I am so excited to be a part of the SYMPTOMS OF BEING HUMAN Blog Tour and to help spread the word about Jeff Garvin’s amazing book. For my stop today I’m sharing my thoughts about the book and I’m also offering up a copy for giveaway.
So if you’d like to know what I thought about meeting and getting to know Riley or you’d like the chance to win a copy of SYMPTOMS OF BEING HUMAN, scroll down for the review and Rafflecopter.
And if you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful and important book, check out the description below.
About SYMPTOMS OF BEING HUMAN
Title: SYMPTOMS OF BEING HUMAN
Author: Jeff Garvin
Release date: February 2, 2016
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook
Read an EXCERPT
Riley Cavanaugh is many things: Punk rock. Snarky. Rebellious. And gender fluid. Some days Riley identifies as a boy, and others as a girl. But Riley isn’t exactly out yet. And between starting a new school and having a congressman father running for reelection in über-conservative Orange County, the pressure—media and otherwise—is building up in Riley’s life.
On the advice of a therapist, Riley starts an anonymous blog to vent those pent-up feelings and tell the truth of what it’s really like to be a gender fluid teenager. But just as Riley’s starting to settle in at school—even developing feelings for a mysterious outcast—the blog goes viral, and an unnamed commenter discovers Riley’s real identity, threatening exposure. And Riley must make a choice: walk away from what the blog has created—a lifeline, new friends, a cause to believe in—or stand up, come out, and risk everything.
From debut author Jeff Garvin comes a powerful and uplifting portrait of a modern teen struggling with high school, relationships, and what it means to be a person.
Note: This review is based on an eARC received from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book.
SYMPTOMS OF BEING HUMAN is an immensely entertaining, important, informational and educational read. It introduces a character who is likable and funny and brave and not-so-brave, who makes mistakes, who pushes themselves, who learns and grows and becomes someone who is comfortable with who they are.
Riley is gender fluid, not identifying with just one gender. Riley doesn’t want to stand out. Riley doesn’t want to make waves, especially with a parent who is running for re-election. Riley doesn’t want to be labeled and yet finds themselves trying to attach a label to the people they meet.
Riley just wants to find a way to navigate through school and life that doesn’t make them feel uncomfortable in their own skin, that doesn’t make them feel like they’re living a lie, that doesn’t make them feel stressed or anxious or panicked. Switching schools was not the solution Riley hoped it would be. But starting a blog, sharing their thoughts, offering advice, connecting with their followers, might prove to be the catalyst for change that Riley needs.
Jeff Garvin did a phenomenal job of connecting readers with his character Riley, helping them understand, empathize, relate to what Riley is going through, educating and informing them about the different types of gender identities there are and what some of the challenges these individuals face are.
The author created a story that is as engaging as it is informative. It has a wonderful flow that isn’t interrupted by the education of the reader. The situations and experiences presented feel true to life for Riley. Riley isn’t cast in the role of victim, but rather is put in a position to take control of their life, to be honest about who they are, to find support amongst friends and family, and to be empowered by their experiences rather than defeated by them.
By not revealing Riley’s birth-assigned gender readers will be able to get to know Riley without a label. And by seeing the world through Riley’s eyes they’ll realize that Riley is not so different from everyone their age who is hoping for acceptance, to fit in, to be loved.
SYMPTOMS OF BEING HUMAN is the perfect read for those looking to learn more about gender dysphoria and seeking to gain a better understanding of the challenges and issues that teens with non-traditional gender identities typically deal with. It is extremely well-researched, exceptionally well-written, incredibly enlightening, and utterly compelling. And a definite must for those just looking for a really great read.
Like In-N-Out Burger‘s infamous secret menu this one deserves my off-the-menu 6 star rating.
About Jeff Garvin
Jeff Garvin grew up in Orange County, California, the son of a banker and a magician. He started acting in high school, and enjoyed a fifteen-year career including guest-starring roles in network television series ranging from The Wonder Years to Roseanne to Caroline and the City, as well as several independent features.
While studying at Chapman University, Jeff won awards for classical guitar and visual storytelling before graduating with a BFA in Film. As the front man of his rock band, 7k, Garvin released three albums and toured the United States. When the band dissolved in 2011, Jeff, who had always written short stories and lyrics, found his passion in full-length fiction.
His debut novel, SYMPTOMS OF BEING HUMAN, tells the story of Riley, a 16-year-old gender fluid teen who starts an anonymous blog to deal with hostility from classmates and tension at home. But when the blog goes viral, a storm of media attention threatens Riley’s anonymity. Available now from Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins.
Jeff lives in Southern California with his music teacher wife, their menagerie, and a respectable collection of books and guitars.
I’m offering up for giveaway…
A hardcover copy of SYMPTOMS OF BEING HUMAN to ONE winner
- Must be 13 or older to enter
- There will be ONE winner
- Giveaway is open to anywhere The Book Depository ships
- Prize will be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository depending upon location
- Giveaway ends on February 10th at 11:59 PM Pacific
- Winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter
- Winner will be announced in the Rafflecopter and contacted by email
- Winner has 72 hours to respond with their details
Enter in the Rafflecopter below…
The Tour Schedule
2.1.16 | YA Interrobang – Interview
2.2.16 | Fiction Fare – Review
2.3.16 | Read Write Love – Interview + Mini Review
2.4.16 | Fiktshun – Review
2.5.16 | A Dream Within A Dream – Review
2.8.16 | Pop Goes the Reader – Excerpt
2.9.16 | Writing from the Tub – Interview
2.10.16 | Bookiemoji – Guest Post
For more details on the tour, CLICK HERE.