Review: Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky

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Book Title: Gracefully Grayson
Author: Ami Polonsky
Published Date: November 4th, 2014
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Genre: MG/Contemporary/LGBT
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Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

Synopsis from Goodreads
Alone at home, twelve-year-old Grayson Sender glows, immersed in beautiful thoughts and dreams. But at school, Grayson grasps at shadows, determined to fly under the radar. Because Grayson has been holding onto a secret for what seems like forever: “he” is a girl on the inside, stuck in the wrong gender’s body.

The weight of this secret is crushing, but leaving it behind would mean facing ridicule, scorn, and rejection. Despite these dangers, Grayson’s true self itches to break free. Strengthened by an unexpected friendship and a caring teacher who gives her a chance to step into the spotlight, Grayson might finally have the tools to let her inner light shine.

Debut author Ami Polonsky’s moving, beautifully-written novel shines with the strength of a young person’s spirit and the enduring power of acceptance.

Disclaimer: Library book.

Review
Well first of all, I didn’t even realize this was a middle grade book. Whooops! Even after I found that out, I still wanted to give this book a shot. There are so few books about transgender kids, and there really should be a lot more.

I wasn’t really into the characters. Grayson was the best part of the book and for the most part, I did like him. I enjoyed watching his transformation. I just wished there had been more about his feelings about things. I mean, near the end we finally started to see some real change in how he represented himself, but it just took a long time to get there.

There was an element of secrets in there that I was not expecting and it was the only time I was truly shocked by the events in the book. The rest of the book was very predictable. Add that to the overall blandness of the book, and you’ll see why I couldn’t enjoy this book the way I wanted to.

Grayson’s been living with his aunt and uncle since he was little. His aunt did not take things well, and I went from liking her initially, to really hating her for how she handled the whole thing. His uncle was awesome and I loved his uncle for how he supported Grayson.

Unfortunately, this book let me down in a big way. I don’t know if it  was because it was a middle grade book or if the lackluster character development was really as weak as I thought it was. Unfortunately, I have to give this book 3 stars.

It’s Pride Month!

It should come as a surprise to no one that I am a HUGE supporter of the LGBT community, and am in fact, part of the LGBT community, as I identify as bisexual. I was struggling to come up with a post this week, but then it hit me. 

I wanted to do a post on Pride Month, but I tweaked it a bit, and decided to do a post where I recommend some books featuring LGBT characters in honor of it being Pride Month. I even asked my fellow book nerds for their recommendations because I wanted a pretty big list.

It encompasses MG, YA & NA.
Books that are already out
Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas features a gay character
Emmy & Oliver by Robin Bennway features a gay character
Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli features two gay characters 
Black Iris by Leah Raeder features a bisexual main character
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson has a gay main character
Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz has a bisexual main character
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz features two gay characters
More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera features a gay main character
Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley features two lesbian main characters
 The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley by Shaun Hutchinson features two gay main characters
Alex as well by Alyssa Brugman features a male to female transgender character
Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky features a male to female transgender character
Far From You by Tess Sharpe features a bisexual main character
The Summer I Wasn’t Me by Jessica Verdi features a lesbian main character
Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour features two lesbian main characters
The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky features a gay character 
Just Between Us by J. H. Trumble features two gay main characters
Where You Are by J. H. Trumble features two gay characters
Don’t Let Me Go by J. H. Trumble features a gay character.
Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan features two gay main characters
Trust the Focus by Megan Erickson features two gay characters
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan features two gay characters
 
One May Guy by Michael Barakiva features two gay characters
The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth features two lesbian characters 
Focus on Me by Megan Erickson features two gay main characters
The Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen features two gay characters
Upcoming releases
Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler features two lesbian man characters
What We Left Behind by Robin Talley features a lesbian main character & a genderqueer main character
Trust Me, I’m Trouble by Mary Elizabeth Summer features a LGBT character
Cam Girl by Leah Raeder features a LGBT character
I know this is a lot of recs and I was honestly shocked to see so many people recommend books to me. I wasn’t expecting to have 30 books on this list.  This list is in no way, a complete list. They are just the ones I loved, or the ones my fellow book lovers recommended.

Thank you to Andi S.,Kim B., Jenny, Stormy, Danielle, Hannah, Shelly, Giselle, Stefani, Kayla, Amber, Estelle, Kat, Dahlia. I could not have created this list without your help!