Some Girls Bind

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

*thank you to Netgalley and West 44 Books for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

4 stars.

Wow. I dont know what I was really expecting when I took interest in this. It sounded different to anything I had really read and I was right about that. This book was SO good! It was written in verse, a poetic way that made it beautiful. The characters are people who most of us can relate to, with very updated issues. I have never read a story where the main character is genderqueer so I really enjoyed being inside her head. 

One word to describe this book, beautiful. Simply beautiful. Im not usually someone who enjoys poetry, but this was well written. Im adding it to books I want to own a physical copy of.
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This powerful novel in verse follows Jamie, a teenager coming to terms with her identity as gender queer. Though her friends are accepting, Jamie struggles with the decision to tell her loved ones. Verse is the perfect way to tell such a complex and real story. What makes this book even more powerful is that it can be considered an #ownvoices book, meaning the author has had personal struggles relating to gender issues. In my opinion, this makes the book more realistic knowing that the author is able to relate to the main character in a way I cannot.
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I got this book as an ARC from Netgalley, and my review was delayed because the formatting was AWFUL when my friend, who had also received an ARC showed it to me. I didn't bother downloading it for myself, I just bought myself a physical copy of the book since I didn't want formatting issues to affect my review. Anyway. 

I loved this book. I've read close to zero books with a nonbinary character, and this was the first book with the main character as such. 

First off, I loved the fact the book was written in poetry form. I rarely see books written well in poetry form, but Some Girls Bind was executed beautifully. The story is essentially about Jamie, who is not "she" but rather, "they". I enjoyed the poems but at the end of the novel I still didn't know anything about Jamie other than the fact they are genderqueer. 

I guess books written in verse can only go so deep, but I was still hoping that this book, with all the barriers it crossed, would make the character a little more *real*. I like that the book is a relatable book to so much of the NB community, and I can't speak for them, but I don't think their entire identity revolves around being genderqueer. They still have personalities and stuff so for that, I can't give the book a five star rating.
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I have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, I loved the premise, and I really liked how it explored the process of working through questions of gender identity rather than it just being a basic coming-out story. The novel-in-verse format lent itself really well to the sort of introspective tone of the book. On the other hand, it was really short, in a way that made it feel somewhat underdeveloped.
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I saw this at my library and I was so excited to see this type of book ready for teens to read! I think this is the type of book that needs to get out there! This is about a person who is going through their own journey. Figuring out about binding and gender. It is written in verse but flows very well. It seemed very dull at some points but all together it was a great read. I cannot wait til this can reach more people and make a difference!
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This is going to be a short review.
Thank you to the publisher for the e-arc in exchange of a honest review.
So liked this book. It was in verse or poem kind of way. The story is about friends who have secrets which only the group knows and how the main character has secret which she hasn't told anyone so the in way it's coming out story.
Short read. And good story.
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The first thing that stood out to me is that this book is written in poetic prose. This is the first time I have read a lyrical novel, but it was really easy to read. The story was interesting, however, it wasn't that complex though and it was a little too easy to read. It reminded me of a book for younger readers more than a young adult novel, I managed to read it in one morning.

However, this is an important book. Yes, it's a short tale, but it's full of really important themes that would be a comfort for any genderqueer teen looking to find something that represents them and what they are going through. It's a tale of self-discovery and coming out, and it's a tale of understanding and acceptance with a sub-plot about a gay couple who are also going through their own coming-out to their family and the fall-out from that.

Jamie always felt different, but throughout the book, they realise why that was. They learn about themself, what pronouns they want to use and discuss the complex emotions that come with binding and dealing with the everyday world which is so set on gender splits. Jamie struggles with the decision about who to tell about their status, and when to tell them. They want to tell everyone who they are but their scared of how people will react. This is a very real situation that a lot of genderqueer teens and adults, can relate to.

I feel like this is a really important addition to my shelf as it opened my eyes about what genderqueer/non-binary people go through, and it showed me how our world still has a long way to go to break the trend of only having two genders. We need more gender neutrality which is something I have always supported, but through this book now understand even more.
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I was a little bit disappointed by the narration. I found the history of Jamie moving but I couldn't get attached to the character herself...
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“What if this is a test 
And the answer is all of the above?” 

I love the format of this! 
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There were issues with the PDF so I was unable to really finish the book, but I fell in love with what I did get to read and fully plan on getting this book when I have a chance. This book is well written and I was genuinely surprised at how much the author was able to convey through verse.
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Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a review copy.
I gave this a four out of five stars and I really enjoyed it. There someone whose gender queer, gay and, questioning. When the main person Jamie is coming to terms with themself. I noticed some similarities from when I was coming to terms with myself being gay. I absolutely recommend you to pick this up. I highlighted some lines that I liked in things poetry and this book made me cry. 

Some lines I liked:
“We’re here, and we’re queer”

“”So what about pronouns?” Levi asks this as he weaves the car out of the park. “How should I refer to you?””

“Whatever you want, I. I just want you to be happy.”

“Whatever you decide— Jamie, James, gay, straight, whatever— it’s okay.”

“”Just always remember: you’re everything you need to be right now and it’s enough.””

“”You’re allowed to panic.””

And there many more I like too.
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I got an ARC of this book.

I got this because I was super excited by genderqueer rep in YA books. The title and the description are pretty misleading. Just assume everything I type is going to be a spoiler after this line. Ok, so Jamie is genderqueer, that is established super early on in the book with very little fanfare. There is a lot of angst about coming out, but the identity itself was super easy. They started using they pronouns pretty early in the book, so I wouldn't feel comfortable using she like the description does. This is why I hate the title. Jamie doesn't identify as a girl, so why is the title about being a girl? There are so many lines where Jamie expresses how they are neither girl or boy, so why did this title stick? It is so untrue to the character and to the idea behind the story. It invalidates the feelings that Jamie expresses over and over again in this book. 

The reason why I can still rate this book as high as I do is there is the background characters. There are gay people coming out to differing degrees of acceptance, there is the older brother who is a total sweetheart (made me tear up at one point), and then there are the straight and cis characters who have actually things going on in their lives that is unrelated to sexuality which gives the book depth. The book otherwise had no depth. It was just angsty poetry about being afraid to come out. It read much below the age of the characters in the book too. If this was aimed at or about ten year olds, then this would have made perfect sense. Instead I am left feeling like I was being talked down to instead. 

The ARC file I received was also very much inaccessible at times with formatting and repeating of whole sections of the book. I am hoping this is cleared up with the final ebook that is for sale, but it makes me wary of recommending buying the ebook instead of the hard copy. The hard copy version would be better because it would give a more tangible weight to my favorite part of the book. The one line that made this book make a huge impression on me. 

There is a line that stood out as so wonderful and so necessary that it made me tear up. The older brother tells Jaime that they are perfect and they are enough. If someone had said that to me when I was coming to terms with my gender, maybe I wouldn't still be ashamed and hate what I am. Maybe I wouldn't still struggle with my body and my mind on a daily basis. Seeing a character get that level of support and hearing the exact words that I would have needed touched me so deeply. I just can't get over it. That line alone would have made this book worth reading. I can ignore all of my bad feelings and recommend this book based on that one line.
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This book has such important subject matter and I liked the stream of consciousness format of it, but it was weighed down by a jarring unfinished format and a pretty unremarkable writing style
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This book is written in verse, and while I was looking forward to reading something about trans men (or even those who are simply not cis female), that’s just not a writing style that I enjoy.
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Some Girls Bind was such a unique story for me, I've never read a book where the main character is genderqueer before so it was a great experience being able to see through Jamie's eyes.

Jamie are adorably sweet and strong nontheless. I loved seeing how they discovered how they felt about their identity and how that was perceived by other people. Their struggle was so saddening but truthful, this is one of those books that make you feel exactly what the character is going through and that made it a very moving story.

Moreover, we have a friend group in here that was just the most adorable thing to read about, they are all so supportive to each other and they created a safe space where everyone can be their true selves without feeling judged. And that's also another nice thing about this book, every friend had their own challenges and things they had to deal with, it was a very diverse group and we don't get that often.

The problem I had with this book, though was that after finishing it I cannot exactly tell you anything else about Jamie apart from the fact that they are genderqueer. I was expecting to get to know them better but I get the story focuses only on that aspect.

All in all, it was an enjoyable and very eye-opening read but I didn't give it 5 full stars because I would have like to know Jamie outside of their gender identity too.
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A book written in poetic verse. A story that needed to be told and is important to younger generations today, but not one I felt I could connect with.
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This is a great book about a genderqueer character coming to terms with their gender identity. I did get emotional a couple of times while reading this as a strongly resonated with it. While I did enjoy this book, it did feel almost dramatic at times as the main character was full of angst and was convinced their parents wouldn't accept them. Although, having said that, even though it seems dramatic while reading it, that is exactly what many trans and non-binary people go through while considering coming out. I knew my mum would accept me when I came out but I still misinterpreted certain things she said and I was extremely anxious about coming out to her. Coming out is scary and difficult even if you know your family are open-minded people who will love you reagrdless, but I digress. I thought this was a great story of friendship, family, secrets, and queer identities.
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"I wish I could tell them, with a smile: queer isn't contagious."

Some Girls Bind is told from the perspective of Jamie - a teen who is trying to navigate her way through some new feelings, and thoughts of gender and identity. Jaime doesn't fit into the gender binary and learns to accept herself as is when others aren't so welcoming when she comes out to them.

While I don't normally enjoy books told in verse, I connected with Jamie on multiple level because of the topic and ultimately, i ended up enjoying Some Girls Bind. 

Rating: 3.5/5
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Off the bat, I can say this wasn’t anything overly special to me. It didn’t impact me in a life-changing way. But I can tell you Some Girls Bind was worth the read.

Now, don’t let yourself be swayed by the the synopsis. Or the title. Or even less the cover. If you really look at it, it looks and sounds like a messy book. But it isn’t.

My only real critique of the book isn’t actually of its content, but of its exterior. I feel like the publisher could’ve done a much, much better job of writing the synopsis of this book. And coming up with a title (or at least a teeny part of me hopes the publisher is to blame as I’m aware they’re usually in charge of that stuff).

I find the title and synopsis of this book to be very misleading and quite harmful, as the entire point of the book is Jamie realizing they’re genderqueer and the process of them coming to terms with that label. But with a title like that, it invalidates all of Jamie’s growth as a character. And the synopsis uses the wrong pronouns, therefore misgendering Jamie. Yes, they finally get comfortable with they/them farther along the book, but it’s important to emphasize and normalize that gender identity and sexuality are NOT spoilers; a message that the people responsible for writing this blurb apparently can’t seem to get into their wittly heads.

Anyway, I’m not an OV reviewer, but I feel like Avery @ The Book Deviant flawlessly explains the issues above from an own-voices standpoint in their review, so click here to read it. (It’s a great review, by the way!)

Anyway, my actual thoughts on the book:

I literally flew through this book. as I mentioned earlier, it’s written in verse, so it’s a super quick read. I often hesitate when it comes to books written in this format because I don’t *love* poetry. And I don’t tend to enjoy it anyway. But, if you’re like me, trust me, you won’t struggle.

The writing flows very easily and naturally, and it was a quite soft reading experience. Calming and nice.

It was an incredibly nice story that touched upon gender fluidity in a perfect way, and demonstrated how much genderfluid teens can struggle in society nowadays; the fear they feel and the prejudice they face. And how important it is to be understanding and supportive. To respect people’s pronouns. If you misgender somebody, apologize and do better.

I have struggled a lot with my gender identity for the past few months, and this book made me feel seen. Safe and comfortable. Like I was hugging a cup of hot cocoa in a chilly winter night. I still haven’t figured it out yet, but this book reminded me that it’s okay to not have figured out anything. And I really appreciated that message.

I felt for Jamie and their struggles. How they felt ready to come out to their best friend but it took a lot of courage to tell their family and the rest of their friends. They were a really relatable character, but not so memorable, sadly.

The other characters I felt lacked a ton of development. Out of nowhere, I was thrust into this ginormous friendship group whose dynamics I was unfamiliar with (and weren’t explored further along anyway), and I was just so confused. And to be honest, I didn’t care for anyone but Jamie.

Overall, I don’t really have a lot of thoughts on this book besides the fact that it was a nice read. I recommend it to anyone looking for some heart-warming genderqueer representation, and a good book told in verse.

Rating: 3.25/5 stars

Thank you to West 44 Books for providing me an ARC of this book in exchange of an honest
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3.5 Stars
*I received an eArc via NetGalley in exchange for an honest answer*

This book was fine... The only somewhat interesting thing about this book is the fact that the main character was genderqueer. Other than that I found the main character to be pretty bland for me to be honest, and I don't think it's helpful for a character's most interesting trait to be their gender identity. However, I can see how the main character's story could be affirming for another reader and actually how the character's blank personality might help others relate to it even more, by being able to place themselves into the story. I didn't find that the way the story was written (through verse) was particularly impactful, but I don't think it drastically lowered the quality of the story either.
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