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Almost Perfect Hardcover – October 13, 2009


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Product Details

  • Series: AWARDS: ALA: Youth Media Award Winners 2011
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (October 13, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385736649
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385736640
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.9 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #450,610 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up—A small-town Missouri boy's world is rocked when he falls for the new girl at school, and she eventually confesses that she is a biological male. Logan's world is small, as is his mind at first, but throughout the book he grows to accept and love Sage for who—not what—she is. This remarkable book takes a hard look at the difficulties and pain experienced by young male-to-female transsexuals from an easily relatable perspective, as Julie Ann Peters did in Luna (Little, Brown, 2004). Logan is a conservative 18-year-old Everyman whose generic voice isn't—and doesn't need to be—anything special; although readers follow his growth, it is Sage's story that is truly important. A remarkably "clean" book dealing with sexuality and identity, this is neither preachy nor didactic while directly challenging prejudice and intolerance. With realistic characters and situations, it is a first purchase for all high school collections, and could easily be given to middle school readers who are undaunted by its length.—Rhona Campbell, Washington, DC Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Transsexuality is the issue in this candid novel told from the viewpoint of Logan, a high-school senior in a small Missouri town. The story quickly moves from Logan’s attraction to Sage, a cute, strange new girl at school, to his shock at the discovery that Sage was born male and is in transition to become a female. More than anything, Logan worries that once Sage’s identity is revealed, people will think that he is gay for being attracted to a boy. Then Sage attempts suicide, and Logan feels guilty about failing her. Unlike Sage’s brutal father, though, Logan never denies that Sage is a “she.” The story is long and repetitive, and the messages are overt, but many teens—both those familiar with transgender issues and those who are not—will welcome the honest take on a rarely explored subject. The biological facts about hormones and Sage’s changing body are woven in, and Katcher clearly dramatizes the characters’ secrets, lies, shame, and denial, as well as the cruel prejudice they experience with family and friends. Grades 9-12. --Hazel Rochman

More About the Author

Brian Katcher lives in Missouri with his wife and daughter, where he works as a school librarian. He still hasn't paid that parking ticket he got in West Virginia in 1997.

Customer Reviews

I really liked this book, but the ending was really sad.
Brian Osorio
Brian Katcher captures the joy and pain of 2 teens dating, one straight, one transgendered with a touch of humor and true compassion.
Karen Dellecava
It teaches you that one should never judge and just how valuable true friends really are.
TeensReadToo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 24, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a book that grabs you by the heart and gets into your head. It's the first book in a very long time where I not only had no idea how it was going to end, but was sincerely concerned with how the situation would resolve itself.

I could write an essay about this book, what it meant to me, and how I feel about it. I loved it and I hated it. I was afraid to read another chapter, and I never wanted it to end. My head wants me to wrap Brian Katcher in my arms and thank him for such an amazing story, even as my heart wants me to pound on his chest and demand that he rewrite the ending.

I fell in love with these characters - Logan as much as Sage, to my surprise - and didn't want to let them go . . . especially not like that.

Ultimately, this could just as easily been a story about racial, religious, or cultural identity. The elements of the story could have worked with any other struggle at the heart, but I dare say the book would not have been as powerful (or nearly so interesting). Through the question of Sage's gender identity we also get to explore questions of sexual identity/orientation, particularly with Logan, who struggles with what it means to love a girl who used to be (and, from a purely biological standpoint, still is) a boy.

Brian Katcher's novel is as brave as it is bold, and he's to be applauded as much for his choice of subject, as for his talents as a story teller.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. Prather TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I was so impressed with this book! Love stories are not my usual thing, but this one was such a good read that I was amazed. Be forewarned, it's not for everyone; this is an unconventional tale of coming of age, true love and self discovery. I picked it up to read because I felt it was going to be a controversial addition to our library collection, and it probably will cause it's share of problems. What I do hope that people will see in this book is a stunningly sensitive story peopled with memorable characters that tug at your heart. It can hopefully teach a few lessons on understanding and acceptance, maybe open a few eyes to some of the differences that exist in our society and generate some soul searching among its teen and adult readers.

I don't mean to indicate that this was strictly an "issue" book, and I don't want to spoil any of the plot by talking specifics. Above all, this is a good story. It was well plotted and although I initially had problems really believing Logan's character, the author developed him so skillfully throughout the book that by the end I felt like I truly knew him. I will remember Sage and Logan for a good while and look forward to telling others about this book. I would recommend this to anyone 16 or older who enjoys a good romance and is willing to look at things with a non judgemental eye. A big recommend - and thanks to the author for a great, realistic ending. You didn't cop out when the going got tough.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By E H on November 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A scanty "review" since I don't want to spoil anything for current and future readers.

Let me just say that I loved this wondrous, gut-wrenching, thought-provoking book (and still can't stop thinking about it).

Please, please, please read it.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Kayla Harrison on December 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I find it really disappointing that there's a huge spoiler in the summary. I feel like I would have enjoyed the book more if I didn't know Sage's big secret going into the book.

I have very mixed feelings about Almost Perfect. It was one of those books that I couldn't put down until I finished it, but there wasn't anything that was particularly amazing about it. I really wanted to like it more than I did. I'm not sure where it fell flat for me, but it did.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kayla on September 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a Transgender girl myself, I related to Sage a lot. I was inspired at times, brought almost to tears at others.  Transitioning has been the hardest thing I have ever done. I believe this book gives a small glimpse of what life is like for many.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By T. Clarke on October 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's pretty hard to talk about this book without saying too much about it, but this had a special impact on me out of all the books I've ever read. Sage Hendricks is a vivid, accurate, sensitive, and relevant depiction of a transgender woman like myself, and this book made me feel like there was hope in the world that someday people like her, like me, will be able to love in peace.

I would recommend giving this book to high school age straight boys, lesbians, and bisexual folks, who will most likely be able to connect with Logan's feelings on Sage. I would be wary about how quickly I would hand this book to somebody struggling with transsexuality in themselves as Sage does endure quite a bit of incredible emotional and physical pain throughout the novel. This left me feeling pretty sad for the character for about a day or so before I realized that this was what was best for her. If they can handle a day of sadness, it is worth the happy realization that comes later.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jerica Truax on February 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book touched me in so many ways. The subject matter is one rarely touched upon and it is portrayed in a very lifelike way.

I would recommend this book to anyone.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Aaeriele on February 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is one of the very few books that actually gets a transsexual character right - it doesn't mock them, it doesn't go crazy with stereotypes, it doesn't make them seem like an alien from outer space.

Instead, it provides an amazingly rich portrait of the emotional, social, and even physical issues involved with transsexuality for both the trans individuals themselves and those who make their acquaintance.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone, trans or not.
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