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Monday, September 1, 2014

Rethinking Normal- REVIEW

Rethinking Normal
By Katie Rain Hill
Expected publication September 30th 2014 by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
ebook, 288 pages

ISBN: 1481418254

Publisher Description:
In her unique, generous, and affecting voice, nineteen-year-old Katie Hill shares her personal journey of undergoing gender reassignment.

Have you ever worried that you'd never be able to live up to your parents' expectations? Have you ever imagined that life would be better if you were just invisible? Have you ever thought you would do anything--anything--to make the teasing stop? Katie Hill had and it nearly tore her apart.

Katie never felt comfortable in her own skin. She realized very young that a serious mistake had been made; she was a girl who had been born in the body of a boy. Suffocating under her peers' bullying and the mounting pressure to be "normal," Katie tried to take her life at the age of eight years old. After several other failed attempts, she finally understood that "Katie"--the girl trapped within her--was determined to live.

In this first-person account, Katie reflects on her pain-filled childhood and the events leading up to the life-changing decision to undergo gender reassignment as a teenager. She reveals the unique challenges she faced while unlearning how to be a boy and shares what it was like to navigate the dating world and experience heartbreak for the first time in a body that matched her gender identity. Told in an unwaveringly honest voice,Rethinking Normal is a coming-of-age story about transcending physical appearances and redefining the parameters of "normalcy" to embody one's true self.


My thoughts:
Thank you to Edelweiss and Simon & Schuster for the opportunity to read this as an advanced ebook copy.

This is a fantastic memoir about growing knowing you are transgender. Katie, who was born Luke, was very aware of herself early on. She even specifically states and remembers knowing that she was "different" from the age of 2. The book begins with Katie being a sophomore in college at TU. She recounts different experiences as she accounts for her life now. Through out the book it is a look back at her life, from very early on up to where she was at the time of the writing of the book. 

Katie recounts what it was like to be ridiculed, bullied, and judging by her classmates through school. She also tells about the people that were her friends despite what others said about her. Katie describes what it was like to keep her secret many times throughout her life because of the fear of rejection she had. 

An important part to Katie's story was her relationship with her parents. Once close to her father their relationship became stranded and they were ultimately disconnected. Her relationship with her mother was the complete opposite. Though Katie tried many times to reach out to her mother about feeling different her mom pushed the concern to the side many times. Her mother eventually becomes her number one support system. 

Overall, I believe this is a wonderful read for people of all generations. Whether you are a tween/teen who feels like you can identify with her or like myself, someone who has no knowledge of anything has to do with transgender individuals. 5 Coffee Cup Stars for this amazing piece of literature. 
5 Coffee Cup Stars
Finished August 29, 2014

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