I believe it would be a must-have for anyone with concerns regarding a difference between their physical and mental gender. Disagreement designated you with the traditional black hat.
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Either the current characters or perhaps new ones could illustrate that you could be a caring individual and still believe that Christopher was simply confused, or sympathetic to Emily and an SOB at the same time. I believe the author missed an opportunity to present emotions, experiences, etc. I suspect that all of this was not due to a lack of ability or attention from the author. Rather, it appears part of a successful effort to keep the length of the book within reason for the YA audience it targets — in particular, those like our main character who have questions about their place in the world.
I would strongly suggest that this book be one of their references. This book was awarded free of charge through the Goodreads FirstRead program. View all 4 comments. Dec 10, Rose rated it liked it Recommends it for: Rachel Gold has written a courageous novel for young adults about a young man named Christopher who is male in appearance only.
Chris as he prefers to be called in his boy life has always known he's a girl, even since he was a youngster. He preferred playing with girls and girls' toys and was confused when he was referred to by his parents and teachers and everyone else as a boy. He learned to survive by pretending he was a boy -- he's on the swim team which give him an excuse to shave the Rachel Gold has written a courageous novel for young adults about a young man named Christopher who is male in appearance only.
He learned to survive by pretending he was a boy -- he's on the swim team which give him an excuse to shave the hair off his body0 and he has a goth girlfriend, Claire. He works on cars with his father -- he actually likes cars! But the pretending is too much, and he becomes more and more depressed and edgy and certain that he has to come out as a girl.
Imagine her surprise and confusion when the guy she's been making out with heavily confesses that he is a she and has already picked a true name for himself herself: Imagine the courage it takes for Emily to out herself. Even when Chris gets to see a counselor who is right for him.
Even when Chris wants to learn to use makeup, visit someone who has already begun the transition from boy to girl, when he comes out to his family. If everyone had a friend like Claire, life would indeed be good! This information is obviously well researched and presented deftly, for the most part, although it was obvious to me during these sections of the narrative that the author's purpose was to educate -- and sometimes that education seemed a little bit too heavy and more like explanation than narrative.
But I don't know how else she could have handled that material, which was very important to include both for the characters in the book and for the reader. So even though I noticed the exposition, I didn't mind it terribly. And I suspect the young adults who read this book will either not notice or be willing to go along as I did. I finished this book with a better understanding of the topic, and I enjoyed the read. The cover of the books tells us that this a "a groundbreaking new novel. I think also that this is Rachel Gold's first novel. I hope she has more books in mind. There's a huge need in the YA world for books that include the transgender community.
I hope there will be school librarians and counselors courageous enough to include this book and others in their collections. Feb 24, Shelley M. I hope it's a spoiler to say that the description on the back of the book is not entirely accurate. Mostly in that the main character's girlfriend was completely supportive and didn't give any lectures about God. She is a gothy Christian and quotes the Bible, but I kept waiting for her to be all judgmental of Emily, and while she was freaked out at first, I thought she tried really hard and basically provided one place in town where Emily could be herself.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. I read it I hope it's a spoiler to say that the description on the back of the book is not entirely accurate. I read it really quickly, and felt connected to the main characters. I think that Emily is a character that people of all genders can relate to.
As some other reviewers have said, there are a lot of statistics and facts that read a little stiffly, mostly from Emily's therapist and occasionally from her girlfriend.
But I don't really know how an author can avoid that if they're intending for their book to be read by a wide audience, including people who aren't already educated about trans issues. Also, I was kind of put off by "transsexual" being used as the default term for trans folk. I also agree that the end view spoiler [ wrapped up too quickly and easily, with almost no resolution with Emily's parents, which disappointed me.
So many YA novels have almost-absent fathers, so it was great to see a father who, even though he doesn't understand what his child is going through, recognizes that the transition is helping her mental state, and supports it hide spoiler ]. Overall, I thought this was a really positive, easy-to-read and worthwhile book. Mar 23, Hailey rated it it was amazing Shelves: A striking text, boldly exploring a challenging topic which receives far too little exposure.
The plot is strong, if not a little contrived at times, but the book is easy to read and will keep you hooked. A must for anyone who is serious about exploring the human condition, and what it means to live in the 21st century. Apr 01, Jess rated it liked it Shelves: The writing was a bit stilted, but the story was very compelling.
I read it in one sitting because I couldn't put it down. I think my fellow cisgender readers could do with more books like this to help build compassion, and books in general could do with more transgender characters. Aug 04, Marsha rated it really liked it Shelves: The novel is an exploration of what it means to be straight, gay, transgender, etc. Inarticulateness, grunting, shrugging, talking about the limited subjects that so-called manly boys enjoy sports, cars, girls, repeat , etc.
But Chris is drowning. He is undergoing the usual symptoms of denying who he is: Amazingly, his parents have noticed and his mother decides he needs therapy. But flanking him is his Gnostic Christian girlfriend Claire. Claire is a bisexual goth girl who has other interests but is a loner. She finds convenient passages that urge man to love his fellow man, regardless of his sexual orientation or gender identification.
She grounds him, takes away his computer and cell phone and glares daggers whenever his gestures and conversation are a little too effeminate. The state of Minnesota is almost a character as well. There are decided moments of joy, humor and warmth. I especially liked the part about Chris being confronted by an angry security guard.
Chris and Claire are equally miserable about the incident. But I found it funny!
- Being Emily by Anne Donovan.
- 3 Responses to “‘Being Emily’ by Rachel Gold”?
Once he opens up, he finds allies, friends and a community that embraces him wholeheartedly. May 15, Grady rated it it was amazing. She spent a decade as a reporter in the LGBT community where she learned many of her most important lessons about being a woman from the transgender community. The topic of gender transition is gradually becoming more discussed as surgical and psychology advances are taking over the cruel space that ignorance and mocking ruled.
At last youngster and adults alike have a champion in gender transitioning in Rachel — read a few chapters of this fine novella ns discover just how strong that supportive impact is.
It is all here for enlightenment. Sep 12, Claire rated it really liked it Shelves: Also TW for transphobia and some violence. One bit that bugged me was how view spoiler [ Emily's good therapist basically brushes off how Emily's parents react to her coming out. They're horrible to well that made me cry did not expect this much emotion or to stay up so late I was surprised to see it was published in because a lot of the language felt quite dated like the use of the word "transsexual" instead of "transgender" but I'm cis so definitely not the voice to listen to here.
They're horrible to her, her mom yells, they ground her, take away her contact with friends, refuse to accept her. The book treats it as "well at least they didn't kick her out. The therapist basically tells her, "You've had your whole life to figure this out, they just learned about it. There's no real apology either. Emily's dad was pretty okay to her, but her mom is the problem. I liked Claire's hey it's my name! It was cool to see a religious character who was bisexual and so accepting of her boyfriend transitioning.
She had a hard time with it at the beginning but tried her best to learn and be accepting. THIS is how people should react. It was a good book. Jan 16, Isaiah rated it really liked it Shelves: A very entertaining book. I am very thankful it was written and people have access to it. There were issues of course, especially with bisexual identity and abusive parents.
Also, authors who rate their own books a 5 always sit wrong in my mind. I know you enjoy the book, you wouldn't have fought to get it published if you didn't think it was good. Let your work earn you that 5. To see a full review check out https: Nov 26, Jhenna rated it it was amazing. This book opened my eyes to that community. I will never truly understand what it is like to be transgender, but this book really gave me a good detailed story of what it is like.
Entering the mind of Emily helped me feel the pain of not being able to be herself. I highly, highly recommend this book to everyone, just because more people need to be aware that this happens to a lot of people. Jul 11, Cheryl rated it it was amazing Shelves: This book was fantastic! There was a lot of information about the transgendered life, transition, what it feels like to the young hiding who they are and how it literally can lead to suicide. At some point, I had tears running down my face with her struggle. Whether you are transgendered or not, read this book!
May 17, Linda rated it liked it Shelves: Jul 21, David Stockard rated it liked it. Dec 03, Shannon Oates rated it really liked it.
Being Emily by Anne Donovan – Canongate Books
Transgender Emily and her struggles. Sep 26, Genni Eccles rated it really liked it Shelves: I thought this was lovely. She struggles between the expectations placed on her versus her genuine enjoyment of her sport and her hobby. Her dad would say cars are a "guy thing" but she likes working on cars with her dad. Does she have to stop that when she transitions? Also there were some classroom moments that were just plain hard to read. There are little ways in which Emily is hurt by her parents over and over.
Being called "son" just chips away at her. The parents also really hurt her as they reject her identity at first. You know they will from the beginning but it was so painful. At the same time between being ignorant and backward and stuck in their own worldview, Emily's parents represent a lot of people, and like the therapist said, Emily's known her identity for years, but it was all new to her parents and they had to deal with it. I hate that they hurt Emily while they processed their own issues, but it's realistic to what transpeople face.
And many times in real life, it's much worse. This is why I think books like this are so important. By reading them we get to know what transpeople deal with, what they live with, the things they struggle with, so we can be more understanding of their experience and be accepting and respectful. I hope people will read this book or others like it. I don't have a trans kid, but they might have a trans friend or I might have a trans friend someday and I hope that my home can be a welcoming and safe place for them to express their identity. The girlfriend's POV was in my opinion unnecessary.
I can understand people wanting it in there, but to me, it interrupted the flow of the story every time. Clare's info dumps could have been added as appendices in the back of the book, I think. Counterpoint, then people probably wouldn't have read them. Still Clare is great. She's Emily's girlfriend who is also impacted by Emily's transition. She has a crisis herself as she has to sort out her own identity regarding her boyfriend becoming her girlfriend.
I really liked Emily's therapist the good one and Natalie's friendship. This is a really good story. As written, it is a good read for people who want to understand transgender experience and issues. I hope I didn't accidentally put anything in that is offensive or hurtful. If I did hit me up with a personal message so I can correct it. Rachel Gold has spent seven years as a reporter, ten years in marketing, and holds a Master of Fine Arts in Writing degree. She worked as the senior reporter for a weekly newspaper with a readership of up to , Sponsored Products are advertisements for products sold by merchants on Amazon.
When you click on a Sponsored Product ad, you will be taken to an Amazon detail page where you can learn more about the product and purchase it. To learn more about Amazon Sponsored Products, click here. That's just one quirky subject in Rachel Gold's background, and not necessarily a subject you'd expect from a woman who spent seven years working as a reporter on LGBT issues for a Twin Cities newspaper. After branching out into publicity and then marketing, Rachel's life has taken some interesting turns, including winning a national marketing award for using, you guessed it, lederhosen in an ad.
Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? Learn more about Amazon Prime. For Emily, telling her parents who she really is means a therapist who insists Christopher is normal and Emily is sick.
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Write a customer review. Read reviews that mention rachel gold well written main character highly recommended high school recommend it to anyone girlfriend claire must read highly recommend young person gender dysphoria trans women trans people main characters feel like great read read this book become emily emily story story of emily. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Aug 29, Lauretta rated it liked it. May 14, Eightlegs rated it really liked it.
Once you get used to the Scottish dialect this is a good read, the transition from teenager to adult of a girl and her family in Glasgow. Jul 29, Leon rated it really liked it Shelves: Fiona has been living the normal life, with mum, da, lezzie aunt, brother Patrick later gay Patric and the two terrible twins, until mum suddenly died at childbirth and Fiona's life takes a turn for the worse.
Da breaks down, takes to drinking. One day he nearly burns all alive in their tenement house, if Fiona hasn't the sense to wake from the smoke and, remembering her fire training, guide everyone out of the b Being Emily is all about one Scots girl, Fiona, who is obsessed with Emily Bronte. One day he nearly burns all alive in their tenement house, if Fiona hasn't the sense to wake from the smoke and, remembering her fire training, guide everyone out of the burning building. At school she's a couple with Jas Singh, who is into photography. He influences her decision to go with Art studies after school.
Amrik, the older brother, comes into the picture. Fiona simply falls for his beauty - simple pure lust, I say. She never had sex with Jas but she's willing and gagging for it with Amrik, and getting preggers into the bargain. Luckily or unluckiy for her, as she really wanted Amrik's baby, as she realises in retrospect she has a miscarriage.
Nobody in the family knows. From this experience she finds herself frightened for one of the twins, who gets preggers by the 2-syllable boyfriend. Fiona and Amrik split, because he can't stay on in Scotland and wants to go play his sitar in London. Later they accidentally met up again, when she is staying in London with now successful Patric, while she's putting up her student art exhibition. Back home in Scotland she finds out Amrik is bi, and with Patric.
Will Amrik break Patric's heart, like he did hers? Throughout the book we watch Fiona grow up, fall in love, learn about relationships and life. Like Emily Bronte's heroine, Fiona has to learn and find out who her real love is. Quite an absorbing and easy read, even with all the weird Scots slang and words like 'maire' for 'more', 'inteddy' for 'into the'. This one is difficult. On one hand, Donovan is great at drawing realistic characters and especially at putting realistic Glaswegian dialogue into their mouths she does equally well here as in the more well-known Buddha Da.
However, once she puts the characters in motion things tend to get a bit more complicated and I find her writing harder to like. I wasn't crazy about the choice that she made to include the four years before part as it felt like a waste of space - if she'd left that ou Ehhh. I wasn't crazy about the choice that she made to include the four years before part as it felt like a waste of space - if she'd left that out and beefed up the main section of the book I feel like it would have been improved.
The main section itself is good, but moves too quickly, which makes it difficult to fully believe the characters' motivations. It arrived far too quickly - I understand that she was trying to convey the sudden nature of the lustful relationships that can come upon you in your teens but it didn't really work for me.
I didn't feel that jumping off the page - it came across as unreal. I did love Jas, though. Apr 21, Hayes rated it really liked it Shelves: I'm not sure I fully understand the title of the book. Were there parallels between their two lives? It seemed like a throwaway title. Having said that, I'll also say that I'm having a hard time reviewing this book, although I don't know why. Perhaps because the book is so complex and can be read on so many different levels? I'm not sure where I'm not sure I fully understand the title of the book. I'm not sure where to start except to say that I really loved it.
We meet Fiona, our heroine, when she is in high school. We experience her life, her friends, her not quite falling in love. The scene then jumps to her time in Art school. She is older here and describes her family her flitty twin sisters, her vagabond older brother, her desperate father with brutality. Finally we see her as a young woman starting her life and her career and her family.
The book might be Fiona's diary; I didn't always understand what was happening right away, because her thoughts jump around and the information with it -- when and why her mother dies, for example. But Donovan portrays the life of a teenage girl growing up in the poorer neighborhoods of Glasgow so well and I was completely pulled into Fiona's life.
May 22, Ericthehamster rated it really liked it. A beautifully written book about a girl, Fiona, growing up in a tenement in Glasgow. She is bright, and despite her impoverished background or maybe because of it , she achieves academic success, firstly in attaining highers, and then in obtaining a place at Art School. She harbours a love of all things Emily Bronte, which helps her cope with the ups and downs and tragedies she and her family travel through. It also helps to have read Wuthering Heights and a bit about Emily, to appreciate some o A beautifully written book about a girl, Fiona, growing up in a tenement in Glasgow.
It also helps to have read Wuthering Heights and a bit about Emily, to appreciate some of the allusions and references in this story. This took me a while to become attached to it, mainly due to the fact that it was written in the first person narrative by Fiona , and in Glaswegian vernacular throughout which I initially found annoying. However, with persistence, I found Fiona and her family her father and her three siblings engaging and sympathetic.
The Glaswegian vernacular added to the gentle humour of the book. The conclusion is neat, but not trite, and I welcomed it, although some readers may find it slightly too convenient. Jul 23, Jen rated it really liked it Shelves: Thoroughly enjoyed this first novel set in Glasgow. Fiona is a teenager living with her horrible twin sisters, Mona and Rona, her Da, and her Mammy, who keeps the household together. When she dies, life begins to unravel - her Da drinks too much and her sisters go further off the rails. Fiona is sustained through all this by her friendship with Jas, a fellow student at her school, who encourages her to pursue her interest in Emily Bronte and her developing awareness of art.
Only false note was t Thoroughly enjoyed this first novel set in Glasgow. Only false note was the neat ending. Jun 07, Denise rated it really liked it Recommended to Denise by: Radio 4 's A Good Read. Finished this at silly o'clock last night. Without realising it, this book had drawn me into Fiona's world so thoroughly that I couldn't put it down until some kind of resolution was reached ie the last page.