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I Know All There Is To Know About The Crying Game

Jenny reviews Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher, a book so good that it makes her invoke the title of a Patridge Family song.

I Know All There Is To Know About The Crying Game

BOOK REPORT for Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher

BFF Charm: YAY
Swoonworthy Scale: 6
Talky Talk: Right On (I Think)
Bonus Factors: Boys Who Like Girls...
Relationship Status: I Think I Love You

The Deal:

Logan Witherspoon's girlfriend of three years, the one who kept telling him they should 'wait', so things will be more special, cheated on him. Since then he's been depressed, and not a little bit obsessed with staring at his now ex, Brenda. He wonders how he can ever trust another girl again. And it's not lost on him that he's a senior in high school, and just like any other 18-year old boy, he pretty much has one thing on the brain.

But then the pretty new girl at school, Sage Hendricks, makes friends with him, and he finds himself drawn to her - with her crazy clothes, and devil-may-care attitude. As the two become closer, Logan realizes that Sage needs a real friend even more than he does. Her parents are super strict, and won't even let her date, which is becoming increasingly frustrating for Logan, because even though he wants to be her friend, he's also completely infatuated with her.

(Now, here's a side note from me, y'all. If you want the surprise to be a super-surprise, skip to the next bit, DON'T read the inside flap of the book, or any other summary for that matter, because the author and publishers make no bones about the content of this story. In fact, if you don't want to know, read the BFF Charm bit and then stop, because I don't know how to review this without mentioning the subject matter. I read it with full knowledge of what the big reveal was going to be, and thoroughly enjoyed it, so I don't think knowing the secret ruins it.)

So, here goes: SPOILER ALERT!

Logan finally kisses Sage one day, and she stops him. She has to tell him her secret before they can continue. See, Sage is actually a boy.

Logan freaks out and turns his back on Sage, questioning his own sexuality and feeling that now he REALLY can never trust anyone ever, EVER again.

But as time passes, he can't seem to stay away. He and Sage were best friends after all. Maybe if he can understand her, maybe they can just go back to being friends?

BFF Charm: YAY

I really loved Logan. He was funny, and a deep thinker, even when his boyness got in the way of him being able to express himself. And, of course, I found myself crushing on him a little bit throughout the book. I wish I could have been there to help him realize that his life wasn't SO serious, and he should stop moping and date around, and then we could make out a little.

This book got me thinking, though, and I have a message to all boys out there: If you have fears, or deep thoughts that you tend NOT to express, for reasons of boyness: Stop it. Start talking. Tell the girl what you're thinking. Because I think you boys have a lot going on in the brain pan, and the sooner you can learn to express yourself, the more girls will dig you. You're welcome.

Swoonworthy Scale: 6

The chemistry between Logan and Sage was definitely on the HOT scale here, folks. And there's some sexin'. I found myself totally rooting for them to find a way to make their relationship work.

Talky Talk: Right On (I Think)

So as a kid, I loved adventure, so I always read books written for boys, because the books for girls were so BORING. Seriously, I read the Hardy Boys, then couldn't even get through Nancy Drew. I wanted action! As an adult reading YA, however, I have found that I prefer the girl's point of view. Further, I have found that I tend to prefer female authors.

This book changed my mind. I'm not a boy (obviously) but I think Brian Katcher's portrayal of the inner workings of the teenaged boy's mind was so right on!

Mr. Katcher tackled subject matter that many an author wouldn't touch, with grace and elegance, and never a moment of feeling like I was reading a BOOK ABOUT IMPORTANT ISSUES. This was just a story, about a boy, and about a person who felt she was a girl, except she technically wasn't. I'm not going to do a good job explaining it, but the thing is, Brian Katcher DOES. So yeah, YAY Brian Katcher! Well done, sir! After reading this book, I will definitely follow him as an author.

Bonus Factor: Boys Who Like Girls...

This is a book about friendships and relationships and other kinds of ships. Logan and Sage ARE the bonus factor.

Casting Call:

Jim Sturgess as Logan

I'm leaning toward Mr. Sturgess to portray Logan's shyness and complexities, however, I originally pictured:

James McAvoy as Logan

But I find that with Mr. McAvoy, I get distracted from whatever story he's portraying by how much I want to bite him and squeeze him and feed him soup... I'm not weird, right?

Lauren Ambrose as Sage

Ms. Ambrose has the perfect vulnerability combined with brash self-confidence for Sage.

Relationship Status: I Think I Love You

I kind of hope I never run into this book again, but not how you might think. Because it's the kind of book that I read once, and our relationship was intense and a little stormy, but totally passionate. In retrospect, I think I love it. I think I might secretly compare future book relationships to it in my mind, but I don't want to go back. Because, if we run into each other, the temptation to reconnect will be too great, and anything we could possibly have will never live up to our first experience together, which in my memory, is almost perfect. (ching!)

Jenny Bird's photo About the Author: Jenny grew up on a steady diet of Piers Anthony, Isaac Asimov and Star Wars novels. She has now expanded her tastes to include television, movies, and YA fiction.
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