Caidyn (BW Reviews; he/him/his)'s Reviews > Luna

Luna by Julie Anne Peters
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did not like it
bookshelves: young-adult-fiction, queer-reads, dnf
Read 2 times. Last read June 3, 2018 to June 10, 2018.

This review can also be found here!

DNF at 20%

TW: transphobia, misgendering, deadnaming, and others since I DNFed it

Wow was this reread problematic.

But let’s backtrack.

When I was a young transman, still figuring out what the fuck that meant for me, I read this book. Along with a few others. But this one really stood out for me because I remember enjoying it. And it helped me ground myself in basic details.

But rereading it?

Nope. Just… nope.

First of all, it’s told from the perspective of Liam/Lia Marie/Luna’s (I’ll get to her later) cisgender sister, Regan. While I like that a cis author didn’t try tackling this book by writing as a transwoman, I also don’t think that Regan was the right way to get the message across. More to that later, though.

Liam/Lia Marie/Luna was just… ugh. I don’t know how to say it, really. Regan saw her as other. As weird. As different. And I don’t think that was the right way to do it. It really made Liam/Lia Marie/Luna set in stereotypes without trying to confront them. This book was published in 2004, back when we weren’t thinking about this as much as we are now. It wasn’t a publicly talked about thing while it is now. It’s becoming socially acceptable in the eyes of cisgender people. We’re discovering more.

But this book did not age well. It came across as offensive.

You have Regan, who has known that Liam/Lia Marie/Luna (and yes, she’s referred to all those names because Regan couldn’t get that correct) is trans for ages. And she didn’t care enough to do any research to find out about this. So it leaves LLL (I’m too tired to write that out now) to explain it all.

And it’s just infodumping about what some transpeople do with gender confirmation surgeries, called sex reassignment in this book. Not all transpeople go on hormones. Not all have surgeries. Not all have every surgery possible. Hell, I don’t want to have all the surgeries. One was enough thank you very much.

Then, you have the subplot of Regan trying to find herself and live up to her brother/sister (because, again, LLL is called both). And what was the point of it? Why not focus on a sibling relationship with Regan actually caring about her sibling, caring enough to find out more information about this very important thing her sibling is going through? Why not show her progression to understanding and actually using the write language to talk to her with?

It was just… it worked for me when I was navigating this and it helped me prepare for telling my family, along with expecting them to not get it correct 100% of the time because it’s a process even for the most accepting families. And I was lucky to have an accepting family.

But this is not the right book to tell the story of a transwoman coming into her own. Telling it from an outside perspective made LLL feel even more like a freak. This book could have been incredibly empowering but it wasn’t on a reread. It wasn’t even worth my time.

So, do I recommend this? Fuck no. It got to me. It made me cringe. It made me wince. It made me feel bad for this character who is a stereotype of what cispeople think of transpeople. LLL became a walking stereotype written by an author who didn’t seem to understand or have researched what she was writing.

There are better books out there than this offensive piece of crap. And yes, I said it. It was well-meaning, but it’s offensive and plain bad at promoting old beliefs that were on the way out when it was written.

Original review where my thoughts on this were VERY different:

This book has greatly impacted my life. Thanks to this book I figured out something about myself that I'll never let anyone take away. Before this book I had no idea what transgendered was, so it taught me quite a lot through someone's watching eyes, and when I heard it it connected home. A bit after reading this and numerous other books about the topic I began to identify myself as a FtM (Female to Male) trans. That was a year ago and I'm happier than I've ever been in my whole life, out to my parents and some friends. This book will always hold a special place for me in my heart.

But onto the actual book now.

The way it was told from another's perspective was refreshing and one that I enjoy greatly. Peters grasped the characters completely, never wavering once from how they were set up. The support of the sister was what truly made me love the book. It was sweet and perfect for the story.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
October 13, 2012 – Shelved
February 22, 2015 – Shelved as: young-adult-fiction
February 27, 2015 – Shelved as: queer-reads
June 3, 2018 – Started Reading
June 3, 2018 –
5.0% "Tbh, this book is pretty progressive for being published in 2004."
June 3, 2018 –
9.0% "And we've gotten to the areas that didn't age well. Such as a joke using the R word."
June 3, 2018 –
17.0% "So far, this book is just okay. When I read it, I can see why I loved it back then but now? Not so much."
June 4, 2018 –
20.0% "I have to say it, all. This book isn't good. Nope. But was it important to me and groundbreaking for the time it was published? Sure. Do I want to keep reading this? Nope."
June 10, 2018 – Shelved as: dnf
June 10, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)

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Peggy Love your review and your personal story. I serve as advisor to the GSA club at my school, which really should be called the LGBTQA etc. club, but at any rate, I hope that this book and clubs such as ours help young people to discover themselves and those who support them at an earlier age. Peace.

Nenia ⚔️ Queen of Villainy ⚔️ Campbell Sadly this doesn't shock me. I've only read a handful of Julie Anne Peters books and something about her narrative style has always rubbed me the wrong way. :/

Caidyn (BW Reviews; he/him/his) Yeahhh. I've read 4-5 (? I can't remember) of her books and I think I only liked 2-3. This one included. But if I went back and read them now? Nope. This book just is a relic that needs to stay in the past.

Nenia ⚔️ Queen of Villainy ⚔️ Campbell Well, your review was amazing. :-)

Caidyn (BW Reviews; he/him/his) Aw, thank you Nenia! <3

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