Almost Perfect, by Brian Katcher (2009)

Almost PerfectAlmost Perfect by Brian Katcher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Most of us, I suspect, have "met somebody" who would be just perfect, except...

I look back on some of my "almost perfects," and I cringe at what a douchebag I was.

Logan has just broken up with Brenda, and he's not optimistic about his prospects. He's a senior in a tiny high school (50 seniors). I went to a similar school: my class was 44, and it was hard to date girls I'd known since age nine.

One day, Sage walks into biology homeroom. Sage is tall, quirky, has a great laugh, and most of all, is from "somewhere else!" Logan and Sage become friends. Logan wants more, but Sage tells him, in essence: "NO! We will never kiss or date or be anything more than friends." This always works on teenaged boys, much the same as telling a Category 5 hurricane to stop blowing works.

Sage has a secret. She's not a secret meth-head, nor was she busted for prostitution. She doesn't have any venereal diseases. Nope. Her penis is perfectly healthy.

Yeah. That's the secret. From a very young age, Sage has gender-identified as female. She's been taking female hormones since age 14, and she has had to fight her dad every step of the way. She was home-schooled from the time she started living as a girl, and only her sister supported her.

Logan did not take it well when he found out.

The novel is told from Logan's point of view, and I admired his honesty. He's torn between loving Sage and not wanting to admit that Sage isn't all woman.

While I was reading "Almost Perfect," I was waiting, nay DREADING, to see which of the two easy melodramatic endings the author would choose: the heartbroken suicide, or the "I love you! I don't care that we both have penises!" sort of holding a jambox outside Sage's house, as "In Your Eyes" blasts Cusakishly on repeat.

Thankfully, author Brian Katcher deftly avoids using either. I found myself pulling for Logan and Sage, but I remember what a moron I was at 18.

The novel's ending wasn't satisfying, but this relationship's ending couldn't be satisfying. In that way, it was pretty much perfect.

I can't imagine being either Logan or Sage. More importantly, perhaps, I can't imagine how difficult it must have been writing a novel dealing with a "boy meets boy who's transitioning to being girl" love story, and keeping it safe for the YA market.

Beautifully written book. Recommended.

View all my reviews

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About tom

B.A. in Literature, Minor in Film Theory and Criticism, thus meaning all I’m trained is to write blog posts here. Neptune is my favorite planet–it vents methane into the solar system like my brother does. I think Chicken McNuggets look like Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Indiana. There are times when I’m medicated, which is why I wrote about McNuggets. Buy some today and tell me I’m wrong! Anyway, Beyond that: mammal, Floridian, biped.Good Night, and Good Luck. Besos, tom
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One Response to Almost Perfect, by Brian Katcher (2009)

  1. Pingback: 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 11, “Show Off Five of Your Best Blog Posts” | Books and Movies and Crap

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