It took me a while to write a review of Birthday by Meredith Russo because I couldn’t figure out how I felt. This is the first book I’ve read about transgender and I wasn’t disappointed but not completely convinced either. It’s 2019, and the fact people still have to fight or hide to be who they are is disconcerting. Let everyone live and love, life is already plenty complicated by itself—amirite? However, in Birthday after the tears, secrets and suicide attempt, everything settled into place because of L O V E!
Eric and Morgan (born as boys) have been bffs since literal birth and no matter what they always celebrate their birthdays together (except when Eric got the chicken pox). Eric’s family is macho ruled by their dad: being the best at sports and no crying. Morgan’s family is quiet after the loss of his mother, all he has is his dad who has yet to cope and doesn’t know how to communicate with his child; leaving Morgan feeling especially lonely.
Starting at 13 years old, we see Morgan struggle for five years about being a girl in a boy’s body; waiting impatiently for her to be herself. However, she has the best friend ever because Eric is so nice, and patient and understanding without a blink in his eye and totally accepts Morgan for who she is.
Just at 18 years old, these two kids fall in love and accept themselves for who they are and find their true passions outside of what people expect of them; which everyone should learn as soon as possible because ‘no one is you and that is your superpower.’ I saw that on Pinterest once.
Here’s to love and being loved no matter who you are.