Nevada by Imogen Binnie


i bought this book from the queer shelf at a bookstore in Reno, NV, after reading the synopsis; poetic, i know. cities? trans people? punk? that's, like, right up my alley. the first thing i noticed about Nevada is that it doesn't utilize any dialogue tags. characters talking are shown through the narrator, Maria Griffiths, telling you that a character is speaking. it definitely takes a bit to get used to, but i think it kind of enhances your experience reading it. a lot of the book is Maria narrating her mundane yet similtaneously stressful life with long inner monologues about heteronormativity, gender roles, and the trans experience. if you're looking for an action-packed super spy thriller... this probably isn't for you. it takes a while to really get into it, but that doesn't mean that the beginning of the book is boring by any means. the way that Binnie sets up the world is immediately intriguing. the "call to action" of the plot (Maria quitting her job, stealing her girlfriends car, and taking it on a roadtrip with no set destination using her bottom surgery savings) happens really unexpectedly, and kind of out of nowhere (which isn't out of the ordinary for her at all). after she meets James along the way, who she suspects to be trans, the entirety of her plan starts to unravel as she tries to let him know what he doesn't want to admit. she brings him in her car to a casino, and abandons him which literally comes out of NOWHERE and the last line of the book is James wondering if theres enough room for him to get head in the back of his girlfriends car.

one of the few things i didn't really like about the book are in regards to Maria's views on trans masculine people. her character is kind of jealous of trans masc people and sees them as having it easier than trans fems. i dont think it should be taken out of the book or anything, as i think it adds depth to her character and gives us more insight on her relationship to the trans community. it's just kind of sucks having to read that. Binnie actually talks about this in her added afterword for the rerelease of the book.

I'm Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy


i'm a sucker for autobigraphies and non-fiction, so this was right up my alley. as someone born in 2003 iCarly was a big part of my childhood, and Sam was always my favorite character. which, is kind of bittersweet considering the amount of abuse she endured in and out of the film industry. i found myself relating to Jennette McCurdy a lot, as someone who grew up really poor and who has a strained relationship with my mom.

Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher


Almost Perfect was the 39th most banned book in 2022, and one of 52 books that was banned (and later unbanned) by the Alpine School District in Utah following the implimentation of H.B. 374 because it contained "pornography." and as someone who has completely read through the book... that's complete bullshit. i feel like people don't know what the definition of "pornography" actually is anymore, because sexual content does not always constitute pornography. the main characters have sex near the end of the book, but its not even described beyond their first kisses and general vague descriptions. sex is discussed because, spoilers, teenagers have sex sometimes. this book was not banned because of pornography, but because it's about a straight cis boy falling in love with a trans girl.

the book strikes a chord with me especially. as someone who has been both the homophobic/transphobic ignorant kid, and now has gotten out of that pipeline and came out as non-binary/trans and gay, both of their stories have elements i can't relate to. now, im NOT trying to "both sides" this because transphobia and transness are NOT the same at all. but the main character Logan is raised in a small republican town inside of missouri, and is definitely a product of his environment.