05 June 2011
Katcher, Brian. Almost Perfect. New York: Delacorte Press, 2009.
I almost didn't read this book. I picked it up at the library and read the synopsis, which starts with "Logan is sad because his girlfriend cheated on him." Okay, so that's a bit of a paraphrase, but I was instantly turned off. I kind of felt sorry for Logan, but since he is only a character in a novel, I figured I'd leave him and his emotional issues on the shelf. But then I finished the synopsis: Logan lives in a very small town and a new girl, Sage, joins his class at school. Logan befriends Sage and starts to pull out of his "breakup funk" when he discovers a terrifying secret: Sage is biologically male, although she has always felt she was female. This is when the book began to get interesting.
I feel sorry for Sage. I can't claim to understand the issues of transgender individuals, but it's clear from this story that Sage is hurting. She has been rejected by her parents and scares away her friends when they discover the truth. She wants desperately to have a body that matches the gender she believes she is. She has to hide the truth from everyone. Her parents are ashamed of her and have not even let her out of the house for four years.
Like I said, I can't claim to understand this issue in its entirety. I'm not even going to devote more blog space to it. But this book was interesting in its handling of this particular issue, especially the way Logan chooses to respond to Sage and Sage's decisions at the end of the story. If nothing else, this book definitely made me think.