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Almost Perfect Hardcover – October 13, 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 78 customer reviews

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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
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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: 5.9 x 1.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #774,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've read news stories about younger and younger kids, some of them pre-schoolers, who decide they were born in the wrong body. This presents a dilemma to the parents, do they support the child, or hope it is a phase that will go away, or put a roadblock up against their child's wishes? In the cases where the parents do want to support their child, sometimes the family will move during the summer, and the boy will now enroll as a girl, or vice versa in a new school.

I've always wondered what happens to these kids as they go into middle school and then high school -- are they out, or still in the closet. Are they dating, and what complications does that bring?

This story concerns the latter -- a transgender girl (MTF), Sage, who is starting at a new school, and a boy, Logan, who is sometimes her friend and sometimes her boyfriend.

This is not a feel good book. Much of the time it will make you mad and lots of time it will make you sad. There are a few upbeat moments but they are rare. There are times you will want to yell at one or both main characters, "DON'T DO THIS!" but your warning will go unheeded and things fall apart.

Unlike a sitcom, things don't get all tidied up nicely in the end.

This is the first transgender coming of age story I've read and one I won't forget.
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