Posted by gaylistbookreviews
Title: Breaking Free
Author: Winter Page
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 180 pages
Blurb: A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title
Raimi Carter is finally a girl, just like she always knew she was meant to be. At a new school where nobody knows she’s had gender reassignment surgery, she hopes to finally live the normal life she’s longed for, happy in her own skin.
Life is great until she discovers a dangerous bully is blackmailing head cheerleader, Clare Strickland, threatening to reveal her secret: she’s gay. As Raimi fights to free Clare from his clutches, the two girls move beyond friendship. But secrets from their pasts and their own fears of coming out tear them apart—maybe forever. Baring their souls to each other could cost them everything. For two girls trapped and desperately in love, only strength, courage, and trust in each other will help them break free and claim their future.
Review: Breaking Free – Is well written for a young person writing a YA book on transgender issues. Miss Page has certainly done her homework here, I doubt there are many teenagers who could pull this off other than any young person going through gender transition themselves.
This story covers many issues that LGBTQ young people suffer while at school and at home from bullying by peers, parents acceptance and homophobia in society. Now there are some romantic elements throughout this book, teenagers falling in love, new friendships found and trusts built, but there is also suffering, pain, fear and heartbreak. Therefore in some places in this story it is not a pleasant read, in particular for any youngster going through any of the changes that are similar to the characters in the story. I’m not sure I would recommend this book to any young person at the early stages of their transition or questioning their sexuality as this could cause the young reader some considerable worry.
The story is told through Raimi’s eyes, an intelligent teenager who is trans-female. Raimi is very conscious of her community and peers, she is more than aware that her gender change could cause her some negative attention if she is found out. Raimi and her family move to a new state, so that she can start afresh at a new school and live freely with her new identity as the girl she was meant to be. No one suspects a thing, and all appears to be good and well until she becomes entangled with Clare, another girl at her new school. Raimi’s life is once again turned upside down, with brutal discrimination from someone she felt safe to call a friend, and a boy who sets his sites on inflicting as much pain as possible.
Clare is a head cheerleader and beautiful; she is dating Brad, who although he appears steady and popular within their group of friends, has a secret of his own. Unable to live with himself and the rejection he might face, he targets Raimi and Clare when he discovers a romance between the two girls. Brad has a hold over Clare already, but now he has to take control of Raimi too.
A good read from a young writer who has tackled a young person’s transgender experiences well.
Reviewed by Teddy
Posted in Teddy
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