Review: Lianne Simon – Confessions of a Teenage Hermaphrodite

Confessions of a Teenage Hermaphrodite
Lianne Simon
Jameson has been born with a unique genetic condition – (s)he started out with one ovary and one testis, but has been living as a boy for quite some time. When (s)he starts college, the gender she has been assigned at birth starts fitting more poorly. With the help of some friends and family, Jameson starts a journey towards a happier ending.
I wanted to love this novel, I really did. I had been hankering to read it ever since I saw it on Goodreads, and was overjoyed to receive a review copy. Disappointingly though, I didn’t find it everything I had hoped. It wasn’t bad (I guess), but it wasn’t amazing either).
The changing perspectives and the method by which Jameson referred to his other self confused me some of the time, and made me feel like I was missing something. Combine this with parts where the time seemed to jump irrationally and it was totally strange. Also, I had no grounding for the places referenced in the novel, nor any ‘proper’ biblical background for the discussions in the various households. This left me feeling even more confused.
I wonder about the concentration of people with this particular genetic syndrome, and the acceptance level Jameson met. It seemed like everything was fine, all the time! With the exception of his father of course. There was one episode when Jameson almost ended up in trouble, but his white knight saved the day.
I just wish Jamie had aimed for higher things in life. It seemed like the religious aspect of this story overshadowed everything else. She ended up just wanting a relationship and kids! No college! To me, that’s just horrible. There’s no reason a woman can’t have a college education and kids too. Sorry, these are just my personal opinions.
Oh, and another element – the Vietnam war. This is a relatively modern book, and to have references to what I presumed was the Vietnam war (my history being a bit sketchy and all) was confusing. It also made me feel less sure about Jameson’s reception in the wider community.
The level of medical information included in this novel was appropriate, and for that level alone I’d suggest it was possible reading for people in a similar situation to Jameson/Jamie.
I received this novel after entering a giveaway, but getting free books never influences the review I present to you!

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