Saturday, August 3, 2019

Birthday by Meredith Russo

Content Warnings: transphobia, homophobia and domestic violence

Rating: ★★★ +.5 | 288 pages | Contemporary | Flatiron Books | Release Date: 5/21/2019

Eric and Morgan are best friends who share everything--including a birthday. On their 13th birthday, Morgan is ready to tell Eric they identify as a girl even though they were assigned male at birth. But that moment never comes and in each chapter, we visit Morgan and Eric on their shared birthday and watch how their lives grow and change through adolescence.

The cover calls this a love story---and it is--but this isn’t exactly a romance, which is kind of what I thought it was going to be. This story takes place in small-town Tennesse where the only way out is football. Morgan has to struggle with toxic masculinity, poverty and alcoholism while trying to come out as trans.  There is also mention of and one scene of domestic violence as well as lots of homophobia and transphobia so it can be a tough read at times.

Birthday is a heart-wrenching but ultimately hopeful story about friendship and love  I'm sure we will be hearing about around Printz time.

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