Reviews for Can't Take That Away, by Steven Salvatore

pagestarfire's review

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emotional hopeful inspiring medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

3.5

aravaile's review

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dark emotional hopeful inspiring sad 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? Yes

4.75

briereads's review

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emotional hopeful inspiring reflective 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? Yes

5.0


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ironman18's review

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

3.0


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wintersorbit's review

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4.0

This book was a lot for me to process. In many ways, I was Carey. In other ways, I could have been Carey. There are many detailed scenes in this book that don't shy away from the transphobia and homophobia that Carey faces at school, which tore open a dark hole in my chest. There is so much pain and trauma tucked into the pages of this book that it genuinely made me feel ill, and that has only happened to me a few times before with books. I have seen reviews from fellow trans people question whether it is worth getting through all these pages of suffering before getting to the more joyous bits, and I can't answer that for anyone. I don't even know how I feel about this myself; I just know that what Carey faces in this book is a reality for so many teens and that this story deserves, and arguably needs, to be told.

The synopsis of this book calls it "empowering and emotional", which is definitely true. This book is an emotional rollercoaster ride that you certainly need to be in the right mental place for if you plan to pick it up. I personally have some nitpicks with how some side plots are handled, which is why this book is getting 4 stars from me. None of those take away from the incredible worth this book has, though. If you're into stories about people fighting back against those who are harming them, I'd definitely recommend this one.

And all my love to Steven Salvatore for having the power to write this story. Thank you.

Content Warnings: homophobia, transphobia, assault, Alzheimer's disease, parental death (side character), grandparental death, misogyny, sexism, blackmail, forced outing, gender dysphoria, misgendering, bullying, suicidal ideation, vomiting, threat of gun violence

robyn_pursued_by_a_bear's review

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challenging emotional inspiring reflective 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? Yes

4.0

annalenawrites's review

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emotional funny hopeful inspiring lighthearted 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? Yes

5.0

johlao's review

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emotional hopeful informative inspiring 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? It's complicated

3.75


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irasobrietate's review

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emotional funny inspiring reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5

oceansofnovels's review

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emotional hopeful inspiring reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

5.0

There is so much to love about this book! I am overjoyed to see a genderqueer person as the main character. Carey has such a great support system, from their loving mother and their chosen family - the incredible twins Monroe and Joey - to their other fierce friends and their inspirational teacher, Mr Kelly. Having all of this support unfortunately doesn't stop Carey from being bullied, not only by their peers but also by a teacher who should be protecting them instead of causing harm. However, Carey's friends step up and fight back against the oppressive system that allows bigoted teachers to be so openly hateful towards marginalised students. I love Carey and their friends, and I was intrigued by the "will they, won't they" situation between Carey and Cris as they tried to figure out their relationship between misunderstandings and lack of communication. Seeing Carey step on to the stage and own who they are was a magical feeling and this story is like no other as we watched them grow into themself and find their voice while being silenced as a genderqueer person. This is such a beautiful story and I hope to read more from this author. 

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