LGBT YA Week - Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher

This review is part of the LGBT Teen Novels Week, hosted here.
For more information about the week, head over here.

I read this book after reading the blurb, which specifies something in the book which you only discover a third through the story. I can't talk about this book without mentioning that something, so if you like starting a book without knowing anything about it - DO NOT read any further. I have loved this book with all my heart and I think it is a very beautiful story about acceptance, friendship and being yourself.

Summary from Amazon:
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.


Wow. What a book! Reading Sage's story through Logan's eyes was a real emotional roller-coaster. I have only read one book about a transgender teen (Luna, by Julie Anne Peters) and from reading articles in the press, I knew it wasn't easy, but this book touches on so many subjects which transgender teens face every day that I think this book really is a must read. I loved it so much that I couldn't write anything about it for several days and I'm afraid I simply cannot give it justice.

Logan only has a year left in high school and then he can escape his small town trailer-life to build a future with his girlfriend of three years. The problem is, she cheats on him and he becomes a complete mess, unsure about his future. It's only when new girl Sage appears at school that he gets out of his hole. She is different from all the other girls and he can't help but be attracted to her. But Sage has been home-schooled for most of her teenage years and has very strict parents. There is also a secret she hides: Sage was born a boy. That's when their friendship really is put to the test.

Sage has realised that there was a difference between boys and girls when her sister was born. From then on, she has always acted as if she was a girl. Her parents, and her father in particular, tried to make her do "boy" things to make her change, as if she could. Years of self-hate, self-harm, suicide attempts and unhappiness follow, until she turns 18 and decides to go back to school for her last semester before graduating.

Despite the absence of his dad and his economic situation, Logan has had a happy life. He is conscious of the fact that he won't be able to go to a fantastic college and have a great job, but he doesn't let it make him feel down. He has only had one girlfriend and doesn't have a lot of experience with girls, but nothing could ever prepare him for Sage. 

Reading the story through Logan's eyes is one of the most interesting aspect of this book. He comes from a small town, he has never met an "actual gay" and feels that they're mostly perverse. He isn't a bad guy or anything, he is just influenced by his environment. A large part of the book is about Logan trying to understand Sage, but it's also about Sage learning from Logan. 

I felt the characters were brilliantly portrayed and full of flaws. Logan's reaction to Sage's secret is ugly, his prejudice and misconceptions are ugly too, but he tries. The very fact that we can see from Logan's point of view how hard it is to wrap one's head around this makes the story ring true. I did think that Sage is conveniently rich and independent enough to take illegal drugs which make her look truly feminine, but I guess the story wouldn't have worked otherwise.

There are many many themes presented in the book and I felt they were all sensitively done. Sage has to deal with the dichotomy between her outside and her inside, but also with what it means to be a woman now (lack of respect from men etc.). The book is beautifully written and the message is raw and powerful.

The last part of the book is really heart-breaking and I really loved where the story went. The author added some comments at the end which was really great to read.

This book is truly wonderful and an eye-opener in many respects. Read it.


  1. I have had this on my wishlist since I watched My Transsexual Summer and drew up a list of books that covered this topic. Now I've read your review I know I need to get and read it, thank you.