“Teenage twins Ysabel and Justin Nicholas are lucky. Ysabel’s jewelry designs have already caught the eyes of the art world and Justin’s intelligence and drive are sure to gain him entrance into the most prestigious of colleges. They even like their parents. But their father has a secret—one that threatens to destroy the twins’ happy family and life as they know it.
Over the course of spring break, Ysabel and Justin will be forced to come to terms with their dad’s new life, but can they overcome their fears to piece together their happy family again?”
So I was worried that this book would get most of the plot of the transsexual father wrong, but instead this book did a decent job of showing how hard it can be to transition when others are not on your side. However I was upset or bored throughout most of the book. One of the first issues I had with the book was the race of the characters. It was literally thrown in as an afterthought. It was mentioned once in passing, but it could have been so much more. Race was such a non-issue, but that is not what it is during a transition. The different cultural expectations and gender roles that different races and ethnicities have could have made this a much stronger book.
The plot of the book was really boring, but it was one that I think was needed. There is little to no information for kids on their parents transitioning. The problem is this book did not allow any of the children involved actually deal with the transition. There were kids who had been dealing with it for most of their lives and they were still not OK with it and still angry about it? That doesn’t sit right with me at all. The main twins being upset about it makes sense, but every other kid having an issue with it after dealing with it for over ten years made no sense.
I was really excited that the author did include some great transgender and transsexual lessons. The author included pretty much trans* etiquette guides at the end about terminology. I was so happy that there was a section that dealt with the issue of people saying “transgendered”, as that is grammatically incorrect (people aren’t boyed or girled so how are they transgendered). Then the author said that gender bender was offensive, but that is incorrect. Many people do identify as a gender bender and saying that this identity is wrong or impolite invalidates a great deal of people like drag queens or kings that thrive on bending gender. Same with tranny or trannie, this is like saying queer is not an acceptable word for queer people to use. My screen name on most websites is trany101 so am I being offensive for having my identity being that of a trany? So despite the author making great points, there were also really bad points in the same page.
So overall this book was boring and aggravating, but it is still a great introductory to the idea of parents transitioning. Though I was not a fan of how how much religion there was mentioned and how little religion there actually was in the book. If the characters are religious then make them religious, don’t just repeatedly say it without it meaning anything. This character trait could have talked about religion and transgender issues, maybe even being the transsexual version of The God Box.
One last issue was the lack of knowledge about sexuality. The main transsexual character was male to female and kept insisting she was not gay by saying she didn’t like men. Basic reasoning says that women that like women are gay and women who like men are straight. So the character denying any form of being gay but insisting she loves a woman and wants to be with only one woman and no one else would imply she was in fact gay. This was a lack of research or understanding on the author’s point. I really wish I could like this book, but I didn’t. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t really good either.
3 out of 5 stars. I don’t think I would recommend this book, but maybe I will one day.
You can buy this book here.