Bound To Stay Bound

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 Symptoms of being human
 Author: Garvin, Jeff

 Publisher:  HarperCollins (2017)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 335 p.,  22 cm

 BTSB No: 369036 ISBN: 9780062382863
 Ages: 14-18 Grades: 9-12

 Identity (Psychology) -- Fiction
 Gender identity -- Fiction
 Gender role -- Fiction
 Bullies -- Fiction
 Blogs -- Fiction
 High schools -- Fiction
 School stories

Price: $8.19

A gender-fluid teenager who struggles with identity creates a blog on the topic that goes viral, and faces ridicule at the hands of fellow students.

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: UG
   Reading Level: 5.20
   Points: 12.0   Quiz: 190468
Reading Counts Information:
   Interest Level: 9-12
   Reading Level: 6.60
   Points: 19.0   Quiz: 68641

Full Text Reviews:

Booklist - 11/01/2015 *Starred Review* Riley has a secret. The androgynous 16-year-old is gender fluid. Some days the teen wakes up feeling like a boy, others like a girl. Riley dresses gender neutral, though that isn’t enough to forestall belief at school that Riley is either homosexual or transgender. Not surprisingly, bullying results, most of it sparked by a football player and his toadies. At the suggestion of Riley’s therapist, the teen begins writing as “Alix” in a pseudonymous blog that provides a place for candid commentary on life as gender fluid. Surprisingly, the blog goes viral and Riley’s true identity is discovered by an enemy who may out Riley. This could have a disastrous impact on Riley’s emotional life as well as the teen’s father’s campaign for reelection to Congress. Garvin’s novel is one of the first YA books to deal with the complex issue of gender fluidity. To emphasize the dynamic nature of this situation, the author avoids references to Riley’s birth-assigned gender. This means eschewing personal pronouns, a device some readers will find frustrating but nevertheless underscores readers’ instincts to put individuals into a box. The novel has its share of histrionics—Riley’s typical reaction to situations is to have a panic attack, a device that gets old—but for the most part, Riley’s emotional life and personal growth shed welcome light on a hitherto obscure subject. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 12/01/2015 Gr 9 Up—After a more than unpleasant experience at a Catholic high school, Riley Cavanaugh, whose father is a conservative congressman, is looking for a fresh start at Park Hills High. However, when a new classmate spots Riley and asks, "Is that a girl, or a guy?" Riley quickly gets pegged as an "it." Though the protagonist wakes up some mornings feeling more like a girl and other mornings feeling more like a boy and would prefer to dress in a manner that reflects this, Riley must present as androgynously as possible in order to avoid negative attention. Riley is genderfluid but must keep it a secret in order to keep up appearances for their father's political campaign. Taking the suggestion of a therapist, Riley starts an anonymous blog about what it's like to be genderfluid. The blog quickly accumulates followers. But when a reader discovers Riley's identity and starts to make threats, Riley must decide if they are ready to come out as the blog's author. Garvin is skilled at truly encapsulating the feeling of being completely without allies in high school. The isolation is palpable in every scene. Garvin's strengths also lie in his ability not to reveal the assigned gender of Riley without turning it into some sort of trick or novelty. Riley is not just genderfluid: Riley is witty, has a charming sense of humor, is a skilled writer, and is totally capable of getting the girl. Very few YA titles have featured protagonists like Riley, who don't fit into the black and white of the gender binary. VERDICT Recommended for any library that serves a teen population.—Ingrid Abrams, Town School Library, NY - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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