Thursday, February 11, 2010
"Luna" by Julie Anne Peters
Musings: This is the second YA book I've read for the GLBT Reading Challenge, and it does an excellent job of describing the feelings of and challenges for a young transgendered person. Regan and Liam act as important foils for one another. Regan envies Liam for his brains and relative popularity while Liam envies Regan for always being treated as the girl she was born into. The siblings are co-dependent on one another, and by the end of the book, each must realize her own autonomy in order to be happy.
Some of the information on transgendered people and the gender identity spectrum is pretty basic, but it is probably appropriate for a younger audience who may be less familiar with the issues. Peters acknowledges a range of reactions to Luna while also emphasizing the importance of respecting Luna's need to be who she is.
Although the issues are treated in a sensitive way, the story itself felt a bit simplistic. Many characters seemed overly sexist (at least for 2004, when the book was written), and the parallels between Regan and Liam's mother (yearning to break free from the role of a housewife) and Liam were a little too obvious. Regan's crush, Chris, is sweet, but he is too perfect and caring for a high school student. Liam is a huge computer geek (he builds PCs and designs video games), so I was also a little surprised that the online transgendered community didn't play a larger role earlier in his life.
Luna would be a good read for anyone interested in learning more about the mindset of a transgendered person or for anyone looking to be an ally to a transgendered person.
***This book qualifies for the GLBT Reading Challenge 2010.