Author: Zoe Lynne
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 112 pages
Rating: A List
Blurb: A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title
Being True: Book Two
Stella Marshall feels invisible to everyone but her sister Jessica and best friend Jenna. Thanks to their Friday night LGBTQ youth group meetings, she can be true to herself and cast aside the boy she was born as, Steven. The rest of the time, she locks herself away, because if her super conservative, Christian parents ever found out….
When her little sister admits to liking a girl as more than a friend, it becomes ten times harder for Stella to keep up the charade. She wants to stand by Jess and take some of the heat away, and that means coming out of the closet—even if it costs Stella her family and the girl of her dreams, Lillian Nelson. Unfortunately, it’s too frightening to give up the security of hiding behind Steven. But Stella knows she has to be brave, for herself and her sister.
Review: This author certainly did her research here, great expressive style showing the character’s emotions and thoughts effectively. Good examples of parent reactions, there is denial, fear of the unknown, religious views conflicting parent’s attitude, deep concern and love. Excellent perspective of a trans teenager.
Stella is counting down the days to graduation, she studies hard and wants to live freely as the person she is naturally growing up to be. Stella has a great relationship with her sister Jess and a wonderful circle of supportive friends; friends to dress up with, friends to share secrets with, general hanging out and having fun. Stella attends a youth club that allows her to be free to dress confidently as a young women amongst friends, to be herself completely without fear of judgement.
Stella has a terrible time, wanting to share her real gender with her parents, she feels time is against her and whilst holding out for the right moment, her sister Jess tells her she has a secret of her own adding to Stella’s fears. Concerned that her parents will not accept her for who she is, Stella confides in her best friend’s mother. Monica listens and offers support, giving Stella the encouragement she needs to make a decision that could change her family’s life.
A suitable read for teenagers under eighteen, this story covers a number issues that concern young people with coming out and gender identity. This read explores falling in love, acceptance, social concerns, attitudes at school, teenagers expressing themselves with parents, wanting to be respected and valued.
Reviewed by Teddy