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Gr. 8-12. Peters tells two stories in this groundbreaking novel--one about Regan, and the other about Liam, Regan's transgender brother, who is the son his father expects by day but a young woman, Luna, by night. Fiercely protective of Liam/Luna, Regan has put her life on hold; she worries about her brother's female self being discovered and the family's reaction, and she fears that her brother may someday give in to despair. While Regan wonders if she will ever be able to have a life separate from the needs of her sibling, Liam seriously begins to consider a permanent change. Peters isn't putting forward a political agenda here. Rather, she's bringing the circumstances surrounding a difficult situation to light, and her sensitively drawn characters realistically encompass a wide range of reactions--from tentative acceptance by a best friend to Mom's feigned ignorance and Dad's total disbelief. The subject matter and occasional rough language will undoubtedly raise some eyebrows, but this book belongs in most YA collections. --Cindy Welch Copyright 2004 Booklist
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Peters's (Define "Normal") latest novel sensitively portrays the life of a transgender teen through the eyes of a sympathetic younger sister. Regan has always supported her brother and kept his secret, but when Liam decides to "transition" into Luna, the girl he knows he is inside, Regan faces new complications. Luna begins dressing like a girl in public, first at the mall, then at school and finally at home. Regan watches as strangers gawk, Luna's best friend runs out on her, and their father calls Luna "sick." Regan, too, gets angry with Luna, for "ruining my chances for any kind of ordinary existence," especially when Chris, a cute new student, begins asking her out. The tone is inconsistent-some overly dramatic moments strain credibility (in one harrowing scene, Luna is caught in a negligee by the parents of the kids Regan baby-sits) as do too many silly dating disasters between Regan and Chris. But the author gradually reveals the issues facing a transgender teen, educating readers without feeling too instructional (Luna and Regan discuss lingo, hormones and even sex change operations). Flashbacks throughout help round out the story, explaining Liam/Luna's longtime struggle with a dual existence, and funny, sarcastic-but strong-Regan narrates with an authentic voice that will draw readers into this new territory. Ages 15-up. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
School Library Journal
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Gr 9 Up-"Yeah, I loved her. I couldn't help it. She was my brother." Regan has always been there for her transgender brother, Liam, sacrificing her needs for his, but when he announces that he is ready to "transition" into Luna permanently, Regan is not sure she can handle the consequences. She has been his confidant all her life, letting Luna dress in her room, buying underwear for her when Liam couldn't, and giving support. However, when the attractive new guy in chemistry class shows an interest in Regan, she wishes her sibling would just go away and give her a chance to live her own life. Liam realizes that in order for his sister to be free, he, too, must free himself to become the woman who lives inside him. Told from Regan's point of view in the present and in flashback, this novel breaks new ground in YA literature with a sensitive and poignant portrayal of a young man's determination to live his true identity and his family's struggle to accept Luna for who she really is.-Betty S. Evans, Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.