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Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin

Symptoms of Being Human

by Jeff Garvin

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1781066,644 (4.16)2



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I really liked this one. This is the second book about a non-binary character I've read, and my favorite so far. I'm delighted that more non-binary people are being written about. Riley was honest, and for a cis person, Jeff Garvin wrote the struggles of trans people quite well. This was also pretty diverse, which was nice; there wasn't just solely trans dudes (like *cough* other books about "non-binary" people), but trans girls as well, and more than one non-binary person. It was handled really well. I'm pleasantly surprised. The only criticism I have is it does sound clinical at times, but this is used to educate people. Garvin even points out that Riley is in a privileged situation compared to other transgender people, which is cool. And Riley's gender assigned at birth is never revealed.

All of the characters were very endearing. This is a novel a lot of teens will relate to, trans or not, but for trans and non-binary teens, this is definitely one of the better ones out there. It discusses things in terms that teens see today, rather than outdated descriptions of "born in the wrong body" and all. It is heavy at points, but Riley has a sense of humor that keeps the narration going at a steady pace and doesn't make things too dark. This book is a success, and I'm glad it was written. ( )
  jwmchen | Nov 4, 2017 |
YA ( )
  lostbooks | Mar 23, 2017 |
Riley is all of the above, none of the above, and that is just fine with Riley, who identifies as genderqueer. Unfortunately, Riley's father is a congressman up for reelection and Riley has started a blog (anonymously of course) which serves as part journal, part therapy. Happily, this doesn't feel like an "issue" book, just a story of a kid trying to make their way in the world. ( )
  Brainannex | Aug 22, 2016 |
I had seen this book around but never really paid attention to it until my lovely co-blogger Gaby reviewed it a while back. Her review definitely made me want to read this book so I was excited when I got the chance to review the audio-book. This was a ride! Since my co-blogger reviewed it and covered all of the aspects, I will keep this short.

Symptoms of Being Human opened my mind to something I was very closed off on, but listening to this story helped me understand the LGBTQ community. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I got a lot more than what I bargained for. The author never revealed if Riley was a boy or a girl. NEVER! There were times when I really thought Riley was a girl, and others when I thought Riley was a boy. The author didn’t use pronouns when referring to Riley. I was so sure it was going to slip somewhere and I was so very attentive but nope! So kudos to the author for keeping me guessing because the writing process must have been tough.

This book deals with diversity, bullying, depression, and suicide. All of these topics combined are bound to make for a very memorable and eye-opening story.

AUDIOBOOK IMPRESSIONS: Tom Phelan was fantastic as Riley. His voice worked perfect and it was hard to identify the voice as either a girl or a boy because it could fit for both. He brought Riley to life.
Review can be found on Latte Nights Reviews:
https://lattenightsreviews.com/breve-audiobook-reviews-symptoms-of-being-human-the-lifeboat-clique/ ( )
  GenGenBookBlog | Jun 6, 2016 |
The story of a genderfluid kid's coming to terms with themself as well as the world around them. It alternates between seeming very real and seeming very fictional, if that makes sense. Riley's (the main character) emotions and feelings definitely come across as authentic, but you're going to need some gloves to make your way through the kitchen sink of plotting. ( )
  thoughtbox | May 27, 2016 |
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To my parents,
who told me I could be whatever I wanted when I grew up. Sorry I kept you waiting.
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"A gender-fluid teenager who struggles with identity creates a blog on the topic that goes viral, and faces ridicule at the hands of fellow students"--

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