Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Confessions of a Teenage Hermaphrodite

I wanted to like this book, Confessions of a Teenage Hermaphrodite by Lianne Simon. I rarely force myself to read - reading is my happy time - but I had to make myself finish this story.

This book is available for purchase at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

The Blurb
Jamie was born with a testis, an ovary, and a pixie face. He can be a boy after minor surgery and a few years on testosterone. Well, that’s what his parents always say, but he sees an elfin princess in the mirror. To become the man his parents expect, Jamie must leave behind a little girl’s hopes and dreams.
At sixteen, the four-foot-eleven soprano goes from home school to a boys’ dorm at college. The elfin princess can live in the books Jameson reads and nobody has to find out he isn’t like other boys. When a medical student tells Jamie that he should have been raised female, Jamie sets out on a perilous journey to adulthood. The elfin princess can thrive, but will she risk losing her family and her education for a boy who may desert her, or a toddler she may never be allowed to adopt? 
My Review

Confessions of a Teenage HermaphroditeConfessions of a Teenage Hermaphrodite by Lianne Simon
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I wanted to like this book. It has potential to be a great story.

But.

There are some typos and formatting errors that make this a difficult read. The book needs another round of editing, particularly substantive, because the plot is very unorganized. Details pertaining to the plot threads are given at inappropriate times. Then, those details are ignored. Chapters often pass before those details are explained, if and when they are explained at all. Various medical terminology is tossed out but the meager definitions that are given for the terms are repeated verbatim, instead of being built upon, whenever the word comes up again.

The story is also cluttered with too much unnecessary information (regarding topics like Japanese terms) that has nothing to do with the plot. These details take up space that could have been used to paint a better picture of intersex disorders or the child abuse (medical neglect) that occurs and is never addressed.

Characters are poorly developed and many are never properly introduced. Every character acts years younger than their given ages. I found it difficult to believe that any of them could be real people. Then, there's the Christianity - it's presented as an idealization of what Christianity could be, if it wasn't tripping up on its shadow all the time. This portrayal isn't a bad thing - the world needs more people like Pastor Gillespie, who was one of my favorite characters because of his open-mindedness and willingness to look for different definitions of Biblical teachings - but the theme is underdeveloped and would benefit from conflict.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review. I would reread and review this book again, if it was subjected to another round (or two) of editing.

View all my reviews

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