Reviews

Detransition, Baby, by Torrey Peters

arcticmonkeys's review

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challenging emotional reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

enjoyed the prose & most of the book until the last quarter. could have easily been a 4 without it because it was unnecessary

ka_cam's review

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emotional reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

The characters were fleshed out and (I thought) realistic in their various navigations of identity and family. Interesting moments of queer-as-experience, queer-as-identity, queer-as-belonging (or ‘being vs doing’ trans), and when various peoples visions and experiences collide. A lot of the action seemed to be front and back loaded with a slower middle that I had a hard time getting through. 

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rachelgt's review against another edition

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challenging emotional funny informative reflective sad 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? Yes

4.75

paulilicious's review

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challenging emotional funny 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? Yes

4.5

heiditheowl's review

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3.0

My feelings about this book are so complex that they cannot easily be summed up in review form. I don't think I will feel quite so conflicted by any other book this year. I would highly recommend looking up own-voices reviews, because they can speak more to this book from their own personal experience. But suffice it to say:

1) I have been challenged to think about sexuality, gender, trauma, and parenthood in radically different ways. Though the reading experience of this book was not 100% enjoyable for me, I will be reflecting on this story for months, if not years, to come. It's one of those books that will undeniably stay with you.

2) More books like this need to be written, because trans voices deserve to be heard. We need so many more stories that wrestle with the complexities, the joys and the sorrows, of life in such an honest and unflinching way. 

graybat's review against another edition

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challenging emotional informative reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

maiapeacock's review against another edition

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

3.0

knkoch's review against another edition

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emotional funny informative reflective 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? Yes

5.0

What an immersive, exquisite read. It’s very clever and deep, developing the plot just as well as the characters. I was fully absorbed. This is a great example of characters so well realized that it feels quite natural to place them in these events and watch how they’d react as real people. 

I feel like I learned more about aspects of being transgender that I was ignorant of, as a cis woman, and that this was an empathetic experience of potential lives I do not live, but got to feel for awhile. That’s always valuable to me.

worsethanbeth's review against another edition

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challenging emotional funny reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.75


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fraia's review

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2.0

2 stars ⭐️ ⭐️

Reese and Ames (Amy) are two transsexual individuals who perceive their sexualities differently, which encourages them to confide in each other throughout the novel. Where Reese is more open and perceived to be more confident in her transsexual identity, Ames is more ashamed and reduces his thoughts to fetishes. The two individuals connect through Reese’s mothering consolidation, which reassures Ames that he can express his desire to become a transsexual woman. However, like any fictional dynamic, their relationship doesn’t come without issues. Including insecure identities and unexpected pregnancies, ‘Detransition, Baby’ explores a variety of hurdles in which the Reese and Ames tackle through different perspectives.

Unfortunately, this book wasn’t quite for me. Peters covers topics which deserve to be increasingly talked about and I believe ‘Detransition, Baby’ executed that factor very well. However, I found the writing style confusing and often dissociating from the plot at hand.
Albeit I don’t feel quite qualified to critique this book, one critique I would make would be the mini flashbacks within the already flashback chapters. The meta-flashbacks were nice once or twice but when they’re on nearly every single page, you’ve lost me. I found it made the storytelling disjointed and often hard to comprehend.

This book is also heavily character based. Only a very little portion of the novel is based around the plot, the rest explores (through various confusing and often somewhat illogical extended metaphors i.e the numerous pages spent waffling about some kind of elephants) the characters backgrounds and experiences. In the end, it felt a little like a ball ache of a biography.

However with the critiques out of the way, I feel completely enlightened upon the topic of transsexuality, and how not every transsexual conveys their sexuality visibly. ‘Detransition, Baby’ definitely expanded my insight upon how cruel and crude society can be upon these individuals and for that, I am grateful I read this.