Saturday, May 14, 2011

Luna, Julie Anne Peters

My review of this book is going to make a few of my socio-political opinions way too blatant, but I'm not ashamed of those views. My enjoyment of this novel comes from my having great empathy and compassion for all of the LGBT community. It breaks my heart that anyone could feel so afraid to just be who God made them to be.

Peters' novel of a transsexual high school boy is heart wrenching; the narrative is spotted with revealing flashbacks of a childhood that should have told his loved ones so much, had they been paying attention or strong enough to see the truth. Not only is Liam/Luna's truth unimaginable to his relatively sheltered community, but he and his sister are troubled by a work obsessed, absent mother and insecure father. Luna lives completely closeted from all, except her sister, the narrator: Regan.

Regan seems like a selfless best friend to her brother; braving trips to the mall for her first public appearance as "Luna" and even side stepping parent's questions to protect Luna. Regan's confused support bridges the gap between the readers' own experiences and Liam/Luna's struggle, making this young adult novel really accessible to young readers. It's a novel fraught with lessons in tolerance, and bittersweet in it's realistic depiction of the varying reactions; anger, fear, violence, sadness, apathy.

This novel hit home to me on so many levels. I kept hoping the parents would come together for their child, transsexual or not. Luna's confiding in her father made for an unsettling scene to read. I felt so sympathetic for Regan; she's not perfect, but she's young and inexperienced, carrying a very heavy load for someone she loves so deeply.

It was an important book for me to read, and I'm so glad it found it's way to me. I will absolutely read other titles by this author, and recommend it highly!

Luna, Julie Anne Peters
ISBN: 0316011274 

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