This book was amazing! It is one of the few books i’ve seen about a trans* character, and definitely the most accurate. There were multiple time where I started tearing up, full of emotion and sympathy for Emily. I felt every hurt, confusion, joy and every other emotion Emily felt as she was coming out. I read it in less than 24 hours, I was so engaged in the story plot and concept. This is a great book for ANYONE, not only YA or the LGBTQ+ communities.
it is and excellent YA novel. It’s set in our ordinary, regular universe with a trans girl main character. It was so much more than I had hoped for! It was beautifully written (in terms of pacing, character development, and everything else I can think of.) Every single character in this book had depth. It goes deep and at the same time is very engaging. The main character Emily is exceedingly likable. When the book starts out, everyone knows her as Chris, a regular dude on the swim team who’s into gaming. She wants to tell her girlfriend that she’s really a girl on the inside, but she’s afraid. One of the entertaining things that she does is mockingly run lines of coding inside her head that would tell her how to act like a typical boy so she can pretend to be normal through everyday life (like “/run: greet teammate, 1. Speak “Hey man, how’s it going?”). Emily’s whole life is an act, and the only time she gets to be her real self is for a few hours before dawn, when she wakes up early so she can put on some girl clothes and go online to a transgender website.
Some chapters are told from her girlfriend Claire’s perspective. At first I was worried that the purpose of these would just be an info-dump on transgender facts that she was learning, but it wasn’t like that at all. Claire is also a very complex, interesting, and likeable character. She is a strong-willed goth(ish) girl, but she’s also a religious Christian. However she uses her religion to be more understanding towards other people, and never tries to tell anyone what to believe (like it’s meant to be done). Her storyline was so much more than just, “Will Claire accept and support Emily?”
I really hope more people take the time to read this book. The subject matter and life lessons it teaches alone would make a good book to read but Rachel Gold really brought the characters out.
Admittedly there are flaws in the book that I’ve overlooked due to my connection with Emily and there are some moments when the book can get info-heavy, dumping large trans* stats. and facts onto the reader. That being said, I know why these info-dumps are there. there’s many-a-lesson in it wrapped in the paper of a novel. And obviously, it’s very important that people know about transgender people as well as the problems and hardships we face in life or even just survival. In my opinion, this book (or books like it) should be taught and analyzed in schools to raise awareness and understanding of trans* folk because as the book mentions “’Transphobia is one of the last remaining prejudices that many people think is acceptable. While it’s becoming more accepted to be gay and lesbian, and therefore less cool to be homophobic, a lot of people still react badly to transgender people’”
I’m glad I got a chance to read Being Emily
Has a total of: 6 Notes