Thursday, June 5, 2014

Breaking Free by Winter Page

This book is written from the point of view of a trans woman who is attending a new school after her transition.  The story certainly gains authenticity in that it was written by a high school student.  The style is very true to the feel of high school.  Here is the cover and Goodreads blurb:

Raimi Carter is finally a girl, just like she always knew she was meant to be. At a new school where nobody knows she’s had gender reassignment surgery, she hopes to finally live the normal life she’s longed for, happy in her own skin.

Life is great until she discovers a dangerous bully is blackmailing head cheerleader, Clare Strickland, threatening to reveal her secret: she’s gay. As Raimi fights to free Clare from his clutches, the two girls move beyond friendship. But secrets from their pasts and their own fears of coming out tear them apart—maybe forever. Baring their souls to each other could cost them everything. For two girls trapped and desperately in love, only strength, courage, and trust in each other will help them break free and claim their future.
Raimi is an interesting character.  She has had such support in her transition from her family but it does little to negate the fear of starting her new life in a new school.  Many trans people do not have the benefit of their family's support.  There has also been some confusion about Raimi's description of her transition.  I understood it to be that she had been on hormone replacement therapy and possibly the removal of the testes to help balance the hormones.  Some believe that she had already had the extensive bottom surgery.  I did not get that from the story.  Personally, I believe that trans and intersex children should be given time to decide.  I believe that puberty blockers can be very important for these kids.  If they know they are trans or that their gender identity does not match their physical sex, they should have the suppressors to give them time to decide how they need to proceed with puberty.  I think it could save a lot of physical damage and psychological trauma.  It could be that Raimi did have extensive surgeries but I did not see that in her story explicitly.  I will agree with other reviewers that the ending felt extremely rushed and could have done with some greater development.  I did enjoy the story for what it was.  I enjoyed seeing that even someone with great familial support for their transition can face external problems as a trans person.

You can click here to add the book to your Goodreads.  I give Breaking Free 4 Fairies for a great story of the complications of high school and the strangeness that every teen feels.

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