Adam by Ariel Schrag – Book Review *spoiler alert*

Adam is a teenager who’s finding life and friendship hard, so when the chance comes to spend summer with his older sister in New York, he jumps at the chance. His sister is gay and Adam is introduced to the world of Queer Culture, learning about pronouns and gender identity and so many new things. And then he falls in love, only Gillian thinks he is a trans boy and he can’t bring himself to tell her the truth and lose her. But it’s only a matter of time.

Oh, I had issues with this book. There were things that worked really well, like pretty clear explanations of terms that many folks are only just learning about and getting used to. And then, oh dear. Yes, I got that Adam was struggling with self-esteem, but his betrayal smacked of a man taking advantage of a woman. This, I could have dealt with if he got his comeuppance. But no, when the truth comes out, there are no consequences for him. In fact, he got the girl. It was not only a let down, it very much read as if it didn’t even matter. Sure, straight, white man. Come into a space which isn’t yours, learn some stuff, and then treat everyone like crap. No-one’s going to hold you to account. You can just walk away. It was such a disappointing cop-out. What’s more, because it was told from his point of view, the reader knows that he knows what he is doing is wrong. It seems, months after I read this, that I’m still really cross. I guess I just expect better.

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