February 15th, 2010

gay patron saint, gay tantric sex

Parrotfish (Ellen Wittlinger, 2007) [2010-01-22]

[GoodReads]

♥ Yes, this book is About Being Trans, and it is Educating you the reader, but it's so good. (Caveat: The exoticization of one of the secondary characters made me uncomfortable.) Yes, things go much more easily happily than is likely realistic, but people deserve to see lives like theirs reflected in positive ways. The dead/evil cliche has been around long enough. Especially since I think this is the ONLY ya book with a trans protagonist. (Lee Wind's Transgender Teen Characters/Themes list has a couple YA books -- The Suicide Year and The Sweet In-Between: A Novel -- which I haven't read yet but which seem more like the protagonist cross-dresses because of a particular situation, so it may deal with gender issues but it doesn't actually have a trans protagonist per se.)
andro

Luna (Julie Anne Peters, 2004) [2010-02-13]

[GoodReads]

I reread this after having finally read Parrotfish. My mom got an ARC of this through work (and gave it to me, obv.), and I have barely any memories of that first reading experience.

Ari read this book last year (July, 2009) and commented, "it was really pissing me off (because the protagonist is the younger sister of a trans girl, and she, the protagonist, is trying really hard? But she gets pronouns wrong, and doesn't really understand, and I am auto-fixing pronouns in my head and it's really, really frustrating)." So when I read it this year, I had Ari's comments very much in mind. As I was reading, I kept forgetting about Ari's criticism because it felt so natural that Regan (the trans character's little sister) was referring to her sibling with male or female pronouns depending on how the sibling was presenting -- though yes of course it's problematic, since Regan's sibling is female, regardless of presentation.

Other notes:

I really didn't care about Regan's het romance plotline -- and I winced a lot.

After I finished the book, I found myself wondering who the target audience for this book is.
crazy [lavellebelle]

Cycler (Lauren McLaughlin, 2008) [2010-02-14]

[GoodReads]

On my GoodReads because mosca got it at ComicCon 2008. I'd completely forgotten about it until I was trawling my GoodReads in my trans YA lit binge. (Though having read it, I took off the "trans" tag, because the protagonist is not actually trans. It does deal with queer sexuality some, but not because of cycling nature of the narrator.)

Reading this right after rereading Luna was maybe not the best idea ever. I felt really angry and frustrated at the beginning -- though it gets better. I was also like, "Ugh! (teen) het romances! do not want care!"

Having recently read Parrotfish, I felt a little like, "What's up with the quirky (best friend) characters in YA lit?" but I kind of love them, so I can't really complain. The mom seemed a little OTT (over the top), but the world of the novel is bizarre enough that I mostly just rolled with it.

The jacket flap says the author "is currently at work on the sequel to Cycler." I am hopeful that the sequel [which I hadn't realized was already out] will have more mature exploration of gender (and identity) issues and also [speculation redacted].
you think you know...

Almost Perfect (Brian Katcher, 2009) [2010-02-15]

[GoodReads]

I added this to my GoodReads after reading Lee Wind's review. Then mjules read it, and had comments which reminded me of Ari's complaints about Luna. So I was pleasantly surprised by the protagonist's reactions overall. (Also, I really liked that he almost always referred to Sage as "she," even when he was first feeling all, "Ugh, Sage is really a guy." He has only ever known Sage as "she," so that response makes perfect sense -- see also my comments on Luna.)

Jules makes a good point about the fact that this might be difficult to read as a trans person, though -- it didn't occur to me in reading it (hi, I am cisgendered) but which on reflection, yeah. However, I was really pleased that the reactions to Sage's revelation were varied and plausible. Collapse )
abundance

Tomorrow is Shrove Tuesday.

I still haven't really thought a lot about a Lenten discipline. Which isn't to say I think I (or anyone) have to have one.

I would like to start actually finishing sermons again, but that's not exactly a Lenten discipline.

I'll be attending weekday morning prayer at First Church, but that doesn't feel like a (Lenten) discipline either.

I think I'd like to get more intentional about saying grace before eating -- I've developed a habit of saying it as I'm preparing my food or as I'm walking from where I've gotten the food to where I'm going to eat it, and I think I'd like to take a moment to actually stop and be mindful.