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Book review: Birthday by Meredith Russo

This book found me whilst I was shopping ahead of going to my family caravan in mid-Wales for a long quiet break to read as much as I could. Although, the young adult  category doesn’t often catch my eye, this book did and I’m so glad it did. 

It follows the lives of Morgan and Eric who we meet each year on their shared birthday and see how their thoughts and feelings have progressed. As the cover states it is ‘A love story eighteen years in the making’, however it is also much much more as it tackles the topic of transitioning into who we are and want to be. Morgan struggles with his thoughts of actually being a girl and wondering how he actually feels about his best friend. Eric also goes through changes and developments on his own journey and one where he sees his best friend for who she really is. 

This is a beautiful romantic story which adults should also read even if it’s just to gain a better understanding of transgender and non-binary young people. There are triggering aspects to the story as it contains suicide attempts and thoughts, homophobic and transphobic incidents both physical and verbal as well as general relationship and loss issues. 

Not only should this be in all libraries, especially school libraries but all teachers, parents and all who come into contact with young people should have this on their to-read list, read it and then go a step further and discuss it with all you know. This is a heart-warming book which I now seek out in all bookstores and am disappointed when I don’t find it on sale. 

I’ve passed my copy on to others and I urge you to do the same so that many people can read this story which is essential for our times. 

#birthday #transitioning #transgender #youngadultfiction #LGBTQ

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