Kristin Elizabeth Clark, October 2013. This novel in verse is told from three points of view: Brendan, the protagonist, is a straight boy who is starting to wish he were a girl. Vanessa is his girlfriend, who’s stopped hanging out with anyone but Brendan and doesn’t have a shoulder left to cry on when this news comes out. Angel works at the local LGBTQ center and meets Brendan on a bus.
This is a fairly typical problem novel with a few special features, like the verse, the triple narration, and the introduction of gender fluidity, a concept many teens might not know about. But the plot arc fits the formula; Brendan realizes he’s different, freaks out, vows not to tell anyone, explores his new world, and slowly accepts who he’s become. That said, the book is accessible and appealing, fast-paced for a character-driven novel, and mixes the familiar with the mysterious. Recommended.