Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Luna by Julie Ann Peters

I recently bought Luna from Amazon with a gift card that I won.  This book has been on my To Read list for over a year so I was glad to get the chance to read it.  Here's the Goodreads blurb:

Regan's brother Liam can't stand the person he is during the day. Like the moon from whom Liam has chosen his female namesake, his true self, Luna, only reveals herself at night. In the secrecy of his basement bedroom Liam transforms himself into the beautiful girl he longs to be, with help from his sister's clothes and makeup. Now, everything is about to change-Luna is preparing to emerge from her cocoon. But are Liam's family and friends ready to welcome Luna into their lives? Compelling and provocative, this is an unforgettable novel about a transgender teen's struggle for self-identity and acceptance.
This book did not disappoint.  The only thing that bothered me was that Regan was the narrator and not Liam.  I really wanted to know what Liam/Luna was feeling and thinking.  This book really focused on how others react or feel when dealing with someone who is transgendered.  I think a split narrative could have really opened up this book but it is still great as is.  Lately, I have been learning a great deal about transgendered people through Tumblr.  There is a pretty active community there.  There are routinely people looking for a place to sleep or a trans sensitive doctor.  It hit me really hard that some children would be forced from their homes by their parents because of how they were born.  I would never do that to my kids and I can only guess at how these people must feel.  Not only are they uncomfortable in their own bodies but they have to constantly worry about other people's issues with them.  It's just an awful situation.  Conversely, I have seen some parents being attacked for being too proactive with their trans children.  Personally, I think I would be in support of giving puberty blockers prior to putting a child through the "wrong" puberty.  In terms of the book, Liam has contemplated suicide before.  He nearly did kill himself.  He did try to remove his male genitals.  Luna is suffering inside Liam's body.  Often in this book I found myself wanting to smack Regan and her parents for their behavior regarding Liam.  Could Luna's life have been better if her family had been supportive?  I think so.  Granted, I could understand some of the stress that Regan felt as the one person who knew Luna and as the one member of their family trying to help Liam.  Liam also could be kind of self centered but obviously the situation was all consuming for him.  This book was an emotional read that I just could not put down.  It left me pained but hopeful for Regan and Luna.  I think that is the best test of a book, if it can create an emotional reaction in the reader.

You can find out more about Julie Ann Peters on her website.  You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.  You can click here to add Luna to your Goodreads.  I give Luna 4 Fairies for a stirring and emotional read that deals with a complex issue.

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