize and learn about Jamie’s story.
The characters are all unique and well rounded, although there are a lot of them, but that didn’t bother me.
The only part of the book, which I found weird at first, was the character acting younger than her years and talking in the mirror to her younger female self. It took some getting used to, but eventually I realised that acting younger was Jamie’s way of coping, and at the end, she realised this herself. So I do believe it was an essential part of the plot, even if it was pushing boundaries in terms of literary style.
To conclude, I believe Lianne Simon achieved what is a brilliant gripping story, which educates others about the life of a teenage, intersex character. I applaud her for allowing the book to do that without sacrificing one for the other. I truly think she achieved her intensions and I hope the book educates others, gives those who are in Jamie’s situation a role model, and just provides a good story for those who desire it.
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Reading Progress

August 31, 2012 – Shelved
September 20, 2012 – Started Reading
September 20, 2012 – Shelved as: ya-realistic
September 20, 2012 – Shelved as: lgbt
September 28, 2012 – Shelved as: young-adult
September 28, 2012 – Finished Reading

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