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Run, Clarissa, Run Kindle Edition
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|Length: 291 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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Interesting from the start and gathering momentum along the way, we can overlook some editing issues because "Run, Clarissa, Run" keeps the reader on edge until it builds to an exciting and ingenious conclusion. Filled with accurate descriptions of the gender transition process by an author who has walked the walk, this novel is also rich in computer hacking schemes including identity theft and dazzling break-ins to government and corporate computer systems, primarily in the interest of exposing, Clark's "benefactor," a heinous individual who is both child molester and corporate crook.
Besides attempting to nail this nefarious character, there is one other major interest served by Clark's computer hijinks, and that is to facilitate his complete surgical transition to Clarissa, never an easy process, but one that is particularly complicated given Clark's status as minor and his financial limitations. How this is accomplished will blow your mind and is the basis for the title, "Run, Clarissa, Run."
This story has a lot of interesting aspects - the computer hacking Clarissa does, for example. It also seems to me that Clarissa has to deal with a larger portion of problems than a typical teen - even a typical transgender teen - does. The man for whom she is babysitting seduces her and nearly rapes her (making her the fourth in a line of teens who were assaulted by this man). Once she runs away, the FBI and the State Department come after her. There's a subplot where Tony, her almost-rapist, is accused of insider trading.
This was a difficult story to read. I didn't want Clarissa to have to face SRS alone, much less in a country halfway around the world. I wanted the school bullies to learn not to tease. I wanted everything to end happily ever after. Even though it didn't, the story itself was very satisfying to read.
I have only one caveat: The author of this story self-published her work, so the book did not go through the normal round of edits that comes from a major publisher. English gurus and grammar nazis will be bothered by misuses of set/sat, then/than, apostrophes, commas, etc. The errors are not so extreme that they caused me to put the book down, but they were a distracting annoyance in what was otherwise a very interesting story.
And what a life! I was not disappointed at all. The author takes you on a whirlwind of emotions.
At the beginning, the reader follows Clark is the way he is challenged, constantly bullied by his comrades in high school. Called by awful names, including homosexual, his integration is difficult by the girls and the boys.
At home, his inner discomfort is not really understood. Nobody seems to listen, not even his therapist who believes that Clark denies his attraction to men.
However, the teenager was always clear: he is not comfortable in his body and wants to be a woman.
Sure, it's scary to hear his determination but why is it easier to play the deaf ?
A position as babysitter and Clark discovers acceptance. For the first time, he is encouraged and dared to put Clarissa forward on the spotlight.
It's thrilling and soon very unconfortable because the man who felt and desired the woman in himself is twice his age, married and a father of two...
From that moment on, the story takes another twist. The reader is immersed in cybercrime due to Clark's skills with a computer, and sexual abuse. A manhunt is instructed when funds are stolen, forged papers discovered and soon the country's security is threatened.
But Clark is a man with a mission. He wants to become a woman and Thailand can be the solution for achieving his dream.
Exciting and incredibly well written, the story talks about the difficulties of young people and adults to accept any sexuality other than heterosexuality. Suffering, misunderstanding and lack of listening can break someone who is different. Nobody seems to hear, understand Clark when he strives to just be himself by being Clarissa. Fortunately, the story ends well.
This fictional novel as an air of "Catch Me If You Can" directed by Steven Spielberg, even if the hero is totaly oblivious of the situation for a good part of the chase. Some interesting points are adressed that made me think. If I had a son in the position of Clark, how would I have reacted differently? In view of today's society, a gay son is no more "acceptable" than a transsexual one?
I really enjoyed this novel written with skills by Rachel Eliason. All the characters, even the secondary ones, are endearing and moving. A great read!
From Mrs. Tyler: "There will always be those who will hate you for being different, but there will also be those who will love you for it."