Although Thrown Away is well-written, the events and how they unfold are nothing if not predictable. These are the situations the teens that the Lost-n-Found Youth in Atlanta provides for, have all found themselves in at some point. But that doesn't mean it makes for a particularly interesting reading experience. Since these stories are all fictional, I must admit that I had expected the subject matter to be explored with more creativity. Yes, it is terrible that hate, ignorance and fear poison the lives of promising kids. It's infuriating that parents turn against their own children if they fail to fit the mold of 'normalcy'. You and I both know these things happen though. I personally don't require tearjerkers to be reminded of the importance of the cause.
In fact, I think I would have preferred recollections of real kids to fiction. Yes, a bundle of interviews with t(w)eens, recalling their struggles in life and how those struggles defined them, could have packed a punch. Imagine this; their voices would have delivered such a powerful message!
I had hoped for this anthology to inspire, enlighten and inform me. Since I am reviewing Thrown Away, in which the MC is a girl in a boy's body, how about some food for thought? When your MC has to deal with something that most readers probably have not encountered themselves and find intriguing, why not dive into what it actually entails to be locked up in the wrong body? What options does a boy have when he decides he wants to be a girl? When is the right time to let a girlfriend or boyfriend in on his little secret? There's so much material to work with here, to turn into a story that would have kept me on the edge of my seat. Stories that could have made you or, in this case, comfortable-in-her-own-body me actually FEEL how intoxicating it is to pass as the opposite sex for the first time. And what a relief to finally be able to inject those hormones that will stop these terrifying processes in a body that feels alien.
So it's about more than creating awareness for a glaring problem, it's about creating understanding. About making people see that they are damn lucky to be who they are and that they should be supportive of those who weren't that lucky, and have long, unpleasant roads ahead of them to obtain a body that feels right. To become that someone you and I were fortunate enough to be all along.
My rating for this book is first and foremost meant as praise for the heartwarming initiative to donate Lost and Found's royalties to this wonderful charity. This alone should be reason enough to immediately order this book. If you end up enjoying these stories, well, that's a big, fat bonus!
6/16 : Back under the Bridge, reviewed by Ilhem
6/17 : A Ghost of a chance / A chance with A Ghost, reviewed by Elizabetta
6/18 : Protective Instincts, reviewed by Macky
6/19 : Blessing, reviewed by Heather
6/20 : The Preacher’s Son / Clay rocks, reviewed by Susan
6/21 : Sam I Am, reviewed by Shelley
6/22 : Thrown Away, reviewed by Katinka
6/23 : You Have Never Mattered / I Have Always Mattered, reviewed by Sid