The Other Me by Suzanne van Rooyen
Author: Suzanne van Rooyen
Published: 19th December 2013 by Harmony Ink Press
Source: E-copy from the author for my honest review
Fifteen-year-old Treasa Prescott thinks she's an alien. She doesn't fit in with the preppy South African private school crowd and feels claustrophobic in her own skin. Treasa is worried she might spend life as a social pariah when she meets Gabriel du Preez. Gabriel plays the piano better than Beethoven, has a black belt in karate, and would look good wearing a garbage bag. Treasa thinks he's perfect. It might even be love, as long as Gabriel doesn't find out she's a freak.
As Treasa spends time with Gabriel, she realizes she might not love him as much as she wants to be him, and that the reason she feels uncomfortable in her skin might have less to do with extra-terrestrial origins and more to do with being born in the wrong body.
But Gabriel is not the perfect boy Treasa imagines. He harbors dark secrets and self-destructive tendencies. Still, Treasa might be able to accept Gabriel's baggage if he can accept who she longs to be.
This book is a great new contemporary read, so different from everything else that's out there, and it is brilliant! Suzanne van Rooyen does a brilliant job of crafting a story that is not only entertaining and engaging, but interesting and unique too.
There are several important issues that were brought up in this book, one of which I haven't come across before: gender dysphoria. Not to get too technical but basically one of the main characters, Treasa, while having the physical appearance/body of a woman, emotionally/mentally/spiritually Treasa knew she was a boy; outside = female, inside = male. Now this is a difficult topic and I was a little worried about how the author would approach it, but I have to say I was blown away.Everything in this book was handled tastefully and in a way so it remained real and true to the characters and situations.
The ending of The Other Me was perfect. Though I would've have loved to read more about Gabriel and Treasa, when you love characters you never want to let them go, I don't think the author could've have done a better job in ending this book. It left you with just the right amount of wonder and hope and I must really applaud Suzanne at doing such a fantastic ending!
This book was about forgiveness, acceptance, and looking past appearances and what's on the outside, and I was captivated by the story from start to finish. This is a wonderful contemporary story and I'm so glad I read it!