Reviews tagging Drug abuse

The Passing Playbook, by Isaac Fitzsimons

19 reviews

katyfayyyxx's review against another edition

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dark emotional funny hopeful medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.0


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caseythereader's review

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emotional funny hopeful reflective fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.75


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criticalgayze's review

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emotional hopeful inspiring medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.75

I read this in preparation for a discussion on the 2022 Lambda award nominees, and I came away really enjoying my reading experience. This one really highlights the importance for marginalized people to be on the forefront of telling their stories because there's an intense specificity in the detail of Spencer's interior monologue about homosexuality and self and external transgender body politicking.

This does suffer from some of the "stereotypical" attacks lobbed at "Young Adult" literature, which I believe are just the key faults of any poorly edited book. First, it has a big problem with being overstuffed on points. First, I think focusing on both transgender athleticism and homosexual dating as a transgender person is a lot in one book. This likely should have been developed as a series, akin to the Darius books by Adib Khorram, where each issue could be tackled in its own text.
SpoilerFurther, I think that including a closeted dating relationship that includes intense religious bigotry being faced by the love interest was too much for a book that was really a single-perspective story. Fitzsimmons does not give the time here to truly flesh that out, and it ends up with this weirdly rushed, "But it's all mostly alright!" ending.
For me personally, there are also some issues with hokey canned "I realize I was being small minded" one-liners, and, given the sociopolitical aspects of the story, Justice's acceptance of Spencer's gender identity seemed maybe a touch beyond logic.

But this is all me with my critical English teacher/scholar brain. This one is very cute, and I think could be really helpful and necessary for Queer (particularly trans) youth, especially in our current moment. Put it in your classroom library!

Quotes:
As if Spencer’s thoughts were sending out a homing beacon, Justice looked over in his direction, making eye contact, and Spencer understood what Gimli saw when he gazed upon Galadriel. (30)
Just because the onus always fell on trans and queer people, didn’t mean it should. (262)
Spencer didn’t want to be tolerated. You tolerated a bad smell. You tolerated a leaky faucet until it got fixed. (278)

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megelizabeth's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix

4.5

 “Listen, here’s the thing: People like you and me are going to have to work a million times harder, be a million times better, and do it without upsetting anybody in order to be successful. It’s not fair, but that’s just how it is."

I thoroughly enjoyed and adored this book. The main character, Spencer, is interesting and feels very real, and I loved getting to explore his relationships and to see him grow as a person. The developments in his relationships with his parents and with new friend/maybe more, Justice, are done well, and I also really loved the friendships he forms with his team members and how wonderfully and non-stereotypically these teenage male friendships are presented.

This isn't an easy read; Spencer and other characters have to deal with a lot of difficult and just awful things, and there are a lot of conversations about such things and about the often unfortunate experiences of trans people and people of colour. I found these themes to be addressed well, though please bear in mind that I'm talking as a white, cis person - I'd definitely recommend checking out own-voices reviews. For me, I found there to be a perfect amount of angst, tension, and drama, coupled with enough hope not to finish the book feeling entirely soul-destroyed and instead to finish it with feelings of bittersweetness and subtle hope.

My only real criticism of this book is that it feels like it's set over too short a span of time. I have no concept of what constitutes a football season, but I got the sense that it's supposed to be set over the course of one, and while that makes sense, to me it meant that everything feels like it's developing a bit too quickly, and I think setting it over the course of a school year would've made things seem more natural. There's also one thing that's alluded to but is never really addressed, and it bugged me that we never get clarification. 

All that being said, though, I still absolutely loved this book, and would highly, highly recommend it.

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xeniba's review against another edition

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hopeful lighthearted medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.5

I’m so happy with the trans YA novels I’ve been reading lately, including this one. Justice and Spencer are precious together and I’d really love to see what happens next. I appreciated how supportive almost everyone was and the diversity of the characters. Some folks might argue it’s unrealistic, but a) it’s a novel and b) queer trans POC youth deserve to have stories like this.

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sandy_21's review against another edition

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emotional funny hopeful informative inspiring lighthearted sad fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.75


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booksmoviesandstories's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging emotional funny hopeful informative inspiring lighthearted tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.5


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readwithsophsx's review against another edition

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challenging emotional hopeful informative inspiring reflective fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0


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lydvee's review against another edition

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emotional funny hopeful inspiring lighthearted medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.5


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georgie_drake's review against another edition

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funny hopeful informative inspiring fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0


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