Regan's brother Liam can't stand the person he is during the day. Like the moon from whom Liam has chosen his female namesake, his true self, Luna, only reveals herself at night. In the secrecy of his basement bedroom Liam transforms himself into the beautiful girl he longs to be, with help from his sister's clothes and makeup. Now, everything is about to change - Luna is preparing to emerge from her cocoon. But are Liam's family and friends ready to welcome Luna into their lives?
Compelling and provocative, this is an unforgettable novel about a transgender teen's struggle for self-identity and acceptance.
©2004 Julie Anne Peters (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
Let me start out by saying that I loved this book. If that's the only bit of information you require, then read no further. If you would like to know why, then let me tell you.
As someone with a transgendered sibling, I was instantly drawn to the premise of this book. I went into this expecting a story like my own, with a sibling that did what she pleased no matter how it angered everyone, maybe even to cause such anger in everyone just to spite them for making her feel so different. Luna's story was not like that, and I'm glad. She was still a believable character in every aspect. Each person who goes through something like this, some form of alienation from peers and family, will react differently, and I appreciated the perspective of someone who tried to hide themself away until they felt ready to express who they really were, something that will probably resonate with most people, no matter what you've experienced. I adored Luna's spirit, and I despaired every time she hurt (though sometimes it was her own doing). The courage it took to be herself in the end is admirable, and the strength she had to walk away from a potentially damaging situation is something every struggling person can strive for.
The other characters were incredibly realistic as well. The parents were probably the closest to my own experience. I too had a father who used to be successful and really, really wanted a boy, and a mother who made the money in the family and sort of pretended nothing was wrong so she wouldn't have to deal with the backlash. The sister, Regan, while very unlike me in how we handled our siblings, was a wonderful, encouraging narrator. She was naive and stubborn at times, but she showed continual love for Luna, even when Luna did things that negatively affected Regan's life. It's the type of support everyone deserves, and the sort of family member someone like Luna desperately needed.
The story itself was incredible, and even though the narrator wasn't the main character (Luna is the main character), we still saw Luna's very real struggle and how she coped with her life. While hearing from Luna's perspective about the difficulties she faced would have been fascinating, I did appreciate the message this book chose to send instead. The narrative was more about how others/society need to come to accept transgendered people as, well, REGULAR PEOPLE instead of labeling them and othering them as something that isn't normal. That is a powerful message in a y.a. book.
My only complaint is the guy who reads this book. I understand the point/meaning of a guy reading a book that's supposed to be from a girl's perspective. It was a nice touch in this audiobook about a transgendered girl. While Brad Raimondo did a fantastic job with his interpretation of Luna, and most of the time he did a very good Regan, he made some of the other characters into caricatures. The dad was always a stiff jock type, the mom was an overworked busybody, and the girls in Regan's class all seemed stuck up. I suppose if we take into account that they're all supposed to be shown as Regan interprets them, then he did a fine job, but I felt there could have been a bit more depth to those other voices.
All in all, this is a wonderful book, and well worth the listen. Use your credit on something else and straight up buy this book. You need it.
could have been a deep emotional topic but was so predictable and base. i was disappointed
The way the author writes in the book is amazing, and you really get to know Luna in the point of view of Regan. I can see it being really inspirational to men or woman that are transexual, and feel too scared to be who they really are.
Brian Katcher's Almost Perfect, but this one is FAR better.
Warning: minor spoilers.
Back in the 70's, the gay novels were the controversial ones, usually with sad endings up to the MC commiting suicide. Nowadays, the transgender novels are the contoversial ones, where the TG character is the one whom nobody understands and whom struggles to find his/her identity. Both in the 70's novels and in the present days ones, there's an acceptance and tolerance message towards the gay/transgender character that is contrasted with other characters' lack of understanding. It's implied that the TG character has the right to "transition" (as mentioned in this novel) and the rest of the world has to accept his/her decision as if it were everyday stuff, like changing socks. Whether the rest of the world has a vision and values that openly crash with being transgender or even gay (e.g. many religions are openly against homosexuality, not to say transgender people) it doesn't matters. The TG characters have the divine right to do their transition.
Luna/Liam, an obsessed 17 yo boy-transitioning-to-girl teenager, is a very selfish character who only thinks in herself. According to her, she's a girl in the wrong body and everybody else must accept it not mattering what they think. Not mattering whether the situation is driving her mother nuts up to the point that her mother needs to take pills. Not mattering whether her father is incapable of understanding her--mainly because she never comes clean explaining him what the hell is going on. Not mattering whether her sister is permanently stressed and even lacks sleep because every night she goes into her sister's room to dress like a girl.
Luna is so obsessed with transitioning that she is incapable of thinking in her family and friends. In the end, she destroys her family (it's not explained, but after the way in which the novel ends, I would expect her parents to divorce), she hurts her best friend (a girl who was actually in love with Liam in his masculine form), and she deeply hurts her sister and novel-narrator Reagan.
Is the novel worth reading? It certainly is! Don't expect a homage to the LGBT comunity, but a rough account of how being TG affects other people. Yes, nowadays it's politically correct to be in favour of gays and TGs, except that there are many people that because of their religious or personal values cannot accept the idea, and even get deeply hurt when a relation openly accepts his/her gay/TG state. The fashions is to cry that acceptance must be excersised. However, inmersed in this acceptance-overall politicaly-correct fashion, nobody stops to think how difficult acceptance may be. Whether being gay or TG is good or bad, I don't know. What I know is that accepting gays or TG is very difficult for many people, and even more if deep religious beliefs are in between.
This novels presents the struggle of those people closely related to a TG person. Also, how selfish the TG person can be, inmersed in her/his idea which turns in his/her exclusive goal. It's not like Wendy Darling saif, that Reagan is selfish, but on te contrary. This is a very well narrated story that shows that there should be tolerance and understanding... from both sides.
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