Freakboy is a debut novel in verse that I think is very brave. There are three voices in this narrative: Brendan, who is trying to sort out his gender identity; Vanessa, Brendan’s girlfriend who is trying to hold onto a relationship with the the moodiest person she’s ever loved; and Angel, who has her own set of challenges to work through, including finding love.
One of the things I love about reading Ellen Hopkins, known for writing novels in verse, is finding the messages within the poems — how the structure of the poem and the arrangements of the words reveal “secret” messages. As a reader, because I know they’re often there I look for them. Clark didn’t disappoint.
If you’re interested, Clark talked with Diversity in YA about the things she learned about gender fluidity, and the difference between gender and sexuality as she was writing this novel. I encourage you to go check it out. It’s very informative.
Oh, yeah. And read this book. It’s amazing.