Avi comes across these foreboding words scrawled on the bathroom mirror, but what do they mean? Is this a curse, a prediction, or a threat from Avi’s emboldened bullies? And how to they know his real name when he hasn’t even told his mother yet?
Then there is Ian—the cool new guy at school, who is suddenly paying attention to Avi. Ian is just like Avi, but he is also all sunshine, optimism, and magic. All the things that Avi doesn’t know how to deal with…yet.
A romantic, #ownvoices fairy tale for trans boys.
Overall Rating: 10/10 stars
Leigh’s Review: 5/5 Stars
There is so much to love in this little story. So much heartbreak and so much hope.
Avi Cantor is a trans teenage boy. He hasn’t come out to anyone at the beginning of the story, yet somehow his name shows up written on a mirror in one of the school bathrooms. As he’s walking home, one of the more popular guys in school, Ian, catches up to him and they start talking. They start a tentative relationship. As it turns out, Ian is trans too. And he has two moms, one of whom is also trans. With this many trans characters in one place, I was worried—let’s be honest, a large majority of stories with trans MCs are not amazing… but this one is. Ian’s family accepts Avi without question, without hesitation. They treat him with nothing but respect and love.
When Avi comes out to his mom, there’s no questioning, no accusation, no struggle. She just accepts it and immediately switches over to calling him by his chosen name. How often do we see this in trans fiction? I’m sure they exist, but I can’t think of any other instances off the top of my head.
You may want to be warned that there is deadnaming and Avi is outed against his will by the mysterious writing on the bathroom mirror, but the way it’s done in this story is not harmful or insensitive. In fact, everything in this story is handled well. It deals with depression and suicidal thoughts in such a beautiful yet honest way, it made my heart hurt. There are moments of much-welcome humor mixed with all the raw emotions, and the elements of magic and fantasy that sneak in are unique and kind of sweet. I loved it.
Maria’s Review: 5/5 Stars