It’s Valentine’s Day! Looking for a good YA love story?
The 2011 winner of the Stonewall Book Award, sponsored by the American Library Association’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table, is Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher. It’s a love story with a twist: a teenage boy, Logan, falls for Sage, the new girl at his small-town high school, and then she tells him that she is actually a boy.
Katcher did much of his research by interviewing transgender people, and it shows: the book incorporates many of the issues they face, including hormone therapy and the fear of violence. Katcher used that research to add a new dimension to the traditional boy-meets-girl, boy-gets-girl, boy-loses-girl love story. As Sage struggles to live as a girl despite her fear of being discovered and her father’s overwhelming denial, Logan struggles with his feelings for Sage; if he loves someone who looks like a woman but is biologically a man, does that mean he’s gay? What if his friends find out? It was frustrating as Logan veered in and out of Sage’s life, unable to deny his feelings for her but unwilling to commit to a relationship, but I give Katcher credit for taking on a difficult topic and doing it justice.
In an interview on the blog â€œCarpe Keyboard,â€ Katcher recently said of his award win, â€œWhen I announced my good news at a staff meeting later that day, everyone cheered me until they found out it was a ‘gay’ award. Then they laughed.â€
It’s not a â€œgayâ€ book. It’s a funny, realistic, and timely love story. Love is love.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
– Casey O’Leary, reading (and loving) One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia