The 3rd-6th of May was the LGBT Read-a-thon, hosted by Faye @ Daydreamer’s Thoughts. I joined though I couldn’t quite participate in everything as I was swamped with schoolwork. I read one book for the readathon, which was I am J by Cris Beam.
J always felt different. He was certain that eventually everyone would understand who he really was; a boy mistakenly born as a girl. Yet as he grew up, his body began to betray him; eventually J stopped praying to wake up a “real boy” and started covering up his body, keeping himself invisible – from his family, from his friends…from the world. But after being deserted by the best friend he thought would always be by his side, J decides that he’s done hiding – it’s time to be who he really is. And this time he is determined not to give up, no matter the cost.
An inspiring story of self-discovery, of choosing to stand up for yourself, and of finding your own path – readers will recognize a part of themselves in J’s struggle to love his true self.
Transgender teens are some of the most underrepresented groups in YA fiction (Gay YA is about 1% of books published, with trangender teens about 4% of that 1%). It was a great book. J had a young, authentic voice, and he was full of so much confusion and rage. He did typical, stupid teenage things, but he grew quite a bit throughout the book. I read it in a day and definitely recommend it.
I also participated in the Twitter chat that happened Sunday evening. If you missed it, check out #LGBTread on Twitter. I answered some questions about Pantomime as well.
Faye is also hosting a LGBT Giveaway at her blog, which you can read more about here.
I hope there’s another one, as I had a lot of fun, and there’s still plenty of LGBT reads for me to get through!