Showing posts from June, 2014

Perfectly Good White Boy - Carrie Mesrobian

As Corey Whaley notes in his blurb on the cover, Mesrobian's text, much like Sex & Violence is a "memorable story about growing up in an often ridiculous world." And that's really what this book is, a story of growing up, maturing, and making choices that will affect the future.

Sean Norwhalt is dumped by Hallie. He was her summer boyfriend, but since she's decided to head off to college, he is feeling pretty crappy about his future. He begins to see all possible futures as disposable. One day, though, Sean decides to make changes, so he signs up for the Marine Corps, exactly where nobody thought he would end up. But then he starts to hang out with Neecie Albertson, a girl he never expected to care about.

Perfectly Good White Boy is very much a character-driven novel. This is not to say there is no plot, but character development is at the heart of Sean's story. Sean is not always sympathetic; readers see the good, the bad, and the terrible. Even while Sean…

Alex As Well - Alyssa Brugman

Alex was born a girl… or maybe a boy… or… well, her parents ended up choosing boy. When Alex informs mum and dad that he is, in fact, a girl, all hell breaks loose at home. She stops taking her medication—hormones—her father disappears for a few days, and her mother begins rolling around on the floor, calling Alex a pervert, saying that Alex is killing her with this announcement. Melodramatic? Indeed!
That being said, I was pleasantly surprised by Alex As Well, a novel that dares to ask larger questions about family that other trans and intersex novels seem to ignore. Brugman examines mental illness, friendship (or lack thereof), becoming an adult, intersexuality, and even emancipation. Alex takes the reigns of her life, befriending a lawyer named Crockett, who aids in Alex’s new life, particularly her attempts to get a new birth certificate so she can properly enroll in her new school, and later help her work on the emancipation process.
I said earlier that the book feels somewhat melo…

Pointe - Brandy Colbert

Theo is feeling better these days. She is eating again, back home from treatment, and is on her way to becoming a professional dancer. But then her best friend Donovan shows up after being gone for four years after being abducted. Theo starts to relive her memories of the abduction, and Donovan's abductor. Theo's life is thrown completely upside down and things just keep going from bad to worse. 

     I wish I could say the day Donovan came home was extraordinary from the start, that I woke up knowing something special would happen that Thursday evening in October.
     But the truth is, it's like any other day of the week.
     I go to school, then I get on the train and go to ballet.

Colbert's debut novel is beautiful and chock-full of richly developed characters, both primary and secondary. Not only is the cover incredibly indicative of the lightness and darkness that both reside within Theo, but the flame-like colouring of the title reflects her voracious spirit. Beyon…

Glory O'Brien's History of the Future - A.S. King

I love A.S. King! Yes, I know, I've been a total fanboy since I first read the beautiful, the brave, the fantastic Ask the Passengers (2012). After that, I sort of went on a bender of King's novels and have yet to be disappointed. However, I don't want this to turn into a total gushing session where all I talk about is how I want to have King's babies, so I'll move on to my review.
 So we drank it—the two of us. Ellie drank it first and acted like it tasted good. I followed. And it wasn't half bad.     When we woke up the next morning, everything was different. We could see the future. We could see the past. We could see everything.     You might say, "Why did you drink a bat?" Or, "Who would do that?"     But we weren't thinking about it at the time. It's like being on a fast train that crashes and someone asking you why you didn't jump before it crashed.After reading a few reviews on Goodreads (always a bad idea, but I did it an…