"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

07 February 2013

Confessions of a Teenage Hermaphrodite

Simon, Lianne. Confessions of a Teenage Hermaphrodite. Faie Miss Press, 2012.

Meh. I wanted this book to be good. There are so few YA books about LGBTQIA (especially BTQIA) teens, I was glad to find one about an intersex person. Jamie/Jameson has been raised as a boy, but she feels that she is a girl, and she wants to live her life as the princess she feels she is. Her dad, though, is insistent that she is a boy, going so far as to invent rules for her to live by and whipping her as he would a son.

She's 16. She's away at college. She starts living as a girl. Dad gets mad. She's 18 - still living as a girl and still not at home. She wants to marry and adopt a couple of orphans, but her dad still thinks she needs to come home and go into some kind of gender therapy and become a boy. Then everything gets resolved and she lives happily ever after.

Like I said, I wanted this book to be good. But the narration switches from first person to third person frequently, so I never felt like I was truly inside Jamie's head. And I got SO frustrated at her insistence on obeying her parents even when she was an adult and not even living with them - she knew she was a girl, the doctor agreed she was a girl, so why did she keep trying to be a boy for her dad? Argh.  And her family was sort of religious, but not really, so I was confused when they started talking about Bible verses just randomly.  Having spent a considerable amount of time in a strict religious near-cult, I know what that kind of environment is like, and this book didn't paint that picture quite right. I was unconvinced.

I guess I wanted to be in Jamie's head more, and I wanted her to have a backbone. Better luck next time.

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