Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin
• February 2, 2016 • Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins)
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The first thing you’re going to want to know about me is: Am I a boy, or am I a girl?
Riley Cavanaugh is many things: Punk rock. Snarky. Rebellious. And gender fluid. Some days Riley identifies as a boy, and others as a girl. The thing is . . . Riley isn’t exactly out yet. And between starting a new school and having a congressman father running for reelection in uber-conservative Orange County, the pressure—media and otherwise—is building up in Riley’s so-called “normal” life.
On the advice of a therapist, Riley starts an anonymous blog to vent those pent-up feelings and tell the truth of what it’s REALLY like to be a gender-fluid teenager. But just as Riley’s starting to settle in at school—even developing feelings for a mysterious outcast—the blog goes viral, and an unnamed commenter discovers Riley’s real identity, threatening exposure. Riley must make a choice: walk away from what the blog has created—a lifeline, new friends, a cause to believe in—or stand up, come out, and risk everything.
I received this book for free from HarperCollins for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
First sentence: “The first thing you’re going to want to know about me is: Am I a boy, or am I a girl?”
Ever wonder what it means to be gender fluid? Symptoms of Being Human does that; it introduces readers to a gender identity that most people don’t know even exist. I knew about gender fluid identity, but my understanding of it was vague.
(Note: The pronouns I’m using for Riley is they/their, as that is a gender-neutral pronoun.)
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