Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Symptoms of being Human by Jeff Garvin

The fact that this novel explores gender identity differences in teens should not stop folks from reading.  Of course it is especially good for  GLBTQ kids searching for their place to fit in.  It is filled with universal truths that any kid who has had the experience of not fitting in, of being different in any way.  As this story starts Riley has already attempted suicide and failed.  Riley begins an on-line blog at the encouragement of a supportive counselor.  It rapidly gains a following including one gender identity different teen who is beaten by parents for coming out.  Riley also has an on-line stalker who goes to the same school but who cannot be identified.  All this going on results in anxiety attacks and depression and near giving up for Riley.  It is made worse by the fact that Riley has not come out to the parents, one of whom is a prominent political figure.  When the stalker leaks facts of the blog and of Riley's gender difference to the press, everything comes to a head.  Couldn't put this one down.  Highly recommended.  jdw 2/16

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