I absolutely adore reading - my love for books has had a huge impact on my life! I'm going to grad school to be a children's/YA librarian.
So, I was pretty excited to start this book - a) the cover is gorgeous and b) it's about an M-to-F transgender kid, and after reading Beautiful Music for Ugly Children last year, I was really excited to read another book from a trans teen's perspective. I've had limited interaction with transgender people in real life and BMfUC really helped me open my mind and try to see things from their perspective. I was looking forward to what would hopefully be a similar experience.
First off, this one isn't wow-ing me from the beginning like BMfUC, which is, of course, disappointing, but it just goes to show that, just like other genres, not every LGBTQ book is going to be phenomenal. But what's really irking me is that the main character (who is the younger sister of the transgender character) is very clearly developing a crush on a character who's really rubbing me the wrong way. He's had one interaction with MC, and in an attempt to flirt (I guess?), he makes a "retard" joke.
Whoa. Not cool.
What's even more disappointing is that MC found it hysterical. This portion of the book has been a huge let down for me. I think it's great that the author wanted to write a book about a group of people who are discriminated against and try to open people's minds toward them, but the fact that the funniest thing she could think of for these two characters to bond over is a derogatory joke about another group of people who face discrimination, among many other challenges, is incredibly frustrating for me. I get that a lot of teenagers think that these kinds of jokes are funny, but should authors be reinforcing the idea that that's OK by having "good" characters make those kinds of jokes? I know I'm making a big deal out of this, but it really bothers me. I have to finish the book because it's been assigned for my YA Resources class, but I'm definitely thinking about bringing this up in our class discussion.
What are some of your "turn offs" in literature? What do you consider to be so tasteless that it makes you want to stop reading, or at the very least, makes you less inclined to enjoy a book, even if the story itself isn't bad?