Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Alex As Well, by Alyssa Brugman
An interesting look at an intersex child. Brugman struggles a bit with how to present the story, trying both an internal dialogue between Alex's masculine and feminine sides and interspersing her mother's exasperated online confidences about her struggles to understand her child. The latter is painful reading as the mother is incredibly self-centered and abusive. And it also distracts us from the more important story of Alex's own growth. That there will be people who will hurt Alex, we can be fairly certain, but seeing so much of it really adds little to the story itself (after all, I imagine that Alex can do a pretty decent job of hurting herself without her parents' help). A subplot about a fashion modeling career seemed similarly off-topic. I think the novel would have been strengthened by simply focusing on Alex herself as she discovers how to interact with her peers and become the person she wants to be.