"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales." Albert Einstein

11 January 2013

Run, Clarissa, Run

Eliason, Rachel. Run, Clarissa, Run. Rachel Eliason, 2012.

Clarissa is a transgender teen who has been raised as a boy named Clark. [For the sake of consistency and simplicity, I am choosing to refer to Clarissa by her chosen name and preferred gender, regardless of her gender presentation.]  Clarissa is constantly teased at school, often violently so, and is misunderstood by her mother, her brother, even her therapist. After some unfortunate incidents involving the father of a family for whom Clarissa babysits, Clarissa decides to run away to Bangkok where she hires a doctor and receives the SRS (sex reassignment surgery) that she has been dreaming of.

This story has a lot of interesting aspects - the computer hacking Clarissa does, for example.  It also seems to me that Clarissa has to deal with a larger portion of problems than a typical teen - even a typical transgender teen - does.  The man for whom she is babysitting seduces her and nearly rapes her (making her the fourth in a line of teens who were assaulted by this man).  Once she runs away, the FBI and the State Department come after her.  There's a subplot where Tony, her almost-rapist, is accused of insider trading.

This was a difficult story to read. I didn't want Clarissa to have to face SRS alone, much less in a country halfway around the world.  I wanted the school bullies to learn not to tease.  I wanted everything to end happily ever after.  Even though it didn't, the story itself was very satisfying to read.

I have only one caveat: The author of this story self-published her work, so the book did not go through the normal round of edits that comes from a major publisher.  English gurus and grammar nazis will be bothered by misuses of set/sat, then/than, apostrophes, commas, etc.  The errors are not so extreme that they caused me to put the book down, but they were a distracting annoyance in what was otherwise a very interesting story.

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