Sunday, February 20, 2011

Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher

What you need to know:  This is a beautiful, winsome romance that just happens to feature a trans-gender character.  

Summary: Logan, a small town boy in the flyover state of Missouri, is in a slump.  After finding out that his long-term girlfriend cheated on him, he can't seem to find any motivation.  But things change when Sage moves to town.  New people are a novelty in Boyer, and a new girl like Sage is revolutionary.  Tall, beautiful and fashionable, Logan crushes hard on Sage.  But when Sage reveals that she is a male-to-female transsexual, Logan must reevaluate his entire world view.  Does finding Sage attractive make him gay?  And in the end, what are his feelings for her? 

What Worked: This book is damn near perfect.  Logan, a throughly decent guy, has extreme, but understandable, reactions to Sage.   His cycle of denial, anger and acceptance might seem hackneyed to more sophisticated readers, but Katcher nails the voice of a fatherless teen boy who is both mature and naive.  Also beautifully rendered is Sage, giddy with freedom after years of homeschooling that was more like house arrest, making typical teenage mistakes, but finding the stakes to be much higher.  The sweetness of the romance, as these two work out their unique situation, made my heart melt, just a little.  I think my favorite thing about this book is the ending, which is not "happily-ever-after" perfect, but realistically upbeat.  

What Didn't:  The book is a little long, and might feel repetitive as the couple takes one step forward and two steps back.  Also, Sage makes some very stupid decisions, not the least of which is taking illegal Mexican hormones.  This is not a behavior to be emulated.   

However:  Katcher addresses this in the back matter of the book, warning teens about the danger.  

Who Would I Give This Book To?  Teens who love the weighty romances of Sarah Dessen and Jenny Han.  Fans of David Levithan's books.  Teens with an interest in GLBTQ books and  teens looking for coming of age stories.  

Also Note:  This is an awesome cover!  It perfectly reflects the tone of the book!  

No comments:

Post a Comment