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For a moment, everyone sat in silence. Then Maliki turned to an aide. Entire neighborhoods were sealed off by concrete blast walls, to protect residents from the sectarian killers who roamed the city. Nevertheless, every morning dozens of new corpses appeared in the streets, many of them frozen in their final moments: hands bound, heads bagged, burned with acid, drilled with holes. Blast walls still stand outside office buildings, but only a handful of Americans remain, shuttling around the capital to help Iraqis use U.

The signature sound of the American war was the blast from a bomb—thousands of them, delivered by car or vest, or buried under the street.

What We Left Behind

The bombs are back, sometimes a half-dozen a day, nearly always deployed by Sunnis to kill Shiites. In January, in a Shiite neighborhood called Kasra, a man parked his sedan in front of a tea shop, turned off the ignition, and walked away. A few moments later, the sedan exploded, obliterating a row of shops and five people unlucky enough to have been close.

Twenty-seven others were wounded. One of the dead, a nineteen-year-old taxi-driver named Abdul Karim Latif, was engaged to be married. A few hours later, I watched mourners lift his coffin atop a minibus, draped in a fluorescent-pink bedsheet, to carry it to a cemetery. A group of women wailed. Roughly speaking, Sunnis moved to the west of Baghdad and Shiites to the east.

These days, whatever security can be found in the city is owed in part to the relentless segregation that took place during the civil war; as Matthew Sherman, a former civilian adviser to the U. In , Adel, a mixed neighborhood in western Baghdad, fell to Sunni insurgents, who murdered dozens of Shiites and forced others from their homes. Today, Adel is mixed again; many of the Shiite families who fled have followed the calm back to their houses. On a recent afternoon, Shiite prayer flags fluttered in the midday breeze.

Eight years after Maliki took power, Iraqis are sorting through the consequences. The Green Zone—still known by its English name—has the same otherworldly feel that it did during the American war: a placid, manicured outpost in a jungle of trouble.

Now, though, it is essentially a bastion of Shiite power, in a country shot through with angry Sunni citizens. Politicians hustle from meeting to meeting, rarely venturing past the gates. Hanaa Edwar, who runs a nonprofit called Al-Amal Hope , told me over tea at her home that she had opposed the American invasion, even though she loathed Saddam Hussein.

Still, the Americans could not have dreamed of a better friend. Threatened by insurgents and harassed by the government, Edwar built an organization that, among other things, trains women to campaign for elected office. She is proud of her work but ashamed of the Iraq that Maliki and his American sponsors have made. The failure of public services. The corruption. The human-rights abuses. The judicial system? There is no judicial system, really.

We are losing everything.

I asked Edwar about the elections, whether change might save the country. She looked at me with tired eyes. In parliamentary elections the previous December, a coalition of Shiite parties had won the most votes. But their nominee for Prime Minister, the incumbent, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, was struggling to form a government.

An avuncular, bookish figure, Jaafari had infuriated Bush with his indecisiveness, amiably presiding over the sectarian bloodbath that had followed the recent bombing of a major Shiite shrine. Ali al-Adeeb, a well-liked party official, seemed to be a logical candidate. But Khalilzad was troubled by Adeeb; his father was Iranian, and many Iraqis were already convinced that Iran secretly controlled their country.

Khalilzad recalled, laughing, that Maliki gave a startled jump.

But, as the two men talked, Maliki said that he could indeed secure the votes, and so, as the dinner broke up, well past midnight, Khalilzad told an aide to get the White House on the phone. Sunni and Kurdish politicians endorsed his candidacy. Khalilzad emphasized that he did not choose Maliki; he had merely exerted American leverage to maximum effect. Maliki has said repeatedly, and often angrily, that he did not need American support to get what he wanted from Iraqis. For him, the Americans were just one more overweening foreign power.

For Maliki, the result has been decades of strife, plotting, and clandestine war. Maliki was born in in Junaja, a village along the Euphrates in southern Iraq, just as the Shiites were beginning to cast off the legacy of British occupation. This shadow group, introduced in " Inquisition ", justifies its unlawful, unilateral tactics by claiming that it is essential to the continued existence of the Federation.

Section 31 repeatedly states any inquires made into the matter with the Federation, they will deny Section 31's existence. Section 31 features prominently in several episodes of the Dominion War arc, especially as it is revealed that it attempted a genocide of the Founders. The Ferengi[ edit ] In DS9, the Ferengi are no longer an enemy of the Federation, but rather an economic power whose political neutrality is, for the most part, respected. A number of episodes explore their capitalistic nature, while others delve into the race's sexist social norms.

Unlike their depiction in Star Trek: The Next Generation, where they were generally portrayed as sexist buffoons for comedic purposes, in DS9 they received a more complex depiction, with the female partner Ishka of the Grand Nagus leading a women's rights rebellion on the Ferengi homeworld, and Rom, Quark's brother, leading a strike against unfair working conditions in Quark's bar.

What we left behind pdf

Also, Jake Sisko's best friend, Nog, has to deal with Starfleet's more liberal attitudes towards women while Jake learns to deal with his friend's cultural background in a respectful manner rather than risk the loss of their friendship. Nog later decides to join Starfleet, the first Ferengi to do so.

In the second-season episode " Crossover ", the DS9 crew first becomes aware of this alternate universe when Kira and Dr. Bashir experience operational difficulties while traveling through the Wormhole and wind up back on the station in the Mirror Universe dominated by the Klingon—Cardassian alliance. They discover that it is not DS9 to which they have returned but Terok Nor. Bajor is not friendly and there is no Federation here. The Klingon—Cardassian alliance eventually formed and Bajor was freed from Terran occupation, later enslaving Terrans as ore miners on the orbiting space station Terok Nor.

Character growth[ edit ] Over the course of the seven seasons, we see characters come and go, and the station provides a chance to see characters from elsewhere in the Star Trek universe grow further, such the O'Brien family, including Miles, Keiko, and Molly.

It's not about being cool! Bloody hell. My issue with this isn't because I feel so sorry for all the poor white heterosexual people, it's because it sells the right-wing misconception that gay or transgender people have disdain for straight, cisgender people. It's so stupid! And so wrong! I think the only straight, cisgender character in the book that isn't mean is Toni's little sister Audrey.

Understanding UKIP: Identity, Social Change and the Left Behind

Seriously, I'm not exaggerating. The others are viewed like this: Joanna gets up at six in the morning to start a ninety-minute hair care regimen, and Felicia wears designer high heels every day even though they always get caught in the sidewalks.

Joanna and Felicia are the ultimate gender conformists. Because feminists can't possibly want to be attractive and take pictures of themselves in bikinis, right? I'm also confused about the decision to have Gretchen befriend a homophobic, transphobic guy who calls Toni a "shemale". This book was just a complete mess. I'm so so disappointed. I really am. We need more books with genderqueer characters, just not like this. View all 43 comments. Jul 06, Jessie Devine rated it did not like it.

I read the ARC of this book, and I'm really disappointed in it. I think I would've liked it, except. The genderqueer representation is not good at all. T acts like a hipster "babydyke" another character's word, not mine and goes around calling everyone by gender neutral pronouns, until the very I read the ARC of this book, and I'm really disappointed in it. T acts like a hipster "babydyke" another character's word, not mine and goes around calling everyone by gender neutral pronouns, until the very end of the novel.

It would be one thing if this was a mistake, but T continues doing so even after one of the transguys explains why it's hurtful for many people and why it's not okay. Secondly, T is portrayed consistently as "confused.

For a book to clearly present a character all the way to the end in a manner that reinforces all those toxic stereotypes is really problematic. There is even a point where transguys in the group invite T to come over, joking that they are having a "meeting of the formerly genderqueer.

I think what happened is that the author was trying to subvert a stereotype, but ended up playing right into it. Everybody is always figuring things out. But if that's the case, say the character is confused about their gender identity; do NOT call them genderqueer! Genderqueer is a real live identity that real live people who aren't confused live every single day.

Finally, while this book DOES present some of the frustration and worry associated with being non-binary in an accurate way, that's the only thing it presents.

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Lots of confusion, lots of frustration, and lots of negativity. Which again, is fine, but then don't say the character is genderqueer. That's not what genderqueer is. Being genderqueer comes with some frustrations, but it also comes with some wonderful feelings and really self-defining and affirming emotions.

After all that, I love Gretchen's character! I think she grows and changes and I love her chapters. I admire her courage to set out on her own even though it was difficult, and I think she grows into a strong person who stands up for herself and chases the things that are important to her. View 2 comments. I don't really know where to start with this review.

All I really know is I was SO excited to read this. There is so little representation of people who identify as genderqueer and I couldn't wait to get my hands on it, but I ended up so incredibly disappointed. Also to note, for the purposes of this review, I will referring to Toni as'T' as to not spoil anything.

To start with, the writing felt forced and read like a collection of short essays or even a textbook, and there was barely any resembla I don't really know where to start with this review. To start with, the writing felt forced and read like a collection of short essays or even a textbook, and there was barely any resemblance of a plot.

The plot essentially follows T and Gretchen's first year of college apart from eachother and how this affects their relationship. The plot was incredibly weak and essentially just served as a tool to try and educate readers about being genderqueer or transgender. I wouldn't normally have a huge problem with this as this is so rarely discussed in YA or at all , however among the info-dumps about how things can be problematic, was in turn, pretty problematic in themselves.

Now, I understand that this might seem a bit rich coming from the mouth of a cis, straight girl, but I had a lot of issues. One of the main issues I had with this was the misrepresentation of what it means to be genderqueer. From my understanding, genderqueer is a kind of umbrella term for those whose gender identity is outside of, not included within, or beyond the binary of female and male.

PDF - What We Left Behind

It is also within my understanding that genderqueer is not PURELY a period in which you decide which gender you belong to. This book implies that genderqueer people just haven't made up their minds about which gender they'd like to be, kinda like how bisexual people just haven't made up whether they like men or women, right?

There is a lot of discussion about language and pronouns, which I found somewhat interesting and T spends a giant chunk of the novel trying out several gender neutral pronouns to see what T likes.

As a general rule, T hates pronouns, which is fine. However, while experimenting with pronouns and deciding which ones fit best, T also calls everybody by gender neutral pronouns and ends up misgendering as a result. It would be one thing if this was a mistake, but T continues to do so even after being called out on it.

The conversation between T and a transguy in the group, Andy goes along the lines of: Don't be one of those hypergenderqueer people who's always ragging on the rest of us for wanting to look like guys" "That's not what Toni said at all," Derek says. Another thing that really grinded my gears was how this book tried to portray feminism.

Two of the only cis, straight females in this book apart from T's sister, Audrey , were straight up transphobic arseholes, but also just served as a platform to have shitty views of what feminism means be thrown at us.

According to our main character, feminists aren't allowed to conform to gender roles and aren't allowed to wear bikinis or take photos of themselves in them. God forbid feminists are comfortable with their bodies and want to show themselves off. As I previously mentioned, I loved how many diverse characters there were, however I didn't particular like how there is so much animosity toward white, straight people, not because I feel sorry for white, straight people, but because it reinforces the misconception that gay or transgender people harbor hatred toward white, cisgendered, straight people.

As a character, Gretchen grew much more so than T did. I still didn't really like her and I am still trying to figure out why she decided to become best friends with a transphobic gay guy who regularly calls T a "shemale".

Not once did Gretchen call him out on his fucking apalling behaviour, and it just seemed so weird for this to be accepted by Gretchen of all people. I could probably write a 10 page essay discussing why things in this book were problematic and how disappointed I am, but I will stop here. The truth is, I am struggling to put my thoughts together coherently enough to even write this review. Considering there are no other mainstream YA books out there that tackles this topic, I think Talley tried her best.

However, that doesn't mean this wasn't riddled with problems. Misrepresenting people in an attempt to simply include diverse characters for the sake of ticking the "diversity" box, and pumping out these sorts of books because we all want to read books with more diversity, is not the kind of representation that is needed.

Please let me know in the comments if I've made a mistake or need to clarify anything it was a little hard to put my thoughts together! Thankyou HarlequinTeen Australia for providing me with a review copy. This has in no way affected my review View all 7 comments.

May 19, Paige Illegal in 3 Countries rated it did not like it Shelves: This is not positive representation of what it means to be genderqueer. If you were attracted to this book in part because Toni is genderqueer, What We Left Behind will only leave you disappointed and enraged because it is used interchangably with being trans and generally treated as a transitional stage or a place you are when you aren't certain, not as its own gender identity.

Repeatedly, characters use the wrong pronouns for someone, get corrected, and continue to use the wrong pronouns anywa This is not positive representation of what it means to be genderqueer. Repeatedly, characters use the wrong pronouns for someone, get corrected, and continue to use the wrong pronouns anyway and never get called out for it again. As arbitrary as language is, respect the language someone else uses, okay?

View all 4 comments. Jun 23, Adriana rated it did not like it Shelves: I agree with this review in every respect.

Still, I will try to elaborate on my thoughts. This book is problematic in more ways than I can describe. Do NOT look to this book to educate you on the trans spectrum or the queer community in general. This is not good queer representation, even worse genderqueer "representation" if it can even rightfully be called that , and I would encourage you to avoid it at all costs.

Again, this book will NOT educate you on the trans spectrum and what it means to identify as genderqueer. Genderqueer is NOT a pit-stop between binary identities. Please don't pick up this book just because it's about an identity other than "gay. One can be trans and genderqueer.

People who identify as genderqueer can feel like they fit both parts of the binary, or neither. Furthermore, those of us in the queer community who choose to use labels use the best labels that we know how at any given time; it's not abnormal for someone to go through many labels in their lifetime.

Identity and sexuality is fluid; people can spend their whole lives figuring it out. Does this book acknowledge any of that? This book fails to represent those who identify as genderqueer in a true and nuanced way, and if you know nothing about the identity, you will walk away from this book more confused than ever.

The theory feels forced and inorganic--like it doesn't naturally fit in the story at all. This story and this premise were basically created to serve as a soap box, and honestly I feel like the author just used this book as opportunity to rant about queer theory. Subject should not overpower character, yet in this case it does. What's more, I could practically see Robin Talley checking off the diversity checklist before my eyes. Tell me why both MCs in this book are rich white members of society who are basically gathering friends from every background imaginable, just so they can step back and be like, "Ah yes, now my collection is complete.

That's the most scathing remark I can manage to convey my disgust. I appreciate how awful and unlikeable the two main characters are, because it shows that members of the queer community are not infallible; we don't know everything, we're just as confused about labels and theory as anyone else, we make tons of mistakes.

Bearing that in mind, the characters were still terrible and what's more, they were terribly written. Cheesy and dramatic to a fault, one-dimensional, self-involved, incapable of communicating, participants in instalove, I couldn't take either one of the main characters seriously. Their problems were transparent and predictable from the very beginning, and I didn't sense that they had changed much by the end of the story, even though they finally had one [real] confrontation.

There are so many little details that this book got absolutely wrong. I could probably write a page, single-spaced, 0. There are as many different experiences as there are people in the queer community, and this book fails to do justice to any of them. Because there are so few mainstream YA novels about genderqueer and trans characters, the fact that this book fails to accurately represent either is that much more upsetting. I've said it multiple times already, but please do not go into this book hoping to become further educated on the trans spectrum.

This is not good representation. Biggest disappointment of the year by far. View all 3 comments. This book will contain spoilers, and quotes from the book. When a book opened up with a relatable litany such as these: This shit might be good.

However, What We Left Behind drastically failed in every standard that I was highly holding itself into. There are a lot of offensive and alarming situations that made my skin crawled. There is a prominent character in the story, named Caroll. He is gay, and he keeps using transphobic and lespobic sl This book will contain spoilers, and quotes from the book. He is gay, and he keeps using transphobic and lespobic slurs.

He never got called out for that. He could also be seen a handful of times saying really awful transphobic shit, being passed as a cheap joke. An icing on top, one of the character also said something very biphobic. Alas, this character also never got called out. I nod. Heteroflexible means she mostly likes guys, but not always. The prose the author was aiming to deliver was about how difficult it is to figure out your sexuality and gender identity. Though, sadly the execution of it was perplexing, instead of being enlightened I feel oddly winded up.

Lastly, the relationship between the two main characters had so much potential. But, once again, it failed disastrously. I just wish the story was fleshed out. I highly recommend reading their nuanced thoughts.

Aug 04, Charlotte Annelise rated it did not like it Shelves: DNF The writing in this book is quite poor — I cannot finish it. Oct 13, Kat Lost in Neverland marked it as to-read. View 1 comment. Apr 23, Antonia marked it as reviews-say-run-forrest-run.

Another YA book by the fabulous Robin Talley and it's involving not only homosexuality but transsexuality? I received this free from the publishers via Netgalley All quotes are from my arc edition and may be subject to change Toni and Gretchen are the perfect couple. They never fight and are expected to be together forever.

However, the distance does put a toll on their relationship. Toni is genderqueer and when T finds a sense of belonging with a group transgender upperclassman, Gretchen struggles to fin I received this free from the publishers via Netgalley All quotes are from my arc edition and may be subject to change Toni and Gretchen are the perfect couple.

Toni is genderqueer and when T finds a sense of belonging with a group transgender upperclassman, Gretchen struggles to find out who she is outside of their relationship.

However, I was left extremely disappointed with this novel. I'm not massively educated on things like transgender or genderqueer. What We Left Behind suggests that those who identify as genderqueer are just confused about their gender identity, where as my impression was that those who are genderqueer identifies with neither, both, or a combination of male and female genders.

However, What We Left Behind seems to insinuate that it is a transitional period for people to decide which gender they belong to. When talking about a transgender meeting, this is said: It actually read like a textbook on gender identity and sexual orientation, and the only noticeable plot was the relationship between Toni and Gretchen, which in itself was weak. Toni actually has quite a large disdain for straight and cis-gendered, and outright feminine girls, and T won't give them the time of day for that exact reason.

Neither of them has the right to talk about feminism until they stop posting pictures of themselves in bikinis' I personally didn't know that not being feminine was a requirement of being a feminist. Why do they always have to dress that way? Gretchen doesn't. Neither does Ebony. It's like Joanna and Felicia are trying to be as girly as humanly possible While some of the girls aren't nice people in general, I think this is the wrong message to send to young people.

All girls don't have to dress the same. Some are 'girly' and some are not. People dress and look differently. Toni is really adverse to gender specific pronouns and gender specific labels and things in general. Which is fine, but T seems to want to force T's views on everyone else, and tries to force labels on others and everyone T meets T tries to put them in a box and to see which box they fit into, such as being transgender and cis etc, and then T decides whether T wants to like them.

Toni also seems happy that T brings some LGBT diversity to T's roommates, as if race and sexuality is some fashion label. I'm the only one of my roommates who's white.

Ebony and Felicia are both black, and Joanna is Vietnamese. I felt a little weird at first, like I was boring next to them. Then I remembered that I bring in the LGBTQIA diversity angle, so I was still contributing Also, Gretchen's new friend is transphobic and it is never really addressed and Gretchen still continues to befriend him without addressing the issue. Overall, I wasn't particular impressed with most of this novel and it is a huge disappointment.

Mar 03, 1 rated it it was ok. Review to come Okay. I've been looking forward to this review, mainly because I have a lot to say. Unfortunately, I haven't liked many of the books in that genre. This book was one of those books. So this book was about a lesbian couple who basically have their entire lives planned out: The two girls names are Gretchen and Toni.

Toni is struggling to find out who she is, and identifying as genderqueer, because she d Review to come Okay. Toni is struggling to find out who she is, and identifying as genderqueer, because she doesn't feel male or female. Toni is going to be attending Harvard, while Gretchen is going to Tufts, near by. Although, when Gretchen unexpectedly gets taken off the wait list for NYU, she decides she wants to go there.

But she doesn't tell Toni until the night before they leave for college. Naturally, Toni is pissed but doesn't show it. Apparently this couple never fight. Is that even possible? They've been dating two years and haven't had an argument. Okay, so now all the problems I had with this book: They most be all super smart. Also, they were like the only colleges I knew when I was little, meaning they're very well-known had seemed to be picked just because they're well-known.

Toni goes to Harvard but never goes to class?? They complain about homework and studying Like, not a single class or teacher was mentioned. I feel like in these books there's always a supportive teacher to guide the students way through life and accepting who you are.

Again, the fact they never fight? My last complaint is how confusing it was. There are so many characters and they were all introduced at once.

Most of the characters were LGBTQ, but it was hard to figure out if they were trans, or bi, or gay or lesbian, or genderqueer, like Toni. It was never clearly specified what the multiple characters identify as, and I kind of had to figure it out myself.

Also, Toni and Gretchen both had close guy friends at their separate school, but for some reason I kept getting them confused. Overall, I really liked the idea of this book but I was just very confused and felt like there were a lot of loose ends like: Does Gretchen ever rekindle her friendship with her best friend at NYU? Does Tony get the surgery? Are Tony and Gretchen back together? Who really cares about Chris's relationship with Steve?

Would Gretchen still be lesbian if she's dating a trans woman? May 18, Steph Sinclair marked it as to-read Shelves: Aug 24, Tilly Booth rated it it was amazing. Review to come! Nov 06, Claire added it Shelves: Mixed feelings about this one, enough that I'm not really sure how to rate it at all. My first impression was: A non-binary character who's on a journey! Happy queer teens dating in high school and having realistic dating feelings! This is new, and neat.

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Less thrilling: This whole "I'm going to call everyone by gender-variant pronouns despite the fact that they've told me their actual pronouns are [whatever]" going uncorrected was frankly bizarre. Also less thrilling: Also truly not thrilling at all: Things really have moved since the early s, and that really is something. Jan 23, Heatherblakely rated it it was ok Shelves: Hahahahaha I am SO glad to be finished with this book.

I loved Talley's first book. Lies We Tell Ourselves had a few issues in terms of race representation, but I was able to get past most of those and focus on the story and be swept up in it and then get too emotionally involved and have a mini breakdown.

It was fine. I was fine with it. I am cisgender and have always identified that way, so I cannot entirely speak for h Hahahahaha I am SO glad to be finished with this book. I am cisgender and have always identified that way, so I cannot entirely speak for how genderqueer people were represented in this book. However, I can say that Talley did with genderqueer people what a lot of authors do with bisexuals: That's incorrect and horrible.

These identities are not a phase, and acting as such is damaging, because this kind of representation gives people people who don't understand, or don't want to understand, any kind of fluidity the impression that these things are just a phase and shouldn't be taken seriously and are just a stepping stone.

I understand that identity can be confusing, but Toni's struggle throughout the book made it seem as if being genderqueer meant being confused and judgmental all the time before finally "deciding" to be trans which, again, is damaging because it came off like Toni was making a choice in this, which is not. And then and this is going to be a rant , view spoiler [Gretchen, Toni's girlfriend, is upset and drunk one night and sleeps with her only friend at NYU, who is a gay guy.

That's what immediately pushed my rating to two stars, because I'm sick of this story. First of all, the guy she sleeps with is rude and judgmental and all around awful, but we're supposed to feel sorry for him because he's gay and is having trouble coming out.

Yes, dealing with that sucks, but no, that does not give you the right be a judgmental asshole. Would any of the things he said be forgivable if he had been a straight guy?

But cis gay men are so high up on the LGBTQIA hierarchy that people just let them say whatever the hell they want and get away with it. Second of all, I'm so sick of the lesbian-sleeps-with-a-guy trope. SO fucking sick of it. Do some lesbians sleep with men before they come out, or while they're figuring themselves out?

Of course. But not all of us do. And it seems like the former happens a lot more often in media than the latter, which is incredibly damaging because people think that all lesbians are interested in sleeping with men. Not true. We don't all get drunk or confused or freaked out and sleep with guys, and we need to see some more lesbians who do only sleep with women.

Stop being so nice. You're allowed to be selfish. You're allowed to fucking take care of yourself. Also, come the fuck on, if your new gay bff is supposed to be fashionable, because he's a stereotype, there's no goddamn way he would let you out of the house in CROCS. Plus, everyone in this book was so judgmental. Toni lives in a suite with three other girls, and insults two of them all the time for being very feminine and enjoying expensive things.

Ha yes because feminists obviously cannot post pictures of themselves in bikinis! Heaven forbid we show off our bodies because we're confident and proud! And heaven forbid we enjoy wearing high heels! It all came off as hating on anyone who observed mainstream binary gender practices, which is so hypocritical. If you don't want someone judging you for how you identify, you sure as hell do not get to criticize how anyone else practices or performs their gender identity.

And the way that race was discussed rubbed me the wrong way. I can't even pinpoint everything, but it was so incredibly irritating and felt so fake and wrong. It felt like most of this book was trying to be inclusive and teach people about things, but half of it came off as preachy and the other half was just plain fucking frustrating and wrong.

Jan 03, Rashika is tired rated it really liked it Shelves: The angst doesn't magically disappear once you get into college.It is also within my understanding that genderqueer is not PURELY a period in which you decide which gender you belong to. There is a prominent character in the story, named Caroll. Let me reiterate this: So where does Gretchen fit in? There are points where I wanted to strangle almost every single character except Eli, I adored Eli. I almost always read books in a day or two, so, yeah, not my usual reaction here.

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