Jay is a teenage boy, going through the typical teenage identity crisis: His parents don’t understand him, his old friends are becoming distant, and he’s awkward around the opposite sex. But there’s something different about Jay. His actual name is Jeni.
In a world where most transgender characters are female, it’s nice to read a story about someone achieving manhood…literally. Jay’s parents and their reaction to his new life are portrayed realistically: ‘She’ll grow out of it.’ ‘Where did we go wrong?’ ‘But you’re such a pretty girl!’
Jay refuses to roll with the punches or back down one iota. He approaches his situation with typical male bullheaded stubbornness. If the world has a problem with him, then the world had better change.
Beam does a great job of weaving the real-life problems of transgender youth into a easy-reading, fast-moving story. Obtaining hormones, Jay’s disgust at his breasts and period, and the bureaucracy of changing one’s sex are all dealt with. Most touching is Jay’s simple desire to have a girlfriend, and the guilt of not being able to talk about his past.
This is an exciting, warts and all tale of a young man being true to himself for the first time. It’s not just a story for LGBT youth, but for anyone who appreciates a good, character-driven story.
Review by Brian Katcher. He can be found online at his website.