Thursday October 15, 2009
by Brian Katcher
Available October 16, 2009
Logan Whitherspoon recently discovered that his girlfriend of three years cheated on him. Since then–much to his friends’ dismay–he has been despressed, pessimistic, and obessed with this ex, Brenda. But things start to look up for Logan when a new student breezes through the halls of his small-town high school. Tall, unconventionally pretty, and a bit awkward, Sage Hendricks somehow appeals to Logan even at a time when he trusts no one. As Logan learns more about Sage, he realizes that she needs a friend as much as he does, if not more. She has been homeschooled for several years, and her parents have forbidden her to date, but she won’t tell Logan why. The mystery of Sage’s past and the oddities of her personality intrigue Logan, and one day, he acts on his growing attraction and kisses her. Moments later, however, he wishes he hadn’t. Sage finally discloses her big secret: she’s actually a boy.
I requested to review this book wayyyyy back in June when I found out about it's existence on Brian Katcher's website. His first book, Playing With Matches is one of my all time favorite books and I was super excited to read anything he had to offer!
Obviously, after reading the plot summary there's no getting around the fact that the topic of this book is very controversial/sensitive/emotional (insert your own adjective here). Luckily Brian has an obvious talent for writing about these emotional issues...his first book Playing With Matches is about a boy who befriends and ultimately falls for a girl whose face was horribly disfigured in a childhood accident...so I expected nothing less and am more than a little impressed with his writing in Almost Perfect.
I'm sure that a lot of you are questioning the possibility of any teenage boy especially one from a small town in the middle of the United States being open to befriending a transgender teen, let alone the friendship blossoming to anything else. It seems unlikely but the author does an excellent job of laying a foundation, giving a history and background to Logan that shows how it is completely possible. The lack of basically any male role model, being raised by two strong, emotionally available women and the fact that he is on the rebound from having his heart completely broken.
Despite his later intentions, Logan is only human and his first reactions to Sage's disclosure is verbally brutal. As far as the plot goes I will tell you this and I'm telling you this because I do NOT like books (or movies for that matter) that have THE scene...you know, The Boys Don't Cry scene that is so violent you avoid it like the plague. I know, I know sometimes it needs to done but that doesn't mean I have to like it! I was really afraid that I was going to have to deal with it here but don't worry it doesn't go that far. Does Sage deal with hateful, potentially violent people? Yes. Do you have to worry about a teen reading this book and being scarred for life? No. Katcher does an excellent job of making the point without making you want to poke out your mind's eye.
Yes, what I'm trying to tell you is that this is a tremendous, awesome, spectacular book. If you want something outside-the-box, something cutting-edge that will make you actually think about the topic then read this book now! An eye opening powerful read that you won't soon forget.
Appropriate for age 14 and up.
Visit Brian Katcher's website
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