A Rogue Librarian's Reading List

{May 25, 2010}   Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher

Plot: Logan is feeling depressed after breaking up with his cheating girlfriend. His friends think he should forget her and find another love before high school ends. He doesn’t think he’ll ever get over his broken heart until a new girl sashays into class. He finds Sage beautiful and fascinating and she seems to like him too. But dating is no simple matter. Her parents won’t let her go out, even as a friend, and she seems to have some secret she can’t tell him. When he finds out that she was born a boy, he doesn’t know how to react.

Like Luna, this is a novel about transgendered youth told from the perspective of someone close to them. I still hope for a good ya novel in the words of a trans-teen but meanwhile this novel is quite well done. It isn’t always an easy novel. There are moments of sweet teenage romance. But for the most part Logan doesn’t handle Sage’s secret and their relationship well. Logan isn’t a bad person.  He wants to be understanding and to be good to Sage but often he hurts in his attempts to protect himself from public opinion.

But Logan’s journey to acceptance and his regrets do teach us a lot about the difficulty of living as a trans teen and how poorly even the most well intentioned cis-gendered people can deal with the situation. It is not heavy handed but it can be an uncomfortable look at how our society deals with those who are different. Nor does it end well, though one might say it ends with hope. It is well worth a read.


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