High school senior Logan, who lives in small-town Missouri, is on the rebound from some unsatisfying relationships and has sworn off dating until college. But since rules are made to be broken, especially personal ones, Logan finds himself irresistibly attracted to new girl Sage. There are a few strange things to deal with, such as Sage’s strictly limited dating and homeschool education, but Logan becomes more determined to explore his feelings for her.
After Logan and Sage’s first kiss, Sage tells Logan that she was born a male and is in the midst of becoming a female. Logan reacts with anger, disgust, doubts about his own sexuality, and remorse, but eventually recognizes that his attraction to Sage transcends sexuality. Sage and Logan make their way through personal tragedy, lack of acceptance in the community, soul-searching inquiry into their own feelings, and unrelenting awareness of their unconventional relationship.
This book was the winner of the 2011 Stonewall Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award for good reason – several of them, actually. I expected it to be a preachy, didactic book trying to educate young people about transgender issues. While it does convey an accurate picture of the “taboo” topic, it is accessible and tastefully humorous while causing readers to reexamine their own positions on transgender issues. It is told from the perspective of Logan, who is straight. The book is relatable to a wide spectrum of readers, and the descriptions of Logan’s ubiquitous emotional reactions make this book hit home in both literary and personal ways.
I was surprised by how “clean” the book was even as it explored transsexual issues in depth and detail. With primarily emotional and logical appeals, Almost Perfect strikes a workable balance between familiar feelings and unfamiliar situations for young readers. The only drawback to this book is that, at times, the overarching desire to educate readers about transsexuality becomes transparent enough to detect. Fortunately, by the time the story starts to lose its subtlety, most readers will be fully engaged and willing to continue reading this excellent book. Almost Perfect should be an integral part of any young adult’s library.
Bio: Alexis Bonari is currently a resident blogger at College Scholarships, where recently she’s been researching golf scholarships as well as government scholarships. Whenever she gets some free time, she enjoys watching a funny movie or curling up with a good book.