Almost Perfect

18 year old high school senior Logan Witherspoon lives in a tiny Missouri town and at the start of senior year is still nursing his broken heart after being cheated on and dumped by his long time girlfriend.  Then a new girl breezes into his first period biology class: Sage, full of vivacious energy, confidence, tall and striking looking; she chooses Logan’s table and his fate is sealed.

As their attraction develops, Logan wrestles with the unfairness of the harsh restrictions Sage’s parents have placed on her: she’s been homeschooled for the past 6 years; she’s not allowed to participate in extra-curriculars; she can’t leave the house except for school without a chaperon; and she certainly can’t date. And yet, they are drawn to each other and their feelings intensify as they get to know each other until the day when they finally share an intense, wonderful kiss. almostperfect

It’s then that Sage reveals that she’s actually a transgender person – she was born, and lived until she was 12, a boy.   But she’s been living as a girl for the last 6 years, takes hormones to help her transition, and hopes someday to be able to afford sexual reassignment surgery.  From this point forward in the their relationship, and in the novel, Logan rides a roller coaster from anger, betrayal, disgust, fear and hurt to guilt, pity, friendship & understanding, sexual attraction & desire, hope and love.  Logan and Sage have to decide if they can wither the uphill battle that will face Sage (and Logan, if they stay together) every day of their lives.

With too few books about transgender issues available for young adults, Brian Katcher’s Almost Perfect is a much needed, thoughtful, and sensitive addition to the collection.  Logan’s perspective and point-of-view dominate this story, but Sage is developed and portrayed with such care and depth throughout the story that the reader feels a strong connection to and understanding of her lonely, painful struggle.  Katcher used real transgender teens’ experiences as the basis for much of the incidents in Almost Perfect, and by keeping the reader in Logan’s head throughout, offers a candid and ultimately hopeful suggestion for how the non-transgendered among us could and should learn to love, support and accept people like Sage.

  • Posted by Cori

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