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P. 1
Almost Perfect

Almost Perfect

Ratings:

3.77

(82)
|Views: 958|Likes:
Published by Random House Kids
You only hurt the ones you love.

Logan Witherspoon recently discovered that his girlfriend of three years cheated on him. But things start to look up when a new student breezes through the halls of his small-town high school. Sage Hendricks befriends Logan at a time when he no longer trusts or believes in people. Sage has been homeschooled for a number of years and her parents have forbidden her to date anyone, but she won’t tell Logan why. One day, Logan acts on his growing feelings for Sage. Moments later, he wishes he never had. Sage finally discloses her big secret: she’s actually a boy. Enraged, frightened, and feeling betrayed, Logan lashes out at Sage and disowns her. But once Logan comes to terms with what happened, he reaches out to Sage in an attempt to understand her situation. But Logan has no idea how rocky the road back to friendship will be.


From the Hardcover edition.
You only hurt the ones you love.

Logan Witherspoon recently discovered that his girlfriend of three years cheated on him. But things start to look up when a new student breezes through the halls of his small-town high school. Sage Hendricks befriends Logan at a time when he no longer trusts or believes in people. Sage has been homeschooled for a number of years and her parents have forbidden her to date anyone, but she won’t tell Logan why. One day, Logan acts on his growing feelings for Sage. Moments later, he wishes he never had. Sage finally discloses her big secret: she’s actually a boy. Enraged, frightened, and feeling betrayed, Logan lashes out at Sage and disowns her. But once Logan comes to terms with what happened, he reaches out to Sage in an attempt to understand her situation. But Logan has no idea how rocky the road back to friendship will be.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Publish date: Oct 13, 2009
Added to Scribd: May 10, 2012
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reservedISBN:9780375893797
List Price: $9.99 Buy Now

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a_reader_of_fictions reviewed this
Rated 4/5
"Everyone has one line they swear they'll never cross, the one thing they say they'll never do. Not something serious like I'll never kill anyone or I'll never invade Russia in the winter. Usually, it's something less earth-shattering.
I'll never cheat on her.
I'll never work at a job I hate.
I'll never give up my dreams.
We draw the line. Maybe we even believe it. That's why it's so hard when we break that promise we make to ourselves.
Sage Hendricks was my line."

So begins Almost Perfect. I was hooked from this brief opening, which was not a chapter but not quite a prologue. It was, essentially, a hook. And it worked. The tone is effective established as serious, humorous and witty. The book definitely lives up to this opening. I will warn you that to not have a surprise spoiled, you shouldn't read this review, but you also shouldn't read the back of the book, so I'm going to go ahead and talk pretty openly about it, because it's not about what's going on so much as about how Logan, our main character, will deal with it.

Logan Witherspoon is in a bit of a rut when the story begins, having been dumped by his girlfriend Lauren, a few months before the story opened. He and Lauren dated for three whole years and he only got to first base. He still wants her back, even though she cheated on him; she had sex with some guy she just met (in a car outside a drug store - or was it a fast food restaurant - either way, classy) and he still dreams up reconciliations in his mind. So yeah, he's a little pathetic, but it's not like he has many good option in his tiny home town.

Then, one fateful day, a new student comes to his biology class. That's right, you guessed it: Sage Hendricks. Sage is six feet tall, with riotous curly red hair, freckles, braces and wearing a ridiculous, brightly colored dress. Logan is immediately captivated. He wants her so badly from pretty much the first moment, even though she is not at all the typical girl. Boy, doesn't he know.

Logan keeps trying to get with Sage, but she keeps pushing him away, citing overprotective parents, who let her younger sister do anything. Still, she flirts with him and he is completely frustrated. She has some secret and he wants to know it and he wants her. Finally, they make out. Then she tells him the secret. She's a boy. But only biologically.

I loved Logan of the opening chapters, even with the whiny pining. He was funny and nice. The Logan of this part was not so much my favorite. It was really hard not to judge him for his reaction to the news, but, honestly, how is one supposed to react to that? No matter how open-minded you are, this is liable to come as a bit of a shock and require some readjustment.

Logan is not always a good guy. Sage is not always as fun or smart or confident as she seems. People are flawed and situations are unfortunate. This book definitely isn't sunshine and puppies, but it is good and it deals with an issue I have rarely seen dealt with in literature (Middlesex, Annabel), and not at all in YA literature. To write this book, Katcher talked to real transgender folk about their experiences growing up, so he knew what he was talking about. Almost Perfect really does live up to its name in its own right, but would be worth reading for novelty's sake anyway. This is a great addition to lgbt lit and teen fiction.
kimpiddington reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Interesting and believable story about a difficult situation.
jellyn_7 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Maybe it's ironic that the title is "Almost Perfect" and I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.The main character is a senior and a track runner and a guy guy living in a trailer in Missouri. And I can mostly like him, but only mostly. When we first meet him, he's moping about his ex-girlfriend. Then he meets the new girl, Sage, and things finally get interesting.Sage was born a boy, and when she tells him this, he doesn't react well. Then he reacts better. Then he doesn't. Well, but mostly he reacts okay. You want to make excuses for him, small town, whitebred boy from the sticks or whatever. But those aren't excuses.The ending was rather unsatisfying to me. And it definitely feels like the whole point of the book is his reaction to everything. Which is.. valid, I suppose, but perhaps not ideally what I wanted out of the book.Still, I think it's a decent companion to Luna and Parrotfish. Though I vastly prefer those two. This one just sort of.. fills a need, maybe. I hope it's out there teaching some people something.My one big quibble with it is I could not get a grip on the timeline. January 1st is like their big blowup and he's in a confused funk for weeks. And then later the narrator's like.. January was pretty good. NOT. And then suddenly it's raining and he's talking about swimming pools, when I swear it must still be February. And then it's 'several months', but spring hasn't even hit yet. And then time got all vague until graduation finally hit. Very annoying.Authors, if you can't keep track of the time, WRITE A TIMELINE.Thank you.
readerspeak_1 reviewed this
Rated 3/5
This book is an important step in young adult literature. Although Sage, the story's transgender teen, is not the protagonist, her character is well developed through her interactions with Logan, a straight, imperfect boy having a string of bad luck in love. Katcher does an excellent job illustrating the problems these teens would face from both family and friends, as well as offering resources for support at the end of his book.I wasn't impressed with the writing, however. The plot was predictable, and the description did more telling than showing (yes, we know Logan lives in a trailer, as he's mentioned several times). I really disliked Logan. I thought he was awful in an angry, homophobic way. I would hate to think his character is typical of most male teens. Sage let him off the hook at the end way too easily.
lawral_2 reviewed this
Rated 5/5
Almost Perfect, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.I love thine characters in their complexity and their completeness,From their talk of motorboating to their genuine concern for each otherThey make me think of actual teenagers rather than teen-aged "types."I love Tammi's fierce love for her sister, masquerading as aloofness:Most quiet need to protect and hope at the same time.I love Logan's mother, who has done her best in trying circumstances.I love Logan's cool and supportive older sister (who tries to help him get laid).Logan, I love thee. Insecurities and bravery and insecurities againIn situations never expected, and with grace unmatched by peers.I love every characters' flaws; none is the pinnacle of righteousness or political correctness.Sage, the object of Logan's affection and mine, shines as brightly as her braces.She lives in the belief that the world can be better and love worth the risk;And, if God choose, she is right.*Seriously guys, this is an amazing book, and Brian Katcher is an amazing author. That might explain why I've been waiting for my turn to read it from the library since it was announced as the winner of the Stonewall in January. It was more than worth the wait. Everyone has talked about the Big Issue that Almost Perfect addresses, but I have yet to see someone talk about how the issues (more than one, even) are in perfect balance with the flirting and the humor and the sexiness and the teenage-guy-ness of the book as a whole.I loved it. You probably will too.Book source: Philly Free Library (but I'm gonna go buy my own asap)* To Elizabeth Barrett Browning, I extend my greatest thanks for the inspiration. And my apologies.
kyuuketsukirui reviewed this
Rated 1/5
I would never say that people should not write about disprivileged groups they're not a part of, but this book is an example of why such books are often best avoided. Sadly, this book has received a lot of praise and even won awards.It is written by a straight cis man and it shows. This is not a book about a trans girl; it's a book about how hard it is to be a straight cis guy who falls for a trans girl. This is an intensely hurtful book and one I would never recommend to a trans teen or even a cis queer teen, because the homophobia is just as bad as the transphobia, but unlike the transphobia, left completely unchallenged. In fact, I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone.The protagonist's homophobia was relentless, and it's not that it's something uncommon in a teenage boy, in fact quite the opposite. But to have this sort of thing, especially in a first-person narrative, seems to assume that the audience is not going to be queer people, but rather straight people who probably identify at least a little with what the protagonist is saying. It's very alienating to read.The transphobia is bad, but as I mentioned above, is actually somewhat less than the homophobia, because Logan does learn to mostly see Sage as a woman, even if he still sees her more as someone who will eventually become a real woman when she gets surgery. The homophobia is never challenged. In fact, it's implicitly reinforced by Logan's growing acceptance of Sage, since he is able to stop questioning his sexuality and see himself as really 100% straight and not one of those gross disgusting queers despite his attraction to Sage. I kept hoping one of the other characters would be revealed as queer, but no, there are no queer characters at all in this book.Then there's the plot itself, which is formulaic, and of course ends up with Sage in the hospital after some guy nearly kills her when he finds out she's trans. I mean, how could we have a book about how hard it is to be a cis straight person who knows a trans person if the trans person wasn't horribly injured in order for the cis person to learn a lesson?And as if that wasn't enough, the book is filled with all sorts of misinformation about trans people (well, trans women; trans men don't exist in this universe, either). For example, at one point Sage takes out a picture of another trans woman, a friend she's met on the internet. This woman is described as looking like a man in a dress, complete with wig and visible stubble. Sage says this is what trans women look like if they don't transition in their teens.There are plenty of other problems with the book, including fat hatred and racism (combined in one character!). While Logan's friend Tim is not a stereotypical Asian character (in fact Logan introduces him by saying he's not a stereotypical Asian, bleh), the author couldn't be arsed to do two seconds of research on Google to find out the correct spelling of the name he was using. TokuGOwa is not a Japanese name. Like, at all. At first I hoped it might be just a typo, but it appears more than once. Anyway, while Tim may not be a stereotypical Asian, he does get to be a stereotypical fat kid, face constantly covered in food crumbs until the love of a good (white) woman finally gets him to clean himself up.This book is bad. The other two books I've read about trans teens, Luna and Parrotfish, both had their own problems, but were miles better than this. Maybe next we can have a book that's actually about a trans character AND written by a trans person. (Luna is by a cis author and is about the sister of a trans girl, while Parrotfish is about a trans guy but is still by a cis author.)
maineiac4434 reviewed this
Rated 5/5
Epic. Depressing. Heartfelt. Those words come to mind when thinking about this masterpiece.The writing, at least for me, captured me immediately. Logan is interesting, and the first person perspective makes the hard topics in this book all the more real.Intensely dramatic, the subject matter in the book isn't for everyone. It swears like a sailor (still not as much as me daily, though) and is occasionally violent.I'm surprised this isn't more popular. The writing is excellent, the story is spectacular (albeit incredibly depressing). I have one criticism: when the big reveals or twists were coming up, I could see the coming from about three pages before. It might not apply to everyone, but it did too me.This book is phenomenal. Definitely for an older young adult audience (e.g., you wouldn't want your 11-year-old reading this, especially if you're socially conservative). I highly recommend Almost Perfect. One of the best books I've read in a long time.
thelibrarina reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Sage is a new girl in the town of Boyer, Missouri, and she's got a secret: the phrase "new girl" is a lot more apt than anybody thinks. Sage is transgendered, a girl born physically male. Her family is still coming to terms with the decision, and her trans status is a tremendous secret. Logan Witherspoon has never met a girl like Sage, and he's immediately attracted to her. When he learns her secret, though, he's initially repulsed. Gradually, with many stops and starts, he becomes closer to Sage; however, he's unable to accept her completely, and in the end that lack of acceptance is costly.I wish we had been able to see the story through Sage's eyes. Although Logan's homo- and transphobic vacillating was realistic, he began to get annoying to me after the third or fourth time he got close to Sage and then backed away again. Really experiencing Sage's thoughts and emotions would have been even more affecting than seeing her outward reactions to Logan's attitudes, and the final events of the book would have been less suspenseful but much more moving.In a lot of novels that deal with serious subject matter, there's a point where you feel the right side of the book growing lighter in your hand, and you realize that there's not enough time left for a happily ever after. You know that the ending is either going to be happy-but-unsatisfying, or sad-but-affecting, but you push on nevertheless. If you've read much in the way of LGBT teen fiction, you can probably guess which track the writer chose. It works well.
wombat_1 reviewed this
Lady Wombat says:Books about transgendered kids are few and far between, so anything addressing the topic is welcome. Somehow though, Katcher's story never came alive, never felt real to me; I felt if I were reading nonfiction at times, being preached to, or that the story felt as if it were being told by someone sympathetic to the experience rather than by someone who had actually met and loved a transgendered teen, one with a specific personality, rather than being the generalized product of her circumstances.
crochetbunnii reviewed this
Rated 3/5
Logan lives in a small town in Missouri. After recovering from a breakup with his girlfriend of three years, he befriends the new girl in school, Sage, and notices she's playing hard to get. She never says goodbye and she says her parents won't let her date, even though she's sixteen. When Logan finds out she's transgendered, he's enraged, disgusted, and then tolerant. Logan is a tender-hearted character who wants to do what is right by people, but only so far as it doesn't conflict with his own agenda. A story about tolerance and understanding, told not from the transgendered person's perspective, but that of a close friend who is struggling to come to terms. I would recommend this book to older teens as it contains themes about sexuality, sexual relations, cussies and violence. Contains an eccentric female character similar to Lyga's Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl.

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P. 1
Almost Perfect