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Symptoms of Being Human (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

When I first heard about this book, I was super excited to read it. In his incredible first novel, Jeff Garvin has written a funny, touching, and important story filled with diverse characters. All of them are so much more than what they seem. For instance, Riley is a punk, a vegan, and a gender fluid teenager. But above all, Riley is a person with hopes, dreams, fears, loves, hates, and a story that deserves to be told and heard. There are too few books about people with non binary genders and even fewer that are good! I am happy to say that Symptoms of Being Human has met my standards! While I recommend this book to anyone who likes character driven funny stories, I’m so excited and happy for all the gender fluid kids who are going to find this book and not feel alone.

— Ren at Terminal 2


A sharply honest and moving debut perfect for fans of The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Ask the Passengers.

Riley Cavanaugh is many things: Punk rock. Snarky. Rebellious. And gender fluid. Some days Riley identifies as a boy, and others as a girl. But 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 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. And 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.

From debut author Jeff Garvin comes a powerful and uplifting portrait of a modern teen struggling with high school, relationships, and what it means to be a person.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780062382863
ISBN-10: 0062382861
Publisher: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen
Publication Date: February 2nd, 2016
Pages: 352
Language: English