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Infinite Satellite

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Almost Perfect - Brian Katcher This book had so much potential to fail, but it manages to avoid falling into the open pits of maudlinism, cliches, and sensationalism that yawn beneath the feet of any plot brave enough to veer into trans-gender territory.

While homophobia and the challenges of growing up trans-gender drive the plot, this book is really about love, the obstacles it faces, and the many ways we humans have of screwing up a great thing when the going gets tough.

The story floats on great character development. Logan, our protagonist, is a poor-as-dirt small town boy who has initially has nothing on his mind but the fact that his girlfriend of three years just broke his heart. His first-person narrative voice is so frank, funny, and earnest that the reader can easily sympathize. When he finds out that his new love interest Sage is really a boy living as a girl, Logan does have an insensitive, prejudiced reaction...well, several, actually. But the story becomes his journey through his own fears to an understanding that we can't help who we love and how, that happiness is never perfect and demands sacrifice, and that sometimes wisdom comes too late. Describing the heavy themes of this novel makes it sound epic and overblown, but it's actually a very simple but profound story, told with a light touch and laugh-out-loud one-liners.

While I wouldn't recommend this book to a teen struggling with the gender-to-gender transition because of some situations the heroine faces, I would recommend it as an emotional eye-opener to anyone else.