‘Boy2Girl’ – Terence Blacker

Firstly, this was not the book I expected. It wasn’t bad, but nor was it quite the exploration of gender/identity that I was expecting. This clash between what you might think you’re getting and what’s there could lead to a lot of disappointed readers.

Matt has a fairly safe life. Nothing much happens, then things are shaken up when his mum is given custody of her nephew, Sam, after the death of his mother. Sam is prickly, tough, but clearly deeply upset by the absence of his father. Naturally, perhaps, this is covered up with a kind of machismo, which just irritates Matt and his friends. So they decide to set Sam a challenge – one that will have serious consequences. Sam has to spend his first week at school as a girl.
Can’t see many 12 year old boys doing this, but Sam does. Of course it creates confusion, some humorous situations and a fair amount of chaos.

While there were attempts to explore issues around identity, it was itself upholding some of the sexist views it pertained to challenge. It also took some time to adjust to the different voices within the novel.

All in all this was reasonably funny, but it isn’t a guaranteed laugh out lead read (whatever it says on the cover).

Thanks to NetGalley for the advance copy in exchange for my review.