Friday, April 29, 2011

Luna by Julie Anne Peters

Regan's brother Liam knows he wasn't supposed to be born a boy. He's really Luna, a girl, but he can't let anyone know, accept Regan. Regan has spent her whole life protecting her brother. As Luna finds it more and more difficult to hide her true self, Regan also suffers from the strain.

So Luna is usually mentioned as the first YA book with a transsexual character. The book isn't really about Luna though, it's about Regan. We don't know what Luna is thinking, because it's written from Regan's perspective. It's more about how Regan handles the situation, and less about Liam transitioning to Luna.

We do see Liam deciding he wants to live as Luna more often, and begins by dressing as Luna and going to a mall where no one will know him to see if he can pass, and when she can, she's so happy and when she doesn't she's crushed. There's some mention of transitioning and limited discussion of surgery and hormonal options.

I felt bad for Regan. I understand that Luna is having a really hard time, but damn, she was awfully inconsiderate. She keeps waking up her little sister in the middle of the night to try on clothes and makeup so that Regan is so tired she can hardly function. Luna continually causes Regan to be late or miss school entirely because she wants to go get coffee or go shopping. It must have been very difficult for Luna, but seriously, let your sister get some sleep! You're a genius and a senior and your sister is, like, failing because she can't even stay awake.

Also, Regan is constantly worried about Luna. Regan goes back and forth between being terrified that something bad is going to happen to her, and resenting Luna for making life so hard. Which, really, seems like a pretty natural reaction. Their parents aren't very supportive. Their mother is totally disengaged from the family and can't deal with anything and their father is clueless and keeps trying to bond with Luna by making her try out for baseball and things. The scene where Luna finally tells her parents she's a transsexual was very sad. Her mother ignores it and her dad totally flips out.

Ultimately, Luna needs to leave in order to become the person she really is. Regan is heart-broken about loosing her, knowing the next time she see her she'll hardly recognize her, but she also realizes that with Luna gone, she can truly have her own life.

There is also a pretty nice relationship between Regan and her sort-of-but-not-really boyfriend, Chris. Chris really likes her, and Regan likes Chris, but she's so wrapped up in Luna she doesn't have time for it. The times they go out usually end in disaster because Regan is so distracted, and she can't tell Chris what's happening in her life. It was really very sweet that Chris didn't give up. Also, Regan is crazy clumsy and the poor boy is lucky he didn't die. Bella Swan ain't got nothing on Regan. If Chris sticks it out through constant threat of bodily harm and the girl he likes constantly disappearing and acting weird, he's totally a keeper.

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