Recent reviews of ‘f2m” the boy within’
Polare: Magazine of the Gender Centre, Sydney, Australia
Finn and his best friend, the fiercely activist feminist lesbian Marla are easy to like and demonstrate strength, honesty and dedication to a goal, all admirable qualities in young people striving to be themselves in the face of ignorance and prejudice.
F2M the boy within is a valuable addition to teen literature and should be in every school and public library.
The Age, Saturday 27 February 2010: Owen Richardson
Hazel Edwards is an experienced YA writer, while Ryan Kennedy’s experience is more directly to the point: he started life female, and the book in part grew out of his online journal. It’s done with the requisite tact and sensitivity and humour, and without prurience or melodrama.
Paper Tigers blog – review and interview with Hazel and Ryan
I read the book at one sitting – it’s a fast-paced and compulsive read.
f2m: The Boy Within will be a boon to any teenager with feelings of gender anguish and will help to promote tolerance of, and indeed empathy with, those who feel trapped in a body of the wrong gender.
January Magazine: Sue Bursztynski
F2M: The Boy Within is well-written and answers a lot of questions. It will certainly appeal to those teenagers who are asking themselves questions about their own gender identities.
Ryan Kennedy, who writes this enlightening and sympathetic story with Hazel Edwards, has been there, so we know the information we read is true.
I found this a riveting read.
Hazel Edwards and Ryan Kennedy have pulled off a world-first with their funny fictional portrayal of a previously taboo subject. Gender Identity Disorder or people who are transgender are often misunderstood. It’s too easy to regard them as cross-dressers or homosexuals in denial. f2m opens doors to understanding while providing a fast-paced down-to earth read.
Is it really worth it? f2m provides answers to questions people don’t dare ask. It also hints at the unanswerable. Anyone who faces identity crisis is on a voyage to discovery. When do you know you’ve finally arrived?
A groundbreaking novel.
As well as dealing with a little-explored issue in an open way, f2m also addresses other issues including family loyalty and support, friendship , self-identity and acceptance. Teen readers will be drawn into Finn’s story.
For various reasons I have been reading a fair amount of YA fiction of late. Part of that has been checking out trans-themed books for teenagers. This is one of them. f2m: the boy within, is not science fiction…
There’s a lot to learn in this book: about being transgendered, the choices that can be made, and the challenges transgendered people and their families can be faced with. It would be a great book for anyone going through those changes, or their family and friends, because it offers so much insight. It’s a great, easy read too – I gobbled it up in less than two days!
However, it would be a dull book if it was only some treatise in educating the public about transgender issues. Instead, it’s is about being true to who you really are, even when that’s really hard (and even if you’re not entirely sure who that is yet). It’s also about friendship, family secrets, unconditional love, courage and compassion. Those are themes that any person can relate to regardless of age, gender, sexuality or preferred brand of music.
Visibility Fiction by Stevie Schafer
Finn faces some pretty tough opposition to his decision, but overall this story is incredibly hopeful and not tortuous. Some reviewers have criticised it because Finn’s transition seems ‘too easy’, but I for one welcome a story about a trans person that doesn’t make their life a living hell. There’s plenty of tension, opposition and awkwardness in this novel to make it compelling. Hell, there’s even a family mystery!