Stella Marshall feels invisible to everyone but her sister Jessica and best friend Jenna. Thanks to their Friday night LGBTQ youth group meetings, she can be true to herself and cast aside the boy she was born as, Steven. The rest of the time, she locks herself away, because if her super conservative, Christian parents ever found out…. When her little sister admits to liking a girl as more than a friend, it becomes ten times harder for Stella to keep up the charade. She wants to stand by Jess and take some of the heat away, and that means coming out of the closet—even if it costs Stella her family and the girl of her dreams, Lillian Nelson. Unfortunately, it’s too frightening to give up the security of hiding behind Steven. But Stella knows she has to be brave, for herself and her sister.
An absolutely lovely and short story (around 100 pages) about coming out a girl in a boy’s body. About family, siblings, parents, and close friends.
True to my usual form, I have jumped feet first into a series at #2, but it was totally standalone, and I will run and buy book #1 as soon as possible.
To free the person stuck inside the wrong body must be devilishly difficult. This story takes a beautiful look at how Steven struggles to become Stella, and how she manages to stay true to herself.
I am not a religious person, but I loved how there was also talk about how there are churches that accept you as you are, churches that don’t condemn you before even knowing you. Look for them! Search them out, if you need them!
This is a great book for young people, adolescents, who are looking for answers, and maybe finding that they are not so strange as they feel inside. Adolescence is a difficult moment at the best of times, and feeling lonely is a big part of that. Here, a young person can see how it is to be unique, not lonely.
There is no sex, only two sweet kisses, so if you are looking for something to put into the hands of your young ones, (perhaps 12-18?), you can relax. There is no talk of bits and pieces either, quite unusual for a transgender book. Very refreshing.
I found the story absolutely charming, with a little moment of angst, and then full of love and understanding—even though there, at first, was quite an upheaval within the family.
I adored the best friend’s mother, who told Stella there would always be room for her in her home, if needed. That is how you act as an adult, that is how you take responsibility for all our children, not just the ones that are straight and your own. Kudos for showing a real human being.
Warmly recommended. Will look for more books from this author, who says in the afterword that she wants to write stories for young people for whom very few stories exist.
I approve with all my heart.
“I love you, I don’t understand you, but I love you.”
I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher, Harmony Ink Press, and a positive review wasn’t promised in return.
Find this book at: Harmony Ink/Dreamspinner Press
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