If you’re near Orange County next Tuesday night, I’m breaking out of my writing cave to be at the Barnes & Noble in Huntington Beach. I was at this pretty location a couple of years ago, talking about Starters to a great crowd. This time I’ll be talking about SYMPTOMS OF BEING HUMAN, an amazing YA debut by my friend Jeff Garvin, published by Harper Collins.
Come join us at 7 pm to listen to me rave about Jeff, hear him talk (he’s an ex-child actor and ex-rock singer), win some door prizes and score great swag. I love this book so much, I gave it this blurb:
â€œWith a main character who truly deserves to be called unique, combined with heartbreak and triumphs that are universal, this unforgettable book made me laugh, and also cry. Garvinâ€™s powerful new voice rocks!â€
The first thing youâ€™re going to want to know about me is: Am I a boy, or am I a girl?
Riley Cavanaugh is many things: Punk rock. Snarky. Rebellious. And gender fluid. Some days Riley identifies as a boy, and others as a girl. The thing is . . . Riley isnâ€™t exactly out yet. And between starting a new school and having a congressman father running for reelection in uber-conservative Orange County, the pressureâ€”media and otherwiseâ€”is building up in Rileyâ€™s so-called â€œnormalâ€ life.
On the advice of a therapist, Riley starts an anonymous blog to vent those pent-up feelings and tell the truth of what itâ€™s REALLY like to be a gender-fluid teenager. But just as Rileyâ€™s starting to settle in at schoolâ€”even developing feelings for a mysterious outcastâ€”the blog goes viral, and an unnamed commenter discovers Rileyâ€™s real identity, threatening exposure. Riley must make a choice: walk away from what the blog has createdâ€”a lifeline, new friends, a cause to believe inâ€”or stand up, come out, and risk everything.
*If you think I’m biased, note this book already has two starred reviews from the big dogs. For fans of John Green and Rainbow Rowell, you’ll want to read this before everyone starts talking about it.