I AM J by Cris Beam [Review]
I AM J was one of the best books that I have read in a really long time. Cris Beam wrties an amazing story of J, a transgender teen living in New York City and struggling with, well, everything in his life.
J was born Jenny, but never felt comfortable as a girl. Throughout the book, we’re shown ways that J, from little on, tried to make himself more like the boys he’d see around town. From cutting off his girly ponytails when he was young, to wearing layers upon layers of clothing to cover up his breasts, J struggles throughout his life with how to accept what he really is.
I Am J was such an amazing read that I find writing about it difficult. The subject matter is not something that is widely accepted in our society and this is even one of the points that Beam touches on in the story. J has to overcome numerous obstacles, from his family, the other kids at school, and the feelings that he has for his best friend Melissa.
How do you sort out all of that mess and throw in being transgender on top of it? J will break your heart, but will make you angry on the next page, but only because you’re rooting for him to break out of his shell and be who he is.
I understand that sitting at a computer and typing that sentence is a lot easier than doing it, I’ve never gone through an experience like that in my life.
J is a remarkably strong character but at the same time has no idea just how strong he really is. Regardless if you can relate to the transgender subject matter or not, read I Am J. You won’t be sorry.
In fact, you may put it down with new understanding.
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars | Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers | Pages: 352 | Source: Publisher | Buy on Amazon
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