Reviews tagging Self harm

Detransition, Baby, by Torrey Peters

22 reviews

charr_alexx's review

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

3.5

It delves into nuances a cis person would never consider and takes you on a journey but I can’t help but feel disappointed in many of the characters.

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bookishnatalia's review

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challenging emotional informative inspiring reflective tense slow-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

5.0


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rookfeathers's review

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challenging emotional tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.75

I definitely expected something else from this book, but I wouldn't say I'm disappointed. It follows a style of storytelling that I'd definitely tie to ADHD whether the author has it herself or not, with more exposition and backstory about characters than plot progression. It's very insightful and the characters truly feel like real people from very different backgrounds, and over their plentiful flaws they will still have you continue reading for every piece of information. 

I think my only qualm with the book is that in a few spots it becomes less of a real-world fictional story and more of a field for the author to convey her ideas and familiar experiences through the character's heads and mouths, presented as if they were unilaterally agreed upon and universally experienced instead of subjective narration by the characters. Most of the time, though, they represent a variety of thought expected for the group of people with their differences. It kind of confuses me why at times you can see brilliant invention as well as strong convictions presented without judgment, and sometimes it feels like the book is directly trying to teach you things. But there's a possibility I'm wrong with my read and it's really just the nuances of tying this made-up story into the real world believably enough.

I was particularly touched by how I felt the book represented borderline - those perfect little moments and nice relationships like spells broken by a single sentence or a single gesture really hit hard if you yourself have a personality disorder or two. Also, the ending.... Oof.

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stayathomereader's review

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challenging dark emotional funny hopeful informative inspiring reflective sad tense slow-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

5.0


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bookscoffeetour's review

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challenging dark emotional funny informative reflective tense slow-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

It’s hard to describe my thoughts on Torrey Peters’, Detransition, Baby. I did like this book. I did not like this book as an audiobook. Peters writes a chaotic, messy, heartfelt novel about identity, motherhood, fatherhood, womanhood, and what it means to be a parent. It’s messy, but it’s real. It works.

This is a heavily character-driven book. The flaws, trauma, and personalities of the three main characters, Ames, Reese, and Katrina, are at the forefront of this novel in an unapologetic manner.

The trans representation in this book is realistic. So often in books where there are trans characters, they are represented as ‘Disney-fied’ versions of humans. Reese, specifically, opens a window into the life of a trans woman whose life isn’t always a perfect ending story. Reese is a character whom I was rooting for, getting angry with, sympathizing with, throughout the entire novel. One of my favorite characters I’ve read about this year.

Something that made this audiobook feel clunky to me was the shifting of time periods in the middle of chapters. These chapters are quite long and throughout them, there would be shifts in time periods and shifts of point of view. There were also sections of long tangents that felt to distract from the main message or plot of the chapter. Maybe because I read this book via an audiobook it was often confusing? I think the plot may have been relayed more cohesively with broken-up chapters. I also think a reread of this book in a physical format would help my reading experience a ton!

I definitely recommend reading this book for members of the LGTBQ+ community and allies. It’s unlike any other book I’ve read with queer representation. I’m excited to read more from Torrey Peters in the future!

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sucreslibrary's review

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challenging emotional funny reflective sad 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

4.5


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alylentz's review

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challenging dark emotional funny informative reflective sad 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

3.5

I really enjoyed these characters and felt myself wanting to know what happens to them. There were a couple issues that kept me from tearing through this the way I wanted to. Sometimes the sentences felt really cluttered and became a sort of word salad; I don't know if this is a stylistic, intellectual choice or if it was just overwritten in places. The second is that the pacing felt very stop-start to me and just when I was getting into a groove, the narrative would shift. But overall I found this really interesting and will definitely pick up whatever Torrey Peters publishes next. 

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eemilycolleen's review

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challenging funny reflective fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

just, wow. at the risk of overemphasis, I really am astounded by the depth AND breadth explored here — of queerness, of trans identity and embodiment, of womanhood, of motherhood. there’s just so much here: family and desire and biting social commentary and all of it thrumming vibrant underneath the familiar strictures of litfic, like, the platonic ideal of “not your mother’s comedy of manners” (though my mother did read it lmao). it’s MESSY and razor-sharp and so tender, and just a fucking delight to read. also I am so taken with the comma in the title. and the ending. honestly just What a home run, all around. 

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kharlan3's review

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

5.0


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whatjaimereads's review against another edition

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challenging emotional reflective slow-paced
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

Detransition, Baby follows the story of two and a half women, their joint foray into the world of queer parenting, and what it means to be yourself when that self is an interloper to society.
The discussions within this book around gender, fetishisation, and parenthood are handled fluidly, and sensitively, and are unique to any other queer fiction that I’ve read. Peters has written deeply realistic, multi-faceted characters that each offer their own insight into the struggles faced by marginalised communities. This novel is driven by its characters and discussions of their flaws, and it visibly benefits from the author’s Own Voice perspective as a queer woman. 
However, this insight comes with the weight of knowledge that the reflections in Detransition, Baby are true-to-life. There is a huge amount of graphic, sensitive content, and some of the storytelling can become over-indulgent within these areas. Our cast of characters are all suffering from deep trauma in their past/present, which makes for some really heavy reading. By about chapter 9 I was completely emotionally exhausted, so I urge you to proceed with caution. 
This is not the book that I was expecting from its synopsis, but it probes some really important topics, and for that reason it is undeniably an important read. 
*ARC gifted by Serpents Tail in exchange for an honest review*

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