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Symptoms of Being Human by [Garvin, Jeff]
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Symptoms of Being Human Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 136 customer reviews

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Length: 357 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Audible book:
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—After a more than unpleasant experience at a Catholic high school, Riley Cavanaugh, whose father is a conservative congressman, is looking for a fresh start at Park Hills High. However, when a new classmate spots Riley and asks, "Is that a girl, or a guy?" Riley quickly gets pegged as an "it." Though the protagonist wakes up some mornings feeling more like a girl and other mornings feeling more like a boy and would prefer to dress in a manner that reflects this, Riley must present as androgynously as possible in order to avoid negative attention. Riley is genderfluid but must keep it a secret in order to keep up appearances for their father's political campaign. Taking the suggestion of a therapist, Riley starts an anonymous blog about what it's like to be genderfluid. The blog quickly accumulates followers. But when a reader discovers Riley's identity and starts to make threats, Riley must decide if they are ready to come out as the blog's author. Garvin is skilled at truly encapsulating the feeling of being completely without allies in high school. The isolation is palpable in every scene. Garvin's strengths also lie in his ability not to reveal the assigned gender of Riley without turning it into some sort of trick or novelty. Riley is not just genderfluid: Riley is witty, has a charming sense of humor, is a skilled writer, and is totally capable of getting the girl. Very few YA titles have featured protagonists like Riley, who don't fit into the black and white of the gender binary. VERDICT Recommended for any library that serves a teen population.—Ingrid Abrams, Town School Library, NY


“Riley is a smart, funny, sharp-eyed force” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“One of the first YA books to deal with the complex issue of gender fluidity…Riley’s emotional life and personal growth shed welcome light on a hitherto obscure subject.” (Booklist (starred review))

“Vibrantly imagined…a welcome mirror for gender-fluid teens.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“With a main character who truly deserves to be called unique, combined with heartbreak and triumphs that are universal, this unforgettable book made me laugh, and also cry: Garvin’s powerful new voice rocks!” (Lissa Price, international bestselling author of Starters)

“Riley Cavanaugh is a sharp, funny, powerful voice for those who haven’t quite found theirs yet. Both highly entertaining and highly necessary, Symptoms is the kind of book that makes you a better human for having read it. I loved it.” (Dahlia Adler, author of Under the Lights and Just Visiting)

“A moving portrayal of what it means to be different, yet the same, all at once. Jeff Garvin has written a beautifully thoughtful book.” (Renee Ahdieh, author of The Wrath and the Dawn)

“An important introduction for readers who know little about gender fluidity and a welcome nod to those who may be experiencing similar feelings.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)

Product details

  • File Size: 908 KB
  • Print Length: 357 pages
  • Publisher: Balzer + Bray; Reprint edition (February 2, 2016)
  • Publication Date: February 2, 2016
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00XHRR3L2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,554 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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