Alex As Well is a stunning novel from Alyssa Brugman. Her latest YA novel tackles a topic that isn't discussed too widely with a lighthearted, knowing, intelligent hand.
15 year old Alex was born intersex. Her parents had a decision to make ... they decided to raise her as a boy.
Alex knows something isn't right, has known for a long time. She tells her parents over dinner ...
'I'm a girl. Just like that. Three words.'
Brugman's narrative follows the family of three as they each come to terms with Alex's decision. Her Dad leaves home, and her mum struggles. Alex, with slightly faltering confidence, takes charge - changes school, buys new clothes and sets about re discovering herself. Here Brugman sensitively crafts an appealing character as Alex navigates a new world, a new set of rules.
Alex's mother is an immediately unlikeable character. Heather takes it all so personally, the decision made for Alex all those years ago was the wrong one. Heather really can't take this in, through her blinkered reactions the reader develops a heightened sense of empathy for Alex.
Brugman's decision to use the format of online forums to explore Heather's thought process is an inspired one. Heather is willing to pour her heart out online, and others are equally willing to step in with their advice - addictive reading!
Sensitive, warm and thoroughly addictive Alex As Well is an engaging and touching novel that cements Alyssa Brugman's reputation as an exciting and talented YA author.
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