Monday, May 9, 2011

Book Review - I Am J

I Am JI Am J by Cris Beam

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I went to this book at the recommendation of a friend. The beginning was slow, without that recommendation I would have put this aside. I'm glad I didn't. I am J deals with a boy born into a girl's body by mistake. He has no doubt what he is and bristles at being called a lesbian. That may be the one big fault I found, his homophobia which he does overcome after spending time with other GLBTQ people. J is clear that he is a boy, and has realized this since he was two or three. It's his body that's wrong. He goes to great lengths to push aside traces of femininity, binding his breasts and studying how other men walk and act so he can be more himself.

He is lucky to have friends who accept him, and are willing to help his journey toward getting T - testosterone, the hormone that will allow him to be more himself. His family poses a continued problem along his journey. I found myself hurting for him, and rooting for him to find himself and for his family to come around and accept him.

In many ways this reminded me of Luna, a book about a girl erroneously born into a female body. That story, told from the POV of the girl's younger sister, is an interesting contrast and companion piece to this one. Crossing Lines would form the third part of the transgender triangle, a story of a transgender girl fromt he POV of a homophobic boy who can't understand the boy dressing in girl's clothing. Having read all three and their very different approaches to the issue, I feel I understand things better now.

View all my reviews

No comments: