Thursday, August 4, 2016

Alex as Well by Alyssa Brugman

When Alex decides to move forward in life as a girl, her mother doesn't take it well - she throws a crying, screaming tantrum wailing about how could he do this to her?

Readers learn early in the book that Alex was born intersexed, purposefully named in a gender-neutral manner, and raised in a scientifically notated experiment avoiding gender-stereotyped toys and biases. Yet despite that, her mother was sure all along Alex was a boy. Alex doesn't know this, and for her it's a more traditional transgender teen experience.

It's an interesting look at the two-sides-to-every-story idea, but I found the book fell flat with me. Too much comes too easy: a lawyer who helps for free, a new school willing to overlook a lapse in paperwork, money that falls into her lap. Alex is sort of a brat - and yet not anywhere near as bratty as her parents' actions would indicate. Alternate chapters are blog posts from Mom's point of view - which are every bit as bratty and self-consumed (even the commenters carry on their own dramas and turmoil).

This one's OK, but I've certainly read better in the same genre and for the same audience.

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