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Thursday, March 17, 2016

REVIEW: Luna by Julie Anne Peters

Reagan harbors a secret--that her older brother, Liam, can't stand the person he is during the day.  At night, using Reagan's clothes and makeup, he transforms into Luna, the beautiful girl he can only be behind closed doors in the sanctity of their shared basement.  Tired of hiding her true self, Luna prepares to share her identity with the world but Reagan is fearful of family and friends reactions. Luna is a compelling story about a transgender teen's struggle for self-identity and acceptance.

What makes Luna special is in part its subject matter but also the way in which it is told.  If it had been told from Liam's POV as he embraces his identity as Luna, the story would still be powerful; however, the addition of Reagan as narrator, sharing Luna's journey but also her own adds another level to the prose. The novel is inspiring for multiple readers not only for its themes concerning the transgender community but also for exploring gender roles, friend and family relationships, budding romance and parental expectations.

Luna is certainly deserving of its praise and award nominations and recognition. This is one of those reads that I couldn't put down.  I was captivated by all the characters and easily angered by pretty much all the adults throughout the novel. I admire the authentic voice of the writing and think this should be added to any school or public library collection that it might inspire or provide support for readers experiencing similar situations.

Final rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Follow the author on Twitter: @julieannepeters

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