Tuesday, June 10, 2014

An Incredible Girl by Robyn Fletcher

Although a bit simplistic, too desperate, and marred by grammatical errors, An Incredible Girl is still a lovely story at heart. Robyn Fletcher tells us the tale of a teenage transsexual, trying to fit in at yet another high school, with a history of bigotry and harassment behind her. She's been under a doctor's care and on hormones for several years now, but her parents have decided to save surgery until she's 18 and can decide for herself. In the meantime she must navigate the ignorance of students and teachers, supported by the young man who loves her.

The simplistic nature of the tale I can forgive as being suitable to the age group, and the grammatical errors I can overlook, but the desperation . . . the sense of trying too hard to establish heroes and villains . . . that bothered me. For instance, when a teacher is introduced with the name Mr. Perverse (real name, not a nickname), then you know he's going to be bad news. Making him a pedophile is one thing, but a pedophile with a fetish for young transsexuals, that just seems to be pushing it too far.

Having said that, there's so much about this story that I loved - Cricket is such a sweet girl, her boyfriend is a jock football player, her mother has a lesbian partner, and the school principle is very understanding and sympathetic. The teenage romance is portrayed very well, and even if the ending is a little too happy and too convenient, I will never complain about a book that leaves me with a smile upon turning the last page.  An Incredible Girl isn't perfect, but if it makes one teenage transsexual feel better about themselves, or just one of their peers feel a little more sympathetic, then my concerns don't matter one bit.

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