Gracefully Grayson by Amy Polonsky


I had really high expectations for this book, and I've read some really positives reviews about it--including one by Rick Riordan himself. But I found my self wanting...more. More what, I'm not exactly sure. But I was immensely underwhelmed by this story.

Grayson doesn't fit in. For the last several years, he's felt like he's never belonged. And it's because he hasn't. Because Grayson is a girl on the inside and he's never been able to act on it or tell anyone else; and he's lost, stuck in a body that doesn't reflect who he is.

It isn't until Grayson auditions for a play that he begins to feel more like himself, because he auditions of the lead role--the female lead of Persephone. But what he doesn't fully expect and isn't fully prepared for, is the outrage of his classmates and family, all because a guy is playing the female lead. Grayson doesn't want to hurt anyone else, he just wants to play the part. But is he is able to fight against people's expectations and have the courage to be himself?

A big issue with this book was the writing. It was sub-par to me. It was very choppy and jumpy and basically just had zero flow, which took me out of the story. She described next to nothing within the story, just wrote stiff sentences of exactly what was happening, no artistry whatsoever--and almost no humor. I mean, I read some tragic books--TFiOS, Speak, Never Fall Down, to name a few--but even they have a little bit of humor. I didn't laugh a single time during this novel, not even a chuckle. Because essentially, I was kind of bored. By a book that should have made me cry, or make me feel...anything.

I was underwhelmed by Grayson as well. He didn't fully comprehend his gender identity, which is completely understandable, but he made no effort to try either. He didn't research or talk to anyone or Google anything. Maybe it was the fact that it as a middle grade book, so it was trying to appeal to people who were still trying to find themselves, but I don't think this book really sent out a great message on how to actually be yourself. There wasn't enough explanation for me. I think it could have sent a clearer message instead of flirting around it.

This book was mediocre, and I just wanted something more. I think it's important to have books focused on gender identity, especially trans individuals because I think that subject in particular might be lacking books in the LGBTQ cannon--but those books need to be, ya know, good. And this book just didn't quite hit the mark.

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