Beast by Brie Spangler

51392xwovgl  Beast by Brie Spangler. Knopf, 2016  9781101937167

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3.5

Genre:  Realistic fiction

What did you like about the book? Fifteen year old Dylan is tall and hairy and angry. He is known as Beast. He is biggest  and hairiest by far of any in his high school. He is still growing, and he worries he may have gigantism. His father is dead; his mother loves him but smothers him.  He would be friendless except for his friend JP, the golden boy of the class, handsome, rich and a player. When Dylan falls/steps off the roof to allegedly retrieve a football, his mother sends him to counseling for self-harmers, and he meets Jamie. She is the girl of his dreams, and she seems into him. But things are never as easy as they seem. He learns she is transgender, and he flips out.

Anything you didn’t like about it? It’s so interesting that the story is about a cisgender boy falling in love with a transgender girl. We want more stories like this. But Dylan’s issues are so overwhelming that it distracts from the relationship with Jamie and her story.

To whom would you recommend this book?  This is for teens who like romance in all its complexity, and for those who want more diverse characters gender-wise.

Who should buy this book? High school and public libraries

Where would you shelve it ? Teen fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Maybe

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

Date of review:  December 19. 2016

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