Month: February 2016

Sunday Street Team: Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin | Review

Posted February 28, 2016 by MC / 3 Comments

Categories: Book Reviews, Sunday Street Team


Sunday Street Team was created by the amazing Nori at ReadWriteLove28. To sign up to join the team, click here.

Sunday Street Team: Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin | ReviewSymptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin
Published by HarperCollins on February 2nd 2016

The first thing you’re going to want to know about me is: Am I a boy, or am I a girl?

Riley Cavanaugh is many things: Punk rock. Snarky. Rebellious. And gender fluid. Some days Riley identifies as a boy, and others as a girl. The thing is . . . Riley isn’t exactly out yet. And between starting a new school and having a congressman father running for reelection in uber-conservative Orange County, the pressure—media and otherwise—is building up in Riley’s so-called “normal” life.

On the advice of a therapist, Riley starts an anonymous blog to vent those pent-up feelings and tell the truth of what it’s REALLY like to be a gender-fluid teenager. But just as Riley’s starting to settle in at school—even developing feelings for a mysterious outcast—the blog goes viral, and an unnamed commenter discovers Riley’s real identity, threatening exposure. Riley must make a choice: walk away from what the blog has created—a lifeline, new friends, a cause to believe in—or stand up, come out, and risk everything.

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



Wow. I don’t even know where to begin. I finished this book a while ago, and I have been trying to write this review for a long time. I can’t seem to find words that are good enough to do this book justice. Reading this book was such a wonderful experience and I don’t feel like I am eloquent enough to describe it to you properly.

Symptoms of Being Human is a story about Riley, a gender fluid teen trying to navigate a new high school and deal with the pressures of being the child of a Congressman. Riley isn’t out yet, and starts a blog as an outlet, hoping it will help with the anxiety and stress that is a daily occurrence. The blog becomes a huge success, and Riley seems to be doing well, until an anonymous reader online threatens to expose Riley’s secret to the world.

I cried so many times while I was reading this book. I cried because, even though I haven’t had to deal with the same struggles as Riley, I found so much in Riley’s story that I could sympathize with. I cried because of the horrible cruelty that unfortunately still exists in our world. I cried because of the amazing kindness that also exists, and works every day to fight against the cruelty. Riley’s story felt so real and relatable. I felt like the characters were a part of my life and I found myself caring so much about their story and what was happening to them.

One of my absolute favorite things about this book is that you never find out what gender Riley was assigned at birth. Because you know what? It’s not important. It truly doesn’t matter what is underneath Riley’s clothes. Sometimes Riley identifies as a girl. Sometimes Riley identifies as a boy. Sometimes Riley feels caught in the middle. Don’t you think that is hard enough to deal with without us demanding to know a birth-assigned gender?

This was one of the first books I read in 2016, and I am positive that it will remain one of my favorite books of the year. I know I will be rereading it multiple times and recommending it to everyone I know. I think this story is such an important one for people to read. I identify as the gender I was assigned at birth, so I will never be able to truly understand the pain and anxiety associated with Riley’s story. But I know that I am a better person for having read this story, and I know it will change you if you read it too.

5 Stars

Meet the author!

Before becoming a novelist, Jeff Garvin acted on TV and toured as the lead singer of a rock band. He has a BFA in Film from Chapman University and lives in Southern California, surrounded by adorable, shedding beasts.

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ARC Review: The Rule of Mirrors by Caragh M. O’Brien

Posted February 16, 2016 by MC in Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: The Rule of Mirrors by Caragh M. O’Brien

Oh my goodness, writing a review for this book is SO HARD, because it is the second book in the series and I don’t want to give anything away! I wish I could just gush about how much I love this series, but I think it is definitely better for you to go into the books without knowing much about them. The first book in this series, The Vault of Dreamers, […]

Late Night Friday Reads 2/12/16

Posted February 12, 2016 by MC in Friday Reads / 0 Comments
Late Night Friday Reads 2/12/16

Happy Friday! (It is Friday, right?) Honestly, I have totally lost track of what day it is, because I have been super sick this week. I wish I could say that staying home from work meant that I was able to read like crazy, but I wasn’t able to read much at all because I kept falling asleep. 🙁 I think I am finally on the mend, so I’m hoping to be […]

Make Me Read It Episode 5 | Tamara @ Tamaraniac: Heist Society

Posted February 8, 2016 by MC in Featured Bloggers, Make Me Read It / 0 Comments
Make Me Read It Episode 5 | Tamara @ Tamaraniac: Heist Society

Learn more about Make Me Read It here! Hi everyone! Welcome to another episode of my Make Me Read It feature!!!! Once again, I have two lovely guests with me here today. Today, the amazing Tamara of Tamaraniac is back visiting my blog! Tamara was the very first guest blogger that helped me launch my Make Me Read It feature, and I’m so excited to have her back! She wants me […]

Late Night Friday Reads 2/5/16

Posted February 5, 2016 by MC in Friday Reads / 4 Comments
Late Night Friday Reads 2/5/16

It’s Friday, Friday! And I had a snow day today! Hooray for long weekends! We had a freak snowstorm that wasn’t even predicted and I got stuck with a foot of snow. So I had a lovely day of reading today and it was just what I needed. I barely read 10 pages total this entire week, but today I managed to finish my first two books of February! Yay! […]

February TBR

Posted February 4, 2016 by MC in TBR Lists / 4 Comments
February TBR

Hi everyone! I didn’t do a TBR last month because life got in the way and by the time it was ready to post there was about a week left in January…oops. This month I have a general idea of some books I want to read, but I think I may also peruse my shelves and just pick up whatever I am feeling at the moment. I’m really in the […]

Fanboy Book Club Kickoff!

Posted February 3, 2016 by MC in Fanboy Book Club / 2 Comments
Fanboy Book Club Kickoff!

Hi everyone!!! Today, I’m really excited to help kickoff the first month of the Fanboy Book Club, created by Bianca at The Ultimate Fangirl! I’m really excited because I will be helping Bianca out as one of the hosts of this book club! Yay!!! In the month of February, we will be reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. What a perfect way to start off a […]

January Wrap Up & Mini Reviews

Posted February 1, 2016 by MC in Wrap Ups / 6 Comments
January Wrap Up & Mini Reviews

We are one month into 2016 already??!?!?! What????? Man, time is flying by. I had a pretty decent month. I read some books I really liked and a couple that I didn’t care for. I have been really trying hard to read only one book at a time in 2016, and so far it has been working out pretty well. I broke down a bit and I am reading multiple […]