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For Today I Am a Boy
"A sharply written debut novel. A coming-of-age tale for our time."
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Did you like this book?

Created: 06/01/15

Replies: 23

Posted Jun. 01, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janeh

Join Date: 06/15/11

Posts: 158

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Did you like this book?

I found it very difficult to stay engaged with this book and the characters. I'm not sure why because the family was interesting as were all of the family members. I felt like the author kept the characters at arms length, never allowing himself to get close enough to really see the characters and therefore kept me, the reader, also at a distance. I don't think I would recommend this book


Posted Jun. 01, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 212

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RE: Did you like this book?

I did like this book and think it is one that is very much needed to be read and discussed. I agree that at times I felt that I had lost the character, but I think that was because the book was not linear, but was Peter recalling memories and bits of conversations with his siblings or friends. Peter, being the narrator shows his confusion and lack of understanding, which is picked up by the reader.


Posted Jun. 01, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
deeh

Join Date: 03/03/12

Posts: 158

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RE: Did you like this book?

I did like it, very much. The author did keep us at arm's length much of the time, but that didn't keep me from filling in the blanks for myself. I did feel that the author missed pointing out that Peter/Audrey is transgendered, not homosexual. While his father came to accept his "weakness," he didn't ever realize that his son was in fact a woman trapped in a man's body.


Posted Jun. 01, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianec

Join Date: 03/15/12

Posts: 21

RE: Did you like this book?

Yes, and the distance between the reader and the narrator felt very effective to me. Peter did not have even a basic understanding of his place in the world, so he looks to others for cues. It's as if the male gender role is completely mysterious, one he tries to emulate through observation. But I loved the way his true female self continue to surface in unexpected ways. I believe this is a book about a trans-gendered person that is accessible to readers who have little comprehension of the situation.


Posted Jun. 01, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ABeman

Join Date: 01/14/15

Posts: 20

RE: Did you like this book?

Doesn't this book seem so timely right now? Hello, Caitlyn Jenner. And Jeffrey Tambor's character in "Transparent."


Posted Jun. 02, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cameronr

Join Date: 06/02/15

Posts: 12

RE: Did you like this book?

I honestly really enjoyed this book. I'm interested in the topic but I truly couldn't imagine a book I was receiving for free to be good -- that whole 'too good to be true' thing. This book is so good, though. I've passed it along to my mother to read next. Sometimes I would have to remind myself that it wasn't a memoir -- it just seemed so real and believable!
Great book that I highly recommend!


Posted Jun. 02, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joanr

Join Date: 04/25/12

Posts: 35

RE: Did you like this book?

Yes, yes, yes! I thought this book was terrific. It held my attention throughout as it explored with compassion and insight Peter's struggles as he slowly awakens to and emerges into his true self. All the characters were sharply drawn, the writing was expertly crafted and the story was compelling and very timely. I intend to recommend this book to all my book-loving friends


Posted Jun. 03, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lindan

Join Date: 05/17/15

Posts: 4

RE: Did you like this book?

It is hard to say that I liked the book. It is more honest to say that I was intrigued and deeply appreciate Peter's journey because like any good book, I found myself deeply empathizing with his journey of transcending culture expectations to become his/herself.


Posted Jun. 04, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
marys

Join Date: 05/24/11

Posts: 32

RE: Did you like this book?

Usually this a simple question for me to answer. I am not one of those people that once they start a book they slog through it even if it holds no interest for them. If I don't like a book, I stop reading it. My motto is "too many books, not enough time." I did put this one down, and then I picked it back up and finished it. There was something about Peter's character that made me want to find out if he ever embraced his gender identity. So, I guess the answer is that I did like this book but it took a break from it to figure that out.


Posted Jun. 07, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lindaj

Join Date: 03/18/14

Posts: 20

RE: Did you like this book?

Not really. I found it depressing and without hope for anyone until the end when it seemed like Peter and his sisters might make a go of their lives. While the writing was interesting, I did not feel invested in the characters. I think a sign of good writing is to evoke some emotion in the reader, and all I felt was sadness for the family. WHile it would be easy to blame a culture for the way they behaved, I think families facing a transgender situation in a supportive role are few and far between.


Posted Jun. 07, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kate

Join Date: 01/22/11

Posts: 50

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RE: Did you like this book?

I did not care for the book. I did finish it so I could take part in the discussion, but had it been a library book, it would of gone back unfinished. I did not have a problem with the subject matter or even the story, I just found the writing very flat and simple. I was not invested in the characters, the story did not stay with me after I finished it. I probably would not recommend it to friends or my bookclub.


Posted Jun. 07, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
deby's Gravatar
deby

Join Date: 10/21/10

Posts: 16

RE: Did you like this book?

I agree with Kate. I just could not get interested in the book, even though it is very timely. I too felt the writing was flat (although I certainly couldn't even begin to write a book). I don't think I would recommend this to the general public or my book club. It would have to be someone maybe going through the process of discovery themselves.


Posted Jun. 08, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
tracyb

Join Date: 09/22/11

Posts: 63

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RE: Did you like this book?

Yes I felt that this is a well written & important book. That there are gaps in connecting with the characters made total sense to me. The belief that a boy is better than a girl does still exist, not just in the Chinese culture.

I was a trainer/educator in the health field 18 years ago. GLBT was one of the areas that I focused on. It was a learning experience for me. Kim's writing struck a cord of truth on the feeling of being lost & having to hide ones true self. The confusion, self doubt & fear of being different & rejected for who you are is the core of this journey.


Posted Jun. 08, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
marganna

Join Date: 10/14/11

Posts: 90

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RE: Did you like this book?

No, I did not like the book. I would not have finished it if not for this discussion. I skimmed the last 1/3 and only at the end did I find interest in the characters. I got very tired of Peter's behavior with his two "women" I forget their names - Margie & Claire. Eileen & John didn't add interest in the last part of the story. And of course, Ollie would lose his dreams to a pregnant girl friend. The sisters were not of interest either. It was a forced read. The topic is timely and much needed discussions could result but this is not a book I will recommend. I hope Peter/Audrey & the sisters find happiness. With the dysfunctional family it is a wonder any of them have a chance but I think the ending holds hope for them.


Posted Jun. 09, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
vickio

Join Date: 05/19/11

Posts: 9

RE: Did you like this book?

i was eager to read the book because it was a finalist for the Pen/Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction. Unfortunately, I was disappointed and struggled to finish the book. I kept thinking that I would begin to like the characters, but that never happened.


Posted Jun. 09, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
amberb

Join Date: 07/28/11

Posts: 78

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RE: Did you like this book?

I find the subject fascinating, but this book wasn't as compelling as the topic itself. I'm not sure what was missing. It was interesting, but not necessarily a book I'd recommend to others.

As a writer, I'm not sure what I would have done differently... maybe offer different perspectives, Jodi Picoult style? Develop the characters a little more thoroughly?


Posted Jun. 09, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mariannes

Join Date: 12/17/12

Posts: 206

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RE: Did you like this book?

I didn't really like this book. It was too depressing. I thought the writing was decent, but reading it made me depressed. I'm too old to read depressing books.


Posted Jun. 10, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beverlyj

Join Date: 12/22/11

Posts: 49

RE: Did you like this book?

Yes, I did like the book.
I think it is a great book club discussion book because of the easy pacing and presenting issues that many feel uncomfortable about, yet the book does not push the ideas up in your face.
I liked how it is a book about the present, showing the past, showing how family, place, culture influence support or does not support individuals and/or families.


Posted Jun. 10, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianes

Join Date: 05/16/11

Posts: 64

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RE: Did you like this book?

This was just okay for me, though I did feel a great deal of compassion. The simpleness and sparseness of the writing did not draw me in as much as I would like.


Posted Jun. 11, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mal

Join Date: 09/09/13

Posts: 155

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RE: Did you like this book?

Enjoyed the book. Exploring the entire family, their challenges was provoking. The family dynamics made for an entertaining read


Posted Jun. 16, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Windsong

Join Date: 05/07/13

Posts: 70

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RE: Did you like this book?

The story is timely, and I truly wanted to like it. It might have been the unconnected style in which Kim Fu wrote the story. It might have been the dominating father forcing his cultural background on Peter. It could have been the unlikeable supporting characters. The story of a young man, a member of a family of immigrants, with insurmountable obstacles in his way to become acceptable to himself should have been more compelling.


Posted Jun. 17, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
stacerbase

Join Date: 04/10/15

Posts: 3

RE: Did you like this book?

Not particularly, but I didn't not like it either. Just there. I will forget it within a year most likely. I think the topic is fascinating, and the writing was good, but that is it. Didn't really care about any of the characters either. I think dianes summary above is spot on. The simpleness/sparseness of the writing actually bothered me. It felt choppy, almost like I was reading a YA novel. Just not my thing.


Posted Jun. 21, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kathleenb

Join Date: 09/14/12

Posts: 72

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RE: Did you like this book?

Yes. I enjoyed learning how a boy could feel like a girl from a very early age. It was educational about the Trans-gender situation for me. I felt sorry for the dysfunctional family that Peter had to grow up in and for all the members in the family including the father. The worst thing for me was how long it took for Peter to come out and be a woman. I loved that she called herself Audrey.


Posted Jul. 02, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
poniesnpearls

Join Date: 06/28/11

Posts: 30

RE: Did you like this book?

I did enjoy this book, but also found it somewhat difficult and sad. This family was so connected and yet so disconnected. I kept imagining tops spinning - family members would spin into each other, then bounce away. Sometimes they would fall down until someone helped them up and then the spinning started again. I kept hoping all of the children would get together and just talk...


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