Book Review: Symptoms of Being Human

Symptoms of Being Human is a book by Jeff Garvin that deals with the young Riley Cavanaugh, her gender identity, and the problems that go along with how she identifies. From the synopsis: 

"The first thing you're going to want to know about me is: Am I a boy, or am I a girl?

Riley Cavanaugh is many things: Punk rock. Snarky. Rebellious. And gender fluid. Some days Riley identifies as a boy, and others as a girl. But Riley isn't exactly out yet. And between starting a new school and having a congressman father running for reelection in ├╝ber-conservative Orange County, the pressure—media and otherwise—is building up in Riley's life.

On the advice of a therapist, Riley starts an anonymous blog to vent those pent-up feelings and tell the truth of what it's really like to be a gender fluid teenager. But just as Riley's starting to settle in at school—even developing feelings for a mysterious outcast—the blog goes viral, and an unnamed commenter discovers Riley's real identity, threatening exposure. And Riley must make a choice: walk away from what the blog has created—a lifeline, new friends, a cause to believe in—or stand up, come out, and risk everything."

As a gender fluid person, this book means a lot to me. It represents the gender fluid population in a way that it hasn't been before. I had never read a book about someone who identified like me before I read Symptoms of Being Human. 

The book deals with really big issues, such as bullying, rape, coming out, and more. All of these issues are depicted in such a realistic way that makes everything that is happening feel so real. 

If you are trying to understand more about what it's like to be transgender (yes, gender fluid is considered to be transgender), then this book is an amazing read. Also, if you are gender fluid or are questioning your gender identity, this book could really help you.

Overall, this book is an amazing read, and I would recommend it to anyone.

I'm Julia Morgan, a freshman from Montrose Junior Senior High School.

"Love is too beautiful to be left in the closet."

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