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What Danielle Did Next

A YA and NA book review blog

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Confessions of a Teenage Hermaphrodite

Confessions of a Teenage Hermaphrodite - Lianne Simon I confess I probably would never have read this book if I hadn't agreed to review it. Not because of the subject matter but because I tend to be obsessive with a certain genre at times and miss out on gems like this. This book is about Jamie's struggle to be seen as what she feels and knows she is...a girl. As she was born with one testis and one ovary, her parents insist she be raised as a boy despite various doctors advising against it. Jamie who has an above average IQ goes to college as a boy and meets Sharon, a medical student who along with Jamie's cousin Kaylah help to set Jamie on the road to becoming the girl she has always wanted to be. I found it really interesting to learn about Jamie's condition and how it can be treated. The insight gained was fantastic and I thought the subject matter was sensitively handled. At no point did I feel like it was salacious or gratuitous simply for shock value. I found the Christian aspect to be handled well too. At no point did it come across as preachy. I did find the characters at times to be a bit too blasé about the situation as a whole. I honestly don't think people would be so understanding or open minded back in the late sixties/ early seventies considering the lack of understanding I have personally heard about pertaining to other "simpler" conditions. Perhaps that's a very modern misguided view but it seemed to be almost dismissed and any person who really had a negative opinion was dismissed very quickly from the story line. There was also an emotional detachment to the characters that was very strange. It was understandable for Jamie to feel a sense of "otherness" because she could not allow herself to commit to a sex for fear that her dream would be ripped away from her and therefore she needed to protect herself. The other characters again just came off a little too blasé about the whole situation and things seemed to happen too *easily* at times. In part this could be because of the time jumps which were confusing as it left a feeling of irresolution as plot points were dismissed or left unfinished. Despite these issues which were minor despite my nattering on about them, I really enjoyed this book. It was an easy read, well written and flowed well despite the time jumps. The character of Jamie was very likeable and it was great to see her develop and get her happy ending. I'm very glad I stepped out of my box and experienced something new and special.