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Book Review: Between Perfect & Real by Ray Stoeve

"A moving YA debut about a trans boy finding his voice—and himself


Dean Foster knows he’s a trans guy. He’s watched enough YouTube videos and done enough questioning to be sure. But everyone at his high school thinks he’s a lesbian—including his girlfriend Zoe, and his theater director, who just cast him as a “nontraditional” Romeo. He wonders if maybe it would be easier to wait until college to come out. But as he plays Romeo every day in rehearsals, Dean realizes he wants everyone to see him as he really is now––not just on the stage, but everywhere in his life. Dean knows what he needs to do. Can playing a role help Dean be his true self?"


Pages: 304

I received Between Perfect & Real by Ray Stoeve for free in exchange for an honest review as part of a blog tour organised by Pride Book Tours and Abrams & Chronicle Books. Thank you so much for having me on the tour!


"Every time someone steps up and says who they are, the world becomes a better, more interesting place."

Captain Holt - Brooklyn 99


In Between Perfect & Real, our main character is Dean and he knows that he is a boy even though everyone thinks he is a girl. When he is cast as Romeo on his school's production of Romeo and Juliet he realises that he wants everyone to see him for the boy that he is.

This was such an emotional and powerful story - thank you so much to Ray Stoeve for sharing it with us! It is beautifully written and so heartfelt, this is a definite must-read! The writing style was very introspective for Dean's character which was a really interesting format for a story and one that I really enjoyed. We spend a lot of time in Dean's head as he comes to terms with his gender identity and how to tell the world around him. It gives the readers a really good opportunity to fully understand and get to know the character. I was so proud of Dean and wanted to give him a massive hug!


In Between Perfect & Real is moving, heart wrenching and a truly important read! Thank you so much for sharing this wondering story with me, it's going to stay with me forever!


Thank you for reading my thoughts, you can also find me on my Twitter and Instagram! Let me know if you have any recommendations of what I should read next.

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