30 Books in 30 Days, Vol. 3
This book will not give you outrage or gossip. It will not get you all tingly with stuff it feels like maybe you shouldn’t know, and you will end the book not knowing who several of the main players are, because Elliot values privacy and is a good person. This book is first and foremost the story of Elliot coming to terms with his gender identity and transness amid a world that devalues and dismisses it, and the mental toll that took on him and his relationships. What you will get is a deep look into the psyche of someone who always seemed fine on the surface, but who was in a really dark place where it really mattered. Elliot is sad and serious as a narrator, though a talented writer (like Jennette McCurdy, he absolutely didn’t need a ghostwriter).
The audiobook is a good one, though I do recommend speeding up the narration if you normally don’t, as he speaks pretty slowly. I normally do audiobooks at between 1.1x and 1.25x speed, but I had this one higher.
My only real issue with the book is that I wish it had been written more in chronological order. I had a genuinely difficult time at many points in the narrative trying to figure out where exactly we were in Elliot’s timeline, and this also made it feel like many of the chapters weren’t as tightly structured as they could have been.
But really, that complaint is peanuts. This is a good memoir, and a book worth reading, especially right now as trans civil rights are actively in danger. I have a hard time imagining most people reading this book and not coming away with feelings of compassion and love for its author, which can only be a good thing.