Review: Freakboy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark

12 October, 2013 Reviews 11 comments

I received this book for free from Borrowed in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Freakboy by Kristin Elizabeth ClarkFreakboy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark
Series: Standalone
Published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux for Young Readers on 22nd October 2013
Pages: 448
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Format: ARC
Source: Borrowed
Amazon Good BooksBook Depository

From the outside, Brendan Chase seems to have it pretty easy. He’s a star wrestler, a video game aficionado, and a loving boyfriend to his seemingly perfect match, Vanessa. But on the inside, Brendan struggles to understand why his body feels so wrong—why he sometimes fantasizes having long hair, soft skin, and gentle curves. Is there even a name for guys like him? Guys who sometimes want to be girls? Or is Brendan just a freak?

In Freakboy's razor-sharp verse, Kristin Clark folds three narratives into one powerful story: Brendan trying to understand his sexual identity, Vanessa fighting to keep her and Brendan’s relationship alive, and Angel struggling to confront her demons.

My situation with Freakboy was pretty dire.  Since I am pretty sensitive these days to issues of equality, I had already decided that a book about a gender fluid person had better be damn good or I was going to go berserker on its ass. I already had a GIF lined up, too!  The perfect GIF!  And unless this book treated the topic beautifully and with a great deal of love, I was ready to whip it out and beat the book with it.


I’m sure most other bloggers can sympathize with the delight beheld in finding the perfect GIF for how you feel.

Unfortunately, Kristin Elizabeth Clark cheated me from being able to use this GIF.  I loved Freakboy.  Loved it with a passion.  The heart strings were tugged at, I held back what I suspected might be tears (we refer to them as leaking feels around here), and I was gripped with the story and characters. What you can be sure of was this.  I loved Brendan.  I wanted to brush Brendan’s hair, I wanted to hug Brendan, I wanted to beat Brendan’s bullies with a steel bar until they pissed themselves and begged for mercy.

But I admit that Freakboy and I had a bumpy beginning and rough start.  Freakboy is written in this T.S. Elliot prose that screamed pretentious to me.   Sometimes words would be crafted in this visually poignant style, designed to enshroud their meaning with greater flair and emotional impact.  All this literary ambition was earnestly lost on me.  I farted, picked my nose and continued to read the book.  Less appreciating its artistic flair as looking past and enjoying the novel despite it.

I am nothing if not a sophisticated, emotionally sensitive human being.

Vanessa’s situation was heartbreaking and Angel was so awesome that I wanted to be her best friend forever and ever and ever.

My only issue was with the ending, but I can’t discuss that without spoiling it. Damn you, society’s issues with narrative spoiling!  Brendan!  Brendan, my darling!  Let me hold you!

I will say this, though.  This is a big, amazing world with more than seven billion people in it.  No matter how different you think you are, I swear to the flying spahetti monster, that you are a great kind of different and that there is probably several people who think your difference is great.  My partner is intensely attracted to the way I yell at World of Warcraft nemeses.  Also my weird sexual proclivities.

YOU ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL HUMAN BEINGS AND I LOVE YOU!  Unless you’re Hitler.  I don’t love Hitler.

Kat Kennedy

Kat Kennedy

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
Kat Kennedy is a book reviewer and aspiring author in the Young Adult genre. She reviews critically but humorously and get super excited about great books. Find her on GoodReads.
Kat Kennedy

11 Responses to “Review: Freakboy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark”

  1. Amber J.

    I want to steal so many quotes from this review to add to my list of daily affirmations. You should moonlight as a motivational speaker, Kat.

    This review will definitely sell a lot of books.

  2. Charlotte

    I think this blog is further cementing my decision to become celibate for life. After the T-Rex Troubles review, The T-Rex Cuddlebuggery Reading Time and now, that “Go fuck yourself with a Cactus” Gif. Not so good for my ahm very innocent mind. Hahahah.

    This is another great hilarious review that will fuel me for the rest of the night. We love you too, Kat.
    Charlotte recently posted…Stacking the Shelves {14}My Profile

  3. Pili

    Well, despite you missing the chance to use the perfect GIF, I’m so glad to hear you loved the book and after reading your review (thank you for not spoiling anything, it’s so hard when you want to talk about the spoilery things the most!) I need to read this book now.
    Pili recently posted…Showcase Sunday #14!!My Profile

  4. Meg Morley

    What’s that? Those aren’t tears, I have dust in my eye, ok?
    You’re a beautiful human and so is that gif. (beautiful anyway, not a human. Seriously though, it’s fantastic.) I’m glad Freakboy treated its subject matter so well and I can’t wait to read.

  5. Kristin Elizabeth Clark

    A friend forwarded this review… and it may not be “professional” to chime in – but I swear to the flying spaghetti monster that I LOVED it. So much so that I am almost sorry you didn’t get to use the GIF (despite my gratitude that you did not – at least in connection to FREAKBOY…)

    You rock!

  6. Christina (A Reader of Fictions)

    Yay! I’m glad you loved this one too, Kat. Oh man, I read this on a plane and was like PLEASE DO NOT CRY, SELF. I managed not to, but I definitely had shiny eyes.

    Ha, it is in fact not prose but verse, and I’ll join you in picking my nose and farting, because verse is almost entirely lost on me.

    Christina (A Reader of Fictions) recently posted…Audiobook Review: Front and CenterMy Profile

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