The Other Me

OtherMeTitle:  The Other Me

Author:  Suzanne van Rooyen

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press

Length:  216 pages

Rating:  C List

Triple Shot of Yum

Triple Shot of Yum

 

Blurb:   A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

Fifteen-year-old Treasa Prescott thinks she’s an alien. She doesn’t fit in with the preppy South African private school crowd and feels claustrophobic in her own skin. Treasa is worried she might spend life as a social pariah when she meets Gabriel du Preez. Gabriel plays the piano better than Beethoven, has a black belt in karate, and would look good wearing a garbage bag. Treasa thinks he’s perfect. It might even be love, as long as Gabriel doesn’t find out she’s a freak.

As Treasa spends time with Gabriel, she realizes she might not love him as much as she wants to be him, and that the reason she feels uncomfortable in her skin might have less to do with extra-terrestrial origins and more to do with being born in the wrong body.

But Gabriel is not the perfect boy Treasa imagines. He harbors dark secrets and self-destructive tendencies. Still, Treasa might be able to accept Gabriel’s baggage if he can accept who she longs to be.

Review:  A great story for a young adult with gender dysphoria, the author expresses Treasa’s emotions and thoughts to her gender well and Treasa’s circumstances, opening up to friends and family and the general difficulties with acceptance and understanding from those friends and family.

Treasa is a typical teenager, pushing boundaries, watching favourite tv shows, writing fan-fiction, listen to music and trying to have fun. Whilst Treasa has a difficult time understanding herself she realises it is her gender that’s wrong. While seeking her true gender identity as a boy, Treasa meets Gabriel. He is everything she wants to be, perfect!

Gabriel is a talented teenager musically and academically, but he carries a heavy load of sorrow and guilt. Gabriel finds himself drawn to Treasa, there’s something different about her. Can he share his secrets with Treasa? Will she want to know him anymore if he does? Unbeknown to Gabriel, Treasa has a secret of her own, will he still have the same feelings for her when she shares this with him?

For me, this story had a slow start, but this could be down to the storyline being suited to the younger reader. I like what Suzanne did with the book, giving a good example of a young person with gender identity issues. I like that the story is set in South Africa, there is a translation at the start of the book that is very helpful for those who are not familiar with Afrikaans slang terms and words. I did find the ending disappointing though – could there be a  sequel?

Reviewed by Teddy

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Posted on May 2, 2014, in Teddy and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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