May 142015
 
Review: Being EmilyBeing Emily by Rachel Gold
Published by Bella Books on Jun 26, 2012
Genres: Contemporary, YA
Format: Paperback from Gift
Find the book: Amazon, Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

They say that whoever you are it’s okay, you were born that way. Those words don’t comfort Emily, because she was born Christopher and her insides know that her outsides are all wrong.

They say that it gets better, be who are you and it’ll be fine. For Emily, telling her parents who she really is means a therapist who insists Christopher is normal and Emily is sick. Telling her girlfriend means lectures about how God doesn’t make that kind of mistake.

Emily desperately wants high school in her small Minnesota town to get better. She wants to be the woman she knows is inside, but it’s not until a substitute therapist and a girl named Natalie come into her life that she believes she has a chance of actually Being Emily.

A story for anyone who has ever felt that the inside and outside don’t match and no one else will understand...

This is such a powerful story about a girl born in a boy’s body. The reader really gets to journey with Christopher as she fights to become Emily. It felt like an insider view to a very personal and emotional struggle. I liked that the focus was on the psychological side, with Emily learning to embrace herself, and really coming to terms with the person she wants to be.

The story is primarily about Emily, but I really like the addition of Claire. Her character wasn’t just a vehicle to push education about transgender issues, she was fully developed with an incredibly complex and uplifting religious viewpoint. So often religious characters are used as stereotypes or cliches, but Claire was a great example of how modern Christianity can be.

There was no preaching or lecturing anywhere in this book, by any character, instead, it was an incredibly engaging and intriguing story. It was an emotional story, and one that I’m super happy to have read.

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