A Boy Like Me by Jennie Wood
Review by Lauren
Source: copy from author; all opinions are my own
Official Summary: Born a girl, Peyton Honeycutt meets Tara Parks in the eighth grade bathroom shortly after he gets his first period. It is the best and worst day of his life. Determined to impress Tara, Peyton sets out to win her love by mastering the drums and basketball. He takes on Tara's small-minded mother, the bully at school, and the prejudices within his conservative hometown. In the end, Peyton must accept and stand up for who he is or lose the woman he loves.
Review: Peyton is a boy, but he doesn’t realize it. He falls in love with Tara the day he meets her in 8th grade, but even then, he just knows that he likes Tara. As he gets older, he’s adamant that he’s not a lesbian, but he’s more afraid of what people will call him or how they will see him than really giving it much though. In the end, he’s not a lesbian. He’s transgender – a boy born in a girl’s body.
I think Wood did a great job getting into Peyton’s mind. He felt real and it was easy to empathize with his thoughts and feelings. At the same time, he’s a regular kid in a lot of ways and he can easily make mistakes. He doesn’t always treat people the way he should, but at the same time, he’s fiercely loyal. He loves music and finds a connection with Tara because of it, as they both join the jazz band in 8th grade.
A Boy Like Me takes place over a certain amount of years, which allows Wood to show Peyton grow and become the man he feels inside. LGBT novels are important and there are not that many that deal with transgender teens, so I congratulate Wood on addressing this topic with such finesse. I would definitely recommend for older teen audiences and up.