The Best Boy Ever Made by Rachel Eliason was a great concept for a story that fell a bit flat on the execution.
I really liked Alecia and Sam - Sam in particular felt like a very realistic portrayal of a transgender teenager trying to find their place in the world. (At least, as far as I could tell - I freely admit that I am fully cis and thus have no personal experience here.)
I also liked the side characters - Alecia’s family and their discomfort with the whole idea, her sister Britney and her plotline, her awesome great-grandmother, and Sam’s family and how they dealt as well. The teens in the school were realistically varied, including everyone from the super-religious to the nerds to the theater kids to the popular kids.
The plot was a bit on the predictable side (I 100% predicted what was going to happen at the end) but that’s not necessarily a bad thing - as long as the story is well-written.
And it…mostly was. Like I said, I liked the characters, and I liked a lot of the writing.
But now we’re back to problems with the execution.
First of all, the book moved too quickly. it seemed to me that the author spent a ton of time building up the first half of the year and all the problems, and then went “oh shit, I’ve only got 50 pages left to wrap this up, better do that fast!” So there were huge time jumps in the latter part of the book.
Second, the author couldn’t use a contraction to save her life. If you ever meet a teenager who speaks English as a native language and actually uses the phrase “I am glad you are here”… well. I want to see this mythical unicorn.
Third, the author needed an editor.
I found a number of mistakes, including missing words, punctuation issues, and even one spot where half a random scene seemed to be dropped in. Yeah, I don’t know either.
So while I liked the premise and the characters, and the plot wasn’t bad, the lack of readability made it impossible for me to rate this higher than three stars.
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