July 02, 2021

#BookReview: All Kinds of Other by James Sie

Synopsis: In this tender, nuanced coming-of-age love story, two boys—one who is cis and one who is trans—have been guarding their hearts to protect themselves, until their feelings for each other give them a reason to stand up to their fears.

Two boys are starting at a new school.

Jules is just figuring out what it means to be gay and hasn’t totally decided whether he wants to be out at his new school. His parents and friends have all kinds of opinions, but for his part, Jules just wants to make the basketball team and keep his head down.

Jack is trying to start over after a best friend break-up. He followed his actor father clear across the country to LA, but he’s also totally ready to leave his past behind. Maybe this new school where no one knows him is exactly what he needs.

When the two boys meet, the sparks are undeniable. But then a video surfaces linking Jack to a pair of popular transgender vloggers, and the revelations about Jack’s past thrust both Jack and Jules into the spotlight they’ve been trying to avoid. Suddenly both boys have a choice to make—between lying low where it’s easier or following their hearts.


Rating: 1 Star
My Review: I grabbed this from the library and I wanted to love this book but sadly this one didn't work out for me at all.  I found it boring and just very depressing.  The hate on hate was just so much in this book.  I had to put it down.  

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—Told in alternating points of view, this realistic romance revolves around two "new kids" who explore the bounds of their identities. Accustomed to molding himself into whatever best fits his mother's latest cause, Jules doesn't typically assert himself and has spent the past few years moving among private schools based on his parents' whims. Now that he is entering public school for the first time in years, Jules decides to come out to his friends and family. When he meets Jack, he feels an instant connection. Jack is still reeling from a traumatic experience that imploded his closest friendship with Evie, his co-star in a YouTube channel where they discussed transitioning and provided support for other trans teens. Needing to escape, Jack follows his father across the country and begins "The Grand Experiment"—where he enters school as a seemingly cis boy and refrains from building any close relationships that might jeopardize his secret. As Jules and Jack become closer, Jack wants to be completely honest, but will Jules react positively? This story features a diverse cast, including Jules, who is white and Jewish, and Jack, whose dad is white and mother is Indian. Sie's stark depiction of the transphobia that Jack faces (even from the LGBTQIA+ community) is commendable, but also may be traumatizing for many trans teens. Ultimately, though the resolution of this book is affirming, readers should be aware that the central conflict centers on negative reactions to Jack's trans identity. VERDICT Although this is recommended for purchase, make sure to also have positive, trans-affirming titles on hand such as Aiden Thomas's Cemetery Boys and Amy Rose Capetta's The Brilliant Death.—Catherine Cote, John Champe H.S., Aldie, VA


“A warm and open-hearted story about the perilousness and momentousness of navigating your gender and sexuality. Yes, it’s dangerous to be your authentic self, but, as Jules and Jack find out, the prize is worth the risk.”    -- Naomi Kanakia, author of We Are Totally Normal

"James Sie writes with a keen observation of human behavior and rich, breathtaking details that make his characters leap to life. All Kinds of Other is a fresh—and needed—perspective on identity: the things we protect, what we reveal and how we love. I am in awe of this book; it was hard to put down." -- Maulik Pancholy, author of The Best at It

"A touching, romantic, and rewarding read." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Sie’s splendid novel is no stranger to surprises and suspense, which keep the pages turning, but it’s the fully realized, multidimensional characters that are the story’s real attraction. Both Jules and Jack are wonderfully appealing characters who will capture readers’ hearts, and watching their personal development and that of their relationship are what really capture and hold readers’ attention... A superb addition to the growing body of transgender literature." -- Booklist (starred review)

“Tender and vulnerable, All Kinds of Other is the perfect read for anyone who’s scared of being their authentic self and needs that little ray of hope to show them that being yourself is always worth the risk.”  -- The Nerd Daily

"Told in alternating points of view, this realistic romance revolves around two “new kids” who explore the bounds of their identities... Recommended." -- School Library Journal

"[A] sharply written YA debut...a gripping story." -- Publishers Weekly

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