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Club 1117 Review Crew

by Shivani T, Old Mill High School

Between Perfect and Real gives readers a first person view through the eyes of Dean Foster, a trans man who, at the beginning of the novel, believed he was a woman who was attracted to other women. Dean Foster acts in the Shakespeare play Romeo and Juliet, where he must play the role of Romeo. The only issue, however, is that in the present, Dean plays the part of a female lesbian in his senior year of high school. Dean goes through body dysmorphia, homophobia, and anxiety throughout his last year of high school with the pressures of college underway while trying to find his true self and decide whether or not he wants to be his partner’s girlfriend or boyfriend. The character felt very real to me. Dean experiences the symptoms of anxiety throughout the novel, something many teens can relate to. I really liked the way the author presented Dean and Zoe’s relationship. It felt like real teenage love and it didn’t stereotype the characters just because they were queer. It depicted real friendships and real conflicts. I like that it showed the troubled thoughts and experiences of a trans person. Dean experienced his back and forths with the body he was born with and the one he really wanted to be, and it really gave readers an idea as to why it was such a big decision for him. I think people who have trouble in their own bodies would enjoy reading this and open-minded people as well. 

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