Review Detail

Freakboy FeaturedHot
Young Adult Fiction 4506
We're All Freaks, and It's Okay
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
What I Loved:
I read Freakboy as I traversed the United States. The row in front of me on the airplane, there was a baby, so I put my headphones in and blasted music into my ears. This actually really helped me focus in on the book, and remove the rest of the world. Usually, when I read, I’m distracted: by my cat, by the internet, by little sounds outside. The whole time I was reading Freakboy on the flight, I was basically trying not to be that weird girl crying on the airplane. Kristin Elizabeth Clark’s Freakboy is one of those rare verse novels that works for me, and it made me feel so many feels as well.

In general, I really struggle with verse novels, because I expect them to follow certain rules, and generally they don’t. Freakboy actually isn’t the sort of verse I typically enjoy, but, reading it while listening to music, I was able to let go of my conceptions and just go with the book’s flow. Clark has three different first person perspectives all in verse, which I really didn’t think would work, but Clark pulls it off deftly. Brendan, Angel and Vanessa all have distinct voices and styles, even if they’re written similarly. Angel’s voice, especially stood out to me.

Clark experiments a lot with poetic form, making use of the space on the page and different poetic formats throughout. I especially loved the ones where she used a different form, like when Vanessa and Brendan’s poems merged into one. I also loved the way the formatting of the poems would symbolize the emotional distance between the characters at particular points. And, of course, I’m mightily cheered that I can like verse novels.

The plot of Freakboy is heartbreaking and needed in YA. The main character is Brendan, a wrestler, who is often called a fag, despite the fact that he has a girlfriend, Vanessa. He has never thought much of it, but events force him into introspection. He begins to wonder if he’s meant to be a girl, but he’s torn between his love of Vanessa and what that means for his sexuality. His search into his identity and what it means to be transgender or genderqueer is painful, touching, and enlightening. Clark manages to unpack a lot of the issues involved in a way that is educational without being preachy or lecturing.

My favorite character by far was Angel, who has this really powerful voice. Pretty much every quote I noted down was her. She’s transgender, passes well, but is always forthright about who she is. I love her strength and how she’s overcome so much adversity, and now wants to help teens struggling with the same issues she went through. She’s sassy and a bit rough and tumble. I loved her despite the fact that her grammar isn’t always perfect. Also, I feel like she’s a RENT reference, which can only be made of win. AND she gets a hot boy, which makes my heart happy and keeps the book from being unrelentingly depressing.

What Left Me Wanting More:
Vanessa’s perspective was interesting from the point of view of a partner dealing with someone going through this period of questioning, but I wasn’t quite as engaged with her as the other two. The way that she pushed her friends away to be with Brendan really irritated me. Her plot lines really felt unresolved, which is frustrating, and the one thing that I didn’t like about Freakboy.

The Final Verdict:
This is not my best review ever, because I’m on vacation and exhausted from traveling, but I loved Freakboy. I love that it exists and think it’s beautifully done and emotionally resonant on top of that.
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 1 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
It is twenty years since the events of La Belle...
Heiress Apparently (Daughters of the Dynasty, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The first book in an epic and romantic YA series...
Winter Light
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
WINTER LIGHT is the story of 15-year-old Mary Donahue...
Talent
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sandee Mason is convinced her life will change if she...
WITHIN THE FOLDS OF A SWAN'S WINGS
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
What if the one element that has always defined you...
The Good Girls
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
One of Us Is Lying meets Sadie in this twisty,...
Frozen 2: Dangerous Secrets: The Story of Iduna and Agnarr
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Iduna harbors a dark secret. On the surface, she...
All our Hidden Gifts
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Maeve’s strangely astute tarot readings make her the talk of...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Twelve-year-old Cassie needs a horse. She’s determined to move up...
A Higher Version of Me (The Destiny Clark Saga Book 9)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Just when everything seems to be perfect, it all falls...
A Happier Version of Me (The Destiny Clark Saga Book 8)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Two guys. One girl. A big confusing mess. ...
A Healthier Version of Me (The Destiny Clark Saga Book 7)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
She broke his heart. Will he ever forgive her? ...
A Steadier Version of Me (The Destiny Clark Saga Book 6)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
He wants her back, but she’s already taken. ...
A Stronger Version of Me (The Destiny Clark Saga Book 5)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Can new love heal old wounds? I want...
A Smarter Version of Me (The Destiny Clark Saga Book 4)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Can she keep him, or will his ex steal him...
A Bolder Version of Me (The Destiny Clark Saga Book 3)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
When the truth is uncovered, the bullies come out to...

Latest Member Reviews

Of Ice and Shadows
 
3.7
"WHAT I LOVED: One of my biggest complaints about Of Fire and Stars was its lacking characterization, but that’s been..."
Inkmistress
 
3.7
"WHAT I LOVED: People do inadvisable things for love. Some of us publicly embarrass ourselves, but Asra uses her..."
 
4.7
"Sam Jones and Zoe Miller are seniors in high school, but they've never had a reason to communicate during their..."