Publishers Weekly Review
"I am fourteen and time is running out." David is getting taller, and everything that marks the teen as biologically male is growing. Despite having researched gender transitioning, it doesn't seem possible, and while David's two best friends know, parents are another matter. Meanwhile, working-class Leo transfers to David's very middle-class school; when Leo punches the bully who's tormenting David, they become unlikely (and, for Leo, reluctant) friends. The book alternates between Leo and David's viewpoints, but readers don't find out what they have in common until Leo's burgeoning romance gets derailed. For loner Leo, David is a chance to have a real friend; for David, Leo's an example of what's possible if you can speak your truth. Debut author Williamson does a good job of depicting British class realities and David and Leo's struggles with family, bullying, friendship, and bravery. While the book doesn't sugarcoat the difficulty of being a trans teen, it offers hope and the sense that even if you can't get everything you want, you can get what you need. Ages 14-up. Agent: Catherine Clarke, Felicity Bryan Associates. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal Review
Gr 9 Up-Only David Piper's two best friends know a big secret, and as puberty brings rapid changes to the teen's body, the clock is ticking for the chance to tell the Pipers that David is really a girl. David shares narrating duties with Leo, a tough transfer student uninterested in friendships. After Leo stands up for the frequently bullied David, the two slowly become friends, though neither could have guessed how much they actually have in common: Leo, who used to be called Megan, is transgender, too. When word gets out about Leo, he flees, remembering what happened at his old school, and goes in search of his birth father. David accompanies him, returning home having had an opportunity to live a few days as Kate, David's true self, and ready to tell her parents who she really is. Leo's and David's stories are painful and complicated. The novel is filled with transphobic slurs, bullying, physical violence, and nasty reactions from other characters. In most cases, someone points out how cruel, unfair, or incorrect these offensive assertions are. Both Leo and Kate have supportive, loving families (even if Leo's mother is otherwise a nightmare) and increasingly supportive friends. The book ends on a positive note, especially for Kate, who has longed to be visible. Pacing issues and the curious choice to misgender Kate throughout most of the book despite her announcement on page one that she's a girl mar this otherwise well-written book. VERDICT An important addition to collections for its first-person perspectives on the experiences and inner lives of transgender teens.-Amanda MacGregor, Great River Regional Library, Saint Cloud, MN © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.