Freakboy

FeaturedHot
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
4510 0
Freakboy
Age Range
12+
Release Date
October 22, 2013
ISBN
9780374324728
Buy This Book
      

From the outside, Brendan Chase seems to have it pretty easy. He’s a star wrestler, a video game aficionado, and a loving boyfriend to his seemingly perfect match, Vanessa. But on the inside, Brendan struggles to understand why his body feels so wrong—why he sometimes fantasizes having long hair, soft skin, and gentle curves. Is there even a name for guys like him? Guys who sometimes want to be girls? Or is Brendan just a freak?

In Freakboy's razor-sharp verse, Kristin Clark folds three narratives into one powerful story: Brendan trying to understand his sexual identity, Vanessa fighting to keep her and Brendan’s relationship alive, and Angel struggling to confront her demons.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

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 Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 1 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Cousins
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of One...
A Curse of Roses
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Based on Portuguese legend, this #OwnVoices historical fantasy is an...
I Don't Want to Wash my Hands!
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
From beloved children's author and illustrator Tony Ross, comes a...
Dance Like a Leaf
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
As her grandmother's health declines, a young girl begins to...
The Bitterwine Oath
 
3.3 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
San Solano, Texas, is a quaint town known for...
Sing Like No One's Listening
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
A moving YA debut about a talented young singer...
Heiress Apparently (Daughters of the Dynasty, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The first book in an epic and romantic YA...
The Good Girls
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
One of Us Is Lying meets Sadie in this...
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,...
The Camelot Betrayal
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
The second book in a new fantasy trilogy from...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Every summer, they say goodbye. Dorit goes to Tel Aviv...
Incredible Animals
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In this illustrated guide, discover fascinating and unusual information about...
Special Delivery
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
A lovely book to share with children in an expecting...
Eyelike Stickers: Trains
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Hundreds of irresistible, reusable, and collectible stickers to mix, match,...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
It is twenty years since the events of La Belle...
Winter Light
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
WINTER LIGHT is the story of 15-year-old Mary Donahue...

Latest Member Reviews

I Don't Want to Wash my Hands!
 
3.0
"I DON'T WANT TO WASH MY HANDS is a picture book about the need for frequent hand washing. The little..."
Dance Like a Leaf
 
5.0
"DANCE LIKE A LEAF is a beautiful book about grief and loss of a loved one. A young girl loves..."
Special Delivery
 
4.0
"SPECIAL DELIVERY is a delightfully silly picture book. A little duck is eagerly awaiting the delivery of her baby brother...."
Minecraft: The Shipwreck
 
5.0
"Jake and his father have moved around quite a bit after the death of his mother. His father is a..."
The Tiny Baker
 
5.0
"THE TINY BAKER is the sweet story of a baker bee who runs a bakery and tea shop. Every day,..."
A Gift for Amma: Market Day in India
 
5.0
"A GIFT FOR AMMA is a delightful and colorful journey through the marketplace in India. A young girl ventures out..."
Five Little Ducks: First Book of Nursery Rhymes
 
5.0
"FIVE LITTLE DUCKS is a delightful collection of nursery rhymes. The book includes many rhymes that are familiar alongside those..."
The Bread Pet: A Sourdough Story
 
4.0
"THE BREAD PET is a cute story about Cora, whose favorite uncle asks her to take care of his sourdough..."
Scruff
 
3.5
"SCRUFF is a cute picture book story of a man who gets a scruffy dog, which suits his scruffy style..."
Making Tracks: City
 
5.0
"MAKING TRACKS: CITY is a fun lift-the-flap board book that features tracks and asks who made them. When children lift..."
Amazing Islands
 
4.5
"'Amazing Islands' by Sabrina Weiss and Kerry Hyndman is a beautifully illustrated book, chock full of valuable information about islands..."
The Walrus and the Caribou
 
4.5
"'The Walrus and the Caribou' by Maika Harper, illustrated by Marcus Cutler, is an endearing tale of creation, based on..."
The Boy, the Wolf, and the Stars
 
5.0
"THE BOY, THE WOLF, AND THE STARS is an enchanting middle grade fantasy. Bo was left in the woods as..."
Friend Me
 
5.0
"Roisin has moved from Dublin, Ireland to the Boston area with her mother and older brother Michael. Her mother works..."
Tiger Wild
 
3.0
"TIGER WILD is a picture book about imaginary friends and getting into trouble. Lily always blames her mistakes on Tiger,..."
Bea by the Sea
 
5.0
"BEA BY THE SEA is a sweet picture book about trying new things and making new friends. Bea loves lions..."
Let's Find the Kitten
 
5.0
"LET'S FIND THE KITTEN is a cute hide-and-seek, lift-the-flap board book. Kitten is hiding, but we don't know where. As..."
Winston Wiggles
 
4.0
"WINSTON WIGGLES is a cute book that gives strategies for helping children to settle down when they have the "wiggles."..."
Sweet Dreams: A Goodnight Lullaby
 
4.0
"SWEET DREAMS: A GOODNIGHT LULLABY is a great bedtime book pick for children who love Sesame Street. Sesame Street is..."
Best Friends, Busy Friends
 
4.0
"BEST FRIENDS, BUSY FRIENDS is a fun, rhyming book that celebrates differences and friendship. This book is a poetic rhyme..."