E-book obtained directly from Author
in exchange for an honest review
Jamie was born with one testis, one ovary, and a pixie face. He can be like other boys after minor surgery and a few years on testosterone. At least that's what his parents always say. But he sees an elfin princes in the mirror and male hormones would only turn her into a hairy little monster. To become the man his parents expect, he must put behind him the hopes and dreams of a little girl.
At sixteen, the four-foot-eleven soprano leaves home school for a boys' dorm at college. The elfin princess can live in the books Jameson reads and nobody has to know he isn't like the other boys. But then a medical student tells Jamie that he should have been raised female. Suppressed childhood memories stir and Jamie begins a perilous journey to adulthood. The elfin princess can thrive, but will she risk losing her family and her education for a boyfriend who may leave her, and a toddler she may never be allowed to adopt?
About the Author
Message from Lianne:
Thank you so much for accepting my book for review. Bloggers play a crucial role in spreading the word about new books, especially for debut authors.
I hope Confessions of a Teenage Hermaphrodite leaves you with some taste of what growing up with a sexually ambiguous body feels like—the pressure from every side, and tension within, to choose male or female—the all-consuming gender ideal around which life revolves. One of my goals is to help raise awareness of these conditions, in the hopes that it will help affected children. If readers would like additional information, they can visit www.succeedclinic.org, or www.aisdsd.org, or my website at www.liannesimon.com.
Confessions is fiction, but there are thousands of people with disorders of sex development, some of whom made suggestions for the book. Jamie isn't real, but hundreds of people have Mixed Gonadal Dysgenesis—her condition. Some are very much like her.
To be perfectly honest with those reading my review, I had my reservations about this read. NOT because I thought it wouldn't be worth reading BUT because of the topic at hand. Normally, reading for me is an escape from reality - I read fantasy/paranormal/etc. - things that are as far from "reality" as possible. Working in a hospital, having a family and child, plus my previous work experience with youth at a Children's Home for children with behavioral, emotional and psychological setbacks have left me with enough experience in "reality" to last my lifetime; therefore, I read to get away from it all. However, I wanted to read this story because I feel like it's not something that's openly discussed enough. Not enough people understand such a topic - including myself.
Regarding my review in "Stars" - I will refrain from using my basic review scores because this story is unlike any that I normally read. I have nothing to compare this read with. Instead, I'll describe my feelings towards aspects of the story.
When I started this read, the first few chapters were difficult to grasp because of the perspective that the story is written in - Jamie and Jameson. The same person but one is the "real" person deep down inside - Jamie - the other is the pretend male version that Jamie is forced to live as because her parents are determined to have a son - Jameson. It's a little difficult for me to describe via writing. I'll try my best though. Once you grasp and begin to understand the emotions that Jamie is constantly fighting with, you begin to see through completely different eyes. Honestly, this is one of the most emotional reads I've ever undertaken. It opens your eyes in more ways than one.
I'm not a religious individual. I completely respect individuals beliefs no matter what religion they practice and I hope other's will do the same and respect my thoughts. I'd never condemn or put down any one based upon their religion. It's one of the great things about being free to choose what you believe. I live in the "Bible Belt" and I've had my share of Christianity. After living my life and gaining understanding from life experiences, I'm more of an agnostic. This book deals with several religious individuals and you can honestly see the difference in those that are simply "religious" and those that are "true believers." Yes - there is a difference. Jamie believes that God wants the best for her and she's hoping he'll show her the way through it all. Then you have people like her parents who seem "religious" but are so focused on her being a boy that they don't see what's right in front of them - a girl. A beautiful, happy girl - Jamie. I can't really describe how angry I was when her parents continued to say that Jamie was meant to be a boy and then brought her to their pastor for "counseling." Rather than talking to Jamie about her feelings, her life, her belief, the pastor proceeded to throw scripture at Jamie describing how women shouldn't dress as men/men shouldn't dress as women and how boys couldn't date boys. He continued to tell her that she was a boy because her birth certificate indicated so even after Jamie clarified that she had both a testis and an ovary so the physicians had to put something down. I was fuming... that's really the best way for me to put it.
Thank goodness for Kaylah, Tyler, Sharon, Jamie's little sister, Lisa & Sean. I LOVED their characters. They were PRECIOUS and make my heart happy. At first, I thought Sharon would be a problem but she surprised me. I know she was a little deceptive at first but then I feel like her heart ended up in exactly the right place.
I don't want to go into further detail with my review because I don't want to mark this review to contain spoilers that would ruin the book for others. I know I shy away from some reviews when I know for sure they'll have spoilers.
Overall, my opinion on this book is one of absolute Thanks. I'm so thankful that Lianne Simon took on this topic because it brings to light something that is normally hidden away in the dark. I would highly recommend this read to individuals who have a heart and want to understand someone else's perspective on life when dealing with such serious issues such as gender. The cover for this story is absolutely amazing. Seeing the cover is just like looking at Jamie in my mind.
The writing was beautiful. The story simply flowed once you understood the perspective being that of Jamie vs Jamie pretending to be Jameson. Jamie, Kaylah, Tyler, and Sharon touch your heart and open your mind. It's stories and characters like these that make you open your eyes and really THINK about those around you. It helps you get out of "your bubble" and know that there are individuals out there suffering in ways that we all can't see or understand.
I definitely recommend this to others who are willing to branch away from their normal genres. I don't regret it for one second.
Thank you Lianne for such a beautiful, eye opening account and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to read and share it with others.
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