Title: Alex As Well
Author: Alyssa Brugman
Genre: GLBT, Young Adult
Publisher: Baltzer + Bray
Expected Publication Date: April 7th, 2015
What It’s About: Alex is about to make some big changes. She has been viewed as a boy her whole life. In her heart, she knows she is actually a girl. Alex’s life changes drastically when she switches gender and schools.
~A ebook copy was provided via Net Galley from Penguin Random House UK for review. This review is my honest opinion and spoiler free. ~
What I Thought: Alyssa Brugman is an Australian author, therefore this book is written with ‘Aussie’ slang. I am not fully educated on the subject of intergender, thus my view on the book is different. I was very confused throughout about half of this book. Alex has been a boy her whole life, a procedure took place when Alex was first born – she was born with both a “noodle” (as the book calls it) and ovaries. All Alex’s life, she knew there was something different about her. She felt uncomfortable being a boy. Therefore, Alex decides to change everything. Starting with her appearance, Alex starts wearing too much make-up, glittery skirts, and hair extensions. Soon after, she enrolls herself in a new, coed school. Alex attended Joey’s – an all boy school. But, after an incident Alex decides she will never go back there. Enrolling herself in a new school was a big step for Alex which resulted in drama. These changes took a huge toll on Alex’s parents. Alex’s father left for a little while and Alex’s mother went insane. Alex’s mother was a large role in this book. She wrote entries on a motherhood website about her situation. This is where the confusion came into play, for me anyway. Alex’s mother is very unaccepting. One minute she is writing about how happy she is, then how Alex shouldn’t have a say in any of this or it’s just a phase. I wasn’t sure of what page she was on with accepting the circumstance. I was very confused. This is shown to be set as Realistic Fiction but I felt that the realism wasn’t there. The bullying felt unrealistic, many of the times Alex was bullied it was at random or just unnecessary. Brugman wrote Alex very stereotypical from her appearance and her extracurriculars. She is very confused and scared though, because she is afraid of what others will think if they find out about her secret. What I did enjoy about this book was the way Brugman split up Alex as bigender. Alex is told as two individuals but they both control Alex’s mind. Alex as a boy brings humor to this book when he steps in to play. His actions are very boyish or childish. I really enjoyed this concept. I did rate this book low because I felt lost when reading or feel the realism in characters. The family was scattered and their views were confusing. In my opinion, if the story had a little more depth it would’ve been very good.