Monday, February 5, 2018

BOOK REVIEW: Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher

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Title: Almost Perfect
Author: Brian Katcher
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQIA+
Pages: 368
Pub Date: January 01, 2009
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Book Source: Personal collection
My Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars



**POSSIBLE SPOILERS**

Synopsis: You only hurt the ones you love.

Logan Witherspoon recently discovered that his girlfriend of three years cheated on him. But things start to look up when a new student breezes through the halls of his small-town high school. Sage Hendricks befriends Logan at a time when he no longer trusts or believes in people. Sage has been homeschooled for a number of years and her parents have forbidden her to date anyone, but she won't tell Logan why. One day, Logan acts on his growing feelings for Sage. Moments later, he wishes he never had. Sage finally discloses her big secret: she's actually a boy. Enraged, frightened, and feeling betrayed, Logan lashes out at Sage and disowns her. But once Logan comes to terms with what happened, he reaches out to Sage in an attempt to understand her situation. But Logan has no idea how rocky the road back to friendship will be.
             - - - 
“Everyone has that one line they swear they'll never cross, the one thing they say they'll never do. Not something serious like I'll never kill anyone or I'll never invade Russia in the winter. Usually, it's something less earth-shattering.

I'll never cheat on her.
I'll never work at a job I hate.
I'll never give up on my dreams.


We draw the line. Maybe we even believe it. That's why it's so hard when we break that promise we make to ourselves.

Sage Hendricks was my line.”
This book was tough for me to rate.

DISLIKES

1.) The synopsis says this: “Sage finally discloses her big secret: she's actually a boy.”—I have a problem with this, because the entire point of this book is to bring awareness about transgendered individuals, correct? Sage is not a boy, she is a FEMALE. She was born with male genitals, but she is not a boy. THIS IS THE ENTIRE POINT! This tells me that even the author (or whoever wrote the blurb) doesn't completely get it. Hell, I don't even completely get it. I am a cis female and I only understand it to the degree that is possible for me, but I do know this {the blurb} is backward thinking.

2.) Logan. I had a love/hate relationship with him. He used the word “fag” and that kills me. He wanted to hit Sage (granted, he did not) and that is too violent for me. Yes, he did come around, but his initial thoughts and reaction, although realistic, just killed me.

LIKES:

1.) As I said above, Logan was realistic character. I do appreciate that. He was falling for a girl only to learn that she had a penis. I get the anger. I understand the confusion. He was ignorant. It happens ALL THE TIME. I am glad that the author didn't make him into the perfect, understanding boy we all wish existed. He was angry and felt betrayed. He lashed out, and as much as it pissed me off, I understood. He made up for it slowly, bit by bit, to the best of his ability. I enjoyed the parts of the book where he interacted with Sage's father. He defended her being a female and stood up to the father. That was nice to see.

2.) Sage was an amazing character. I enjoyed her confidence SO much! I like that she entered the story as a person who already knew she was transgender. She wasn't questioning or confused, but already on hormone therapy and beginning the transition process. She had plans for her future and a way to pay for her surgeries. She was confident and outgoing, not afraid and not trying to stay hidden.

3.) The ending. The ending was perfect. It wasn't an unrealistic happily-ever-after. It was more of a bittersweet type of ending. I won't spoil it, but it was definitely the type of ending I would want for a book like this.

OVERALL:

Aside from the synopsis, I think both the transgender character and situation were handled well, respectively, and that the book was well-written. I enjoyed the characters. I found them relatable and easy to become invested in. The plot was deep enough that I was emotionally involved and thoroughly cared about the outcome of the situation. It was a lovely book and sheds a true light on how some transgendered individuals—specifically male to female—can be treated by their peers and others around them. I definitely recommend this book!
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