I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
So, I didn’t even read the synopsis to Freakboy. I had a pretty good idea, just from the title, what it was going to be about. What I didn’t know was that it would be in verse. I’m not really into poetry, in general, but this was just a great book.
Freakboy follows Brendan as he struggles to find who he is and where he fits in. His girlfriend, Vanessa, and a transgender friend, Angel, try to help him through his confusion.
Freakboy alternates between the points of view of each main character. Though, the story is mostly centered on Brendan, Vanessa and Angel have important contribution. Brandan’s struggle was hard, but really enlightening. I really felt like I learned more about the possible trials of transgender individuals from reading this book. While I couldn’t truly relate to Brendan, I was very invested in his story. I think one of the big strengths of this book is that is offers different perspectives on the same subject. Angel’s place in the trans spectrum isn’t the same as Brendan’s, and she’s in a different place in her life, trying to help other teens through the years of figuring out who they are. Vanessa, who truly cares for Brendan, has to deal with his isolation, distance, and ultimately his feelings about himself and who he is. She has to deal with a lot of confusion about what it all means for their relationship. It was a very real and raw look at a transgender story. I loved Kristin Clark’s writing. She makes great use of various poetic forms, and even though the book was lyrical, it was also very clear. I’ll be keeping a look out for anything else she gets published. Something I really loved was what Kristin Clark wrote in the preface. She admits that she can never write thetransgender story, but she can write a transgender story. She certainly succeeded in opening my eyes even wider to the realities of being transgender, finding who we are, and being comfortable in my own skin.
I highly recommend this book, and I think Kristin Clark is an author to watch. Due to language and mild sexual content, I think this book is best for ages 16 and up.