Title: Almost Perfect
Author: Brian Katcher
Publication date: October 13, 2009
Logan Witherspoon recently discovered that his girlfriend of three years cheated on him. But things start to look up when a new student breezes through the halls of his small-town high school. Sage Hendricks befriends Logan at a time when he no longer trusts or believes in people. Sage has been homeschooled for a number of years and her parents have forbidden her to date anyone, but she won’t tell Logan why. One day, Logan acts on his growing feelings for Sage. Moments later, he wishes he never had. Sage finally discloses her big secret: she’s actually a boy. Enraged, frightened, and feeling betrayed, Logan lashes out at Sage and disowns her. But once Logan comes to terms with what happened, he reaches out to Sage in an attempt to understand her situation. But Logan has no idea how rocky the road back to friendship will be.
I could relate to this book in many ways, namely growing up in a tiny town and having a best friend who was transgendered. Overall this was a great read about the kinds of things that people who fall under the LGBTQ spectrum have to put up with on a daily basis, both from parents and the community around them.
But I think this book had the potential to be a more powerful read if it hadn't focused so much on Logan's point of view and transphobia. I do think it is very important to address the perspective of those who are homophobic or transphobic, and eventually he does come around, but for the majority of the book I found myself almost hating Logan. There is something to be said for honesty, and I admire that, but it seems like he kept flipping back and forth between being completely closed minded and then changing his mind and wanting to rescue and be with Sage. I think he provided a much needed source of support for Sage at times, but ultimately his wishy-washiness and hesitance caused her to stray away from him, and I can't blame her.
Overall, though, I really enjoyed this book for all the topics it addresses (self harm, suicidal ideations, transgender/gay issues) and for dealing with all of the feelings involved in both being transgender and how it feels to have fallen in love with someone who is undergoing a gender transition and dealing with so much pain and criticism from all directions. The emotions and pain from both Sage and Logan were so real that I found myself hurting for both of them, and while the ending wasn't completely satisfying, it made sense in a way. I would have liked to see more of the story from Sage's viewpoint because I found it completely fascinating.
Overall grade: B