These reviews have been copied from the New York Public Library’s Website – http://www.nypl.org
PW Reviews 2004 May #3
Peters’s (Define “Normal”) latest novel sensitively portrays the life of a transgender teen through the eyes of a sympathetic younger sister. Regan has always supported her brother and kept his secret, but when Liam decides to “transition” into Luna, the girl he knows he is inside, Regan faces new complications. Luna begins dressing like a girl in public, first at the mall, then at school and finally at home. Regan watches as strangers gawk, Luna’s best friend runs out on her, and their father calls Luna “sick.” Regan, too, gets angry with Luna, for “ruining my chances for any kind of ordinary existence,” especially when Chris, a cute new student, begins asking her out. The tone is inconsistent-some overly dramatic moments strain credibility (in one harrowing scene, Luna is caught in a negligee by the parents of the kids Regan baby-sits) as do too many silly dating disasters between Regan and Chris. But the author gradually reveals the issues facing a transgender teen, educating readers without feeling too instructional (Luna and Regan discuss lingo, hormones and even sex change operations). Flashbacks throughout help round out the story, explaining Liam/Luna’s longtime struggle with a dual existence, and funny, sarcastic-but strong-Regan narrates with an authentic voice that will draw readers into this new territory. Ages 15-up. (May) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
PW Reviews 2006 May #5
“This novel sensitively portrays the life of a transgender teen through the eyes of a sympathetic younger sister,” wrote PW. Ages 15-up. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
SLJ Reviews 2004 May
Gr 9 Up-“Yeah, I loved her. I couldn’t help it. She was my brother.” Regan has always been there for her transgender brother, Liam, sacrificing her needs for his, but when he announces that he is ready to “transition” into Luna permanently, Regan is not sure she can handle the consequences. She has been his confidant all her life, letting Luna dress in her room, buying underwear for her when Liam couldn’t, and giving support. However, when the attractive new guy in chemistry class shows an interest in Regan, she wishes her sibling would just go away and give her a chance to live her own life. Liam realizes that in order for his sister to be free, he, too, must free himself to become the woman who lives inside him. Told from Regan’s point of view in the present and in flashback, this novel breaks new ground in YA literature with a sensitive and poignant portrayal of a young man’s determination to live his true identity and his family’s struggle to accept Luna for who she really is.-Betty S. Evans, Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Booklist Reviews 2004 July #1
Gr. 8-12. Peters tells two stories in this groundbreaking novel–one about Regan, and the other about Liam, Regan’s transgender brother, who is the son his father expects by day but a young woman, Luna, by night. Fiercely protective of Liam/Luna, Regan has put her life on hold; she worries about her brother’s female self being discovered and the family’s reaction, and she fears that her brother may someday give in to despair. While Regan wonders if she will ever be able to have a life separate from the needs of her sibling, Liam seriously begins to consider a permanent change. Peters isn’t putting forward a political agenda here. Rather, she’s bringing the circumstances surrounding a difficult situation to light, and her sensitively drawn characters realistically encompass a wide range of reactions–from tentative acceptance by a best friend to Mom’s feigned ignorance and Dad’s total disbelief. The subject matter and occasional rough language will undoubtedly raise some eyebrows, but this book belongs in most YA collections. ((Reviewed July 2004)) Copyright 2004 Booklist Reviews.
The Horn Book
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2004 Fall
Regan is the only one who can see her brother Liam’s true self–a girl born in the wrong body. Night after night, Liam has slipped into her room to secretly transform into a girl with makeup and wigs; now he’s taken a new name, Luna, signaling the greater change about to come. While this book is determined to educate, Peters succeeds in creating whole, complex characters confronting transgender issues. Copyright 2004 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2004 #4
Regan is the only one who can see her older brother Liam’s true self–a girl born in the wrong body. Night after night, Liam has slipped into her room to secretly transform into a girl with makeup and wigs; now he’s taken a new name, Luna, signaling the greater change about to come. Regan is always there for Liam, sacrificing sleep, school, and friends to counsel and protect her brother. Though an A student and computer genius, Liam is a constant disappointment to his conventional father, who longs for an athletic son. As Liam approaches a crucial turning point, old memories surface for Regan, moments through the years when Liam revealed his real identity–lusting over his best friend Aly’s girlish birthday presents, singing and dancing full-throttle to Madonna at Regan’s slumber party. Harking back to such groundbreaking problem novels as Sandra Scoppetone’s Trying Hard to Hear You, this book is determined to educate: through Luna’s Internet research and a perfect “t-girl” mentor, Regan–and readers–learn the appropriate transgender terms and issues. Yet Peters succeeds in creating whole, complex characters confronting these issues. In one horrifying, if rather melodramatic, revelation, Regan understands that her mother has known but chosen to ignore Liam’s secret, deliberately putting her son in harm’s way. But with Regan’s unfailing love and support, Liam begins the transition from withdrawn boy into glowing young woman. Copyright 2004 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.
Voice of Youth Advocates Reviews
VOYA Reviews 2004 June
Regan has a lot on her plate. She is under pressure at school and being compared to her brother, the computer genius. She is madly in love with her chemistry lab partner, who is out of her league. Her parents do not seem to like each other very much. And she has to deal with the fact that her brother Liam is actually a girl named Luna. Liam is transgendered, a female born in a male body. He has known since he was little but always hid it from the world. Now that he is a senior in high school, he is ready to make a transformation, and he depends on Regan’s support. Luna borrows Regan’s makeup and clothes, and Regan helps out with cover stories to their parents and friends at school. As the school year goes on, Liam becomes more aggressive in wanting to be Luna full-time, resulting in much fear and confusion for Regan. Although the book is about Liam’s struggle with being transgendered, it is really Regan’s story. If one removed that entire theme, there would still be a great novel about teenage life, showing the real strength of the writing and the characters. Peters handles the issue with grace, sympathy, and a huge dose of reality. The book does not scream, “Controversial topic!” Instead it brings up a sensitive issue and shows it in such a realistic light that the reader will come away having learned something, and one might hope, with a sympathetic attitude toward people dealing with gender issues.-Rebecca Vnuk 4Q 3P S Copyright 2004 Voya Reviews.