Thursday, March 24, 2011

Review: I Am J by Beam

I Am J by Chris Beam
Goodreads link
4/5 Stars

One sentence synopsis: J was born Jeni, but wishes to become the boy she knows she is on the inside.

The best thing about reading fiction is when it lets a reader walk in the shoes of a character who is from a world the reader does not get to experience on their own. The second best thing about fiction is when you, as a reader, finds a character in a book who mirrors your own situation.
I Am J is an important book. It is the first (and only?) book I have read about transgender teens and I found it really interesting. I liked J very much, although there were times I wanted to jump into the novel and speak up for him (he tends to remain quiet). I wanted to defend him, and be the friend he needed. But no worries, as this book is about more than just a journey from girl to boy. It is a novel about family and friends, and who is really there for you when you need them.
I loved that the characters in this story are really "real". Beam does a wonderful job of spreading understanding and knowledge. I understand this would not be the topic of choice for some readers, but I am glad this book is out there for any reader who is experiencing a similar struggle (or really any struggle). This is a story that does not allow for giving up or defeat-a tale filled with hope.


Christi the Teen Librarian said...

So glad you enjoyed this book, too, Cosmic Twin! This was the book that prompted me to completely revise/update my library's LGBT book list. The original list was good, but outdated. There's a ton of awesome new stuff out there.