Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin
An important book for young and not so young adults alike.
Symptoms of Being Human tells the story of Riley, a gender fluid teen. It's informative, sometimes clever, and overall pretty damn heartbreaking. It's possible I was just reading too many sad books at one time, but this one made me cry. If you are considering reading it, be aware that it covers topics like brutal bullying, suicide, and rape.

Riley has it hard at school between intolerant bullies, a famous father (as though coming out to non-famous parents isn't hard enough), and having to dress and act a certain way to appear gender neutral (Riley goes into a lot of detail about different band t-shirts and avoiding body dysmorphia). The book delves into descriptions of depression and anxiety as Riley shifts between feeling more masculine or feminine, depending on the day.

While the blog posts on gender expression and spectrums are informative, I most enjoyed the two colorful and supportive friends, Bec and Solo. At its heart, The Symptoms of Being Human follows the basic "it's hard to fit in at a new high school" plot-line. My main complaint is that the writing and plot often land fully in cliché. Regardless, you'll like it if you're a fan of young adult fiction or queer literature.

Like I said, it's an important book.

3 pawprints out of 5
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