This Is How It Always Is Review

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Ebook, 338 Pages
Fiction/ Contemporary/ LGBT
By: Laurie Frankel
Rating: 🌟🌟

β€œI wish for my child, for all our children, a world where they can be who they are and become their most loved, blessed, appreciated selves.”

🌟 I did not know this book or this author before my friend recommended we do a BR of this book in his birthday month, my friend also does not know anything about the author or book, he just decided that we should jump in and that’s what we did. He DNFed it and I am disappointed!

🌟 I had mixed feelings toward the book from the start as the writing style was not up my alley. I saw that this book talks about Gender Dysphoria and Transgender people which I have never read before and it was a great opportunity to learn more about these topics. I love to discover the world through other people’s eyes and books make this very available. I come from the Middle East where we do not have many transgender people so I can not say that I am an expert at this subject. I think I ended up more confused after reading it.

🌟 I bet the author would be one of those teachers that would ask “All of the following are false except one answer”, but the author’s writing suffered from circumstantiality in a trial to sound poetic while failing to do so. I liked some quote to be honest but for the majority of the book, it did feel weird and sentimental!

β€œThere are few children more treasured than ill-behaved ones who belong to someone else.”

🌟 The writing style made me feel or should I say not feel many things. I did not like the characters but I did not hate them, I was in this neutral zone where I understood their problems and suffering but did not empathize with them.

🌟 I know after reading the book that some of it is based on the author’s real life and I understand that this is a confusing process for both parents and children. I think that the book was a bit too long and there was repetition that made it boring. As mentioned above, I do understand some things but I am also a bit confused. I did not find the answers I hoped I would get from reading this!

β€œparenting always involves this balance between what you know, what you guess, what you fear, and what you imagine.”

🌟 I understand why this book is successful and I hope it helps the right people understanding things better. My experience with this one was dampened by the writing style which I did not like and on top of that affected my connection to the story. If the writing style is not a problem for you, then I think it is not a bad book at all! And I want to ask you for a recommendation rather than giving one this time: What are great books about Transgender people?


  1. Ooohhh! I TOTALLY get what you mean by the author trying to be poetic and failing! I think many of them commit this blunder you know! Why don’t just stick to the style of writing that suits YOUR voice! That way readers connect with you more!
    And THERE IS NOTHING WORSE THAN BEING LUKEWARM ABOUT THE CHARACTERS! It just….the story loses a LOT of its charm when that happens!

    I am sorry you didn’t enjoy reading this one! Still, amazing review though Hamad! ❀️😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It also had been recommended to me and I tried the audiobook. I don’t know if it was the narrator or simply the writing style but I ended up DNFing the book.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorry you didn’t enjoy it as much as you hoped! Sometimes a particular writing style just doesn’t work for us, and that’s okay- not every author is the right author for every reader. πŸ™‚

    If you’re looking for books about gender dysphoria or with transgender characters, I can recommend a few:

    Luna by Julie Anne Peters was the first book I’ve ever read with a transgender character and it really helped me learn and understand. This is about a girl who’s sibling is transgender and while it’s not always easy for her, she tries hard to understand and give her sibling the love that they deserve, the love that their parents can’t.

    Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kristin Cronn-Mills, also a YA book.

    Flocks by L. Nichols is a graphic novel memoir.

    Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by Janet Mock, a memoir about a transgender woman’s life.

    There are also a ton of lists on Goodreads about transgender-centered books; here are a few you can check out:

    Happy reading! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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