Just One Of The Boys: Gender and the Modern Girl

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Although I mostly review books that explore gender through body swaps and magical changes, I also find it fascinating when authors explore gender through the roles a character plays and the ways society treats them.  Such is the case with teen age Alice Bell, who loved hockey more than anything and hopes to keep playing by joining the all-boy’s Chicago Falcons, where the level of play is high enough that professional scouts regularly visit to look for professional prospects.

Through a k-drama series of events, she ends up joining the team as a boy named Al.

Having dedicated her life to the sport, Alice wants to play with and against the best, to have a chance to prove herself.   In the world of hockey, her identity trends pretty much dude, with her concerns being sports, eating whole pizzas and winning.   She barely even sees the other players as having any sexual identity, other than the star player Hayden Trembley, who much to her horror she finds herself crushing on.

Now, where this story gets interesting and I feel reflects the reality of many women today, young and not so young, is how embarrassed she feels whenever she feels or is forced to act in traditionally feminine.  In addition to her hockey, for example, her mother insists she participate in some figure skating, and she hates the dresses and the make-up, wondering what her hockey playing team mates would think if they saw her in a sparkly little dress and fake eyelashes.

She relates to Trembley dude to dude, repressing her romantic feelings because, yes, she is pretending to be a boy, but also because he is her team mate, and she feels that getting close to him romantically would be bad for the team, and also, I feel, because since her relationship with him is based on her being a dude, she worries what will happen if she acts or looks feminine.  In fact, she has to work to hide her femininity: the way she sits, talks and uses her hands.

It’s all good fun, but I also feel reflects the lives of contemporary girls who shift and morph from competing as athletes to getting all dolled up for the home coming dance, or who pretty much dress like dudes most of the time– hoodies and jeans and sneakers– but then feel the need to dress “girly” for certain occasions, or maybe when they want to get the attention of certain guys.

This story deals with all that, and it even offers a resolution, though I won’t what.  It is also at heart a very modern rom com, and a fun read.  Check it out!

Giveaway! Tweet to Earn Chance for Free Book!

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https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/617e82253d99af0b

Enter now for a chance to win a free copy of It Girl!  What?  I am so excited about this book and so hoping people get a chance to read it I am even going to give some copies away for FREE!!!!!

Tweet it up, people!  The world wants your tweets, and I want to give you my book!  It’s a glorious day!!!!

 

My Runway: Body Swap Gender Bending Fun!

Check out my Gender Bending YA Fantasy Novel, Brother Bewitched!

My Runway on Netflix

What is it to be a male?  A female?  How closely does anyone really adhere to the stereotypes?  No nation explores these ideas with as much creativity and vigor as Korea, and My Runway, now available on Netflix, does a wonderful job exploring these questions while also having a lot of fun.

In the series, a guy and a girl swap bodies.  Been done before, right?  But the choices here make it more interesting from the start.  The male, Jae Boem, is the world’s top male model, and very much a spoiled princess.  Arrogant, haughty, and superior, he swans around like the the world is beneath him, disrespects others and is perfectly confident in his beauty.

The female, Na Jin Wook, is a high-school student with bad grades who dreams of being a model and refuses to listen when people tell her she is too short.  Spunky and full of pep, she believes that she can succeed through hard work despite her unfavorable genetics.

They swap bodies and suddenly Jae Boem finds himself the cute but imperfect girl, physically over-powered by another high-school girl and dragged into a mundane life.  Meanwhile,  Na Jin Wook finds herself sharing a house with a bunch of super hot guys, including a male model she has been crushing on from afar.

Of course, there are romantic complications and lots of drama.  The types are all mixed up, too, with guys who obsess over designer fashion and hair, aggressive girls and a lot of mixing and matching of gender types that reflect reality more than most shows.

I don’t want to say much more because it is all fun and a lot of that fun comes from surprise, but if you are interested in gender identity and what makes us who we are, check out this fun and super-well-acted and written series!