An Un-Calibrated Centrifuge

My dad once said to me, "You give a lot of books three stars." I do.

Gracefully Grayson

Gracefully Grayson - Ami Polonsky

Before I started this book I'd read a few reviews that told me it was going to be pretty good and I wasn't let down.

 

This is the first MG novel that I know of that tackles trans issues and it could have been a mess. I can't speak to the trans issues (I'm cis), but the story itself was well-written and compelling.

 

I did have issues with Meagan Lee. She's the only non-white character in the entire book*, and it's never explicitly stated that she's Asian. There's only her surname and some stereotypical/racist descriptors ("almond-shaped eyes," long black hair). Ew.

 

But the rest of the book was good. I loved the classroom scenes. Occasionally the parallels drawn between Grayson's story and Persephone's were too on the nose for me, and I wasn't a fan of the poetry chapter at the end (?).

 

The story isn't a coming out story per se, but it definitely deals with Grayson's gender identity questioning and the start of Grayson's transitioning, two subjects which seem to be the most popular for trans stories (if not the only subjects for trans stories). I can't put all my hopes and dreams for trans characters onto this one book, especially considering it's one of the first (if not the first) of its kind. Hopefully though as trans people get more visibility, we'll start seeing other narratives involving trans characters.

 

*I'm operating on the principle that a character is assumed white by the general audience unless that character is explicitly stated to be a character of color.