Confessions of a Teenage Hermaphrodite

Confessions of a Teenage Hermaphrodite

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780985148201
Publisher: Faie Miss
Publication date: 09/18/2012
Pages: 244
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.55(d)
Age Range: 16 Years

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Confessions of a Teenage Hermaphrodite 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Gary Stout for Readers' Favorite So many adjectives come to mind while reading Confessions of a Teenage Hermaphrodite by Lianne Simon. Yet when you speak them aloud, they all seem so inadequate. Poetic, cautionary, bittersweet, eloquent, and even tearjerker just don’t accurately convey the essence of the story. Yet, it is a cautionary tale, a serious one about the weight of societal expectations with little regard for the individual. Ms. Simon has very competently woven a wonderful tale around a not often discussed subject - anatomical genetic cross wiring. However, Confessions isn’t a dry medical thesis. Indeed, it is far from it. Confessions is a coming of age tale of a youth with special issues journeying through society’s definition of what defines a girl and what defines a boy, yet with little idea of what makes up a unique individual. With a bewildered mind full of conflict, Jameson/Jamie struggles to conform to parental aspirations while agonizing over what the inner soul sees juxtaposed with what the outer framework exhibits. Adolescence is seldom easy, but with a medical condition that mismatched a few anatomical parts, it becomes far more difficult and emotional. Confessions of a Teenage Hermaphrodite depicts society's resistance to accepting differences; a society that relies more on which gender box is checked on the birth certificate rather than what the person’s genetic makeup determines. Confessions may also expose the darker side of familial dysfunction by showing how love might depend on blind adherence to accepted definitions of normal. Even so, the book is always very touching, and the reader will likely give the protagonist a piece of his or her own heart, always encouraging her to persevere.  I recommend this book to all families and friends who know someone a little different. See what it might be like to live within another person’s body, a person struggling to fit in while nature has given him or her a very different recipe for life. I shall long remember the little elfin princess who yearns to become a real girl. Well done, Ms. Simon.
SheilaDeeth More than 1 year ago
Jamie doesn’t fit in. He tries to be who his parents want him to be, but she sees a different path in her dreams, and either way, the Jamie who faces the world isn’t the one in the mirror’s reflection. The doctor says his patient “should have been raised female,” but “his mom and dad didn’t like that.” So now Jamieson goes to boarding school and looks for ways to put off those testosterone shots that feel so wrong. First person writing gives a convincing personal touch to Lianne Simon’s Confessions of a Teenage Hermaphrodite. Jamie feels as real as the photo on the cover of the book. His plight begins to seem less strange as the story progresses—just a genetic condition after all—not even the only genetic condition that results in sexual ambiguity—his/her problem is a real disease with a well-defined cause and name. But Jamie’s not a disease. Jamie’s a person with real hopes and dreams and ambitions, and real parents who, like most parents, do their best and convince themselves they know what’s best. At sixteen years old, Jamie’s a child who played with dolls and wants to both please his parents and grow up to be a woman. Jamie’s pixie princess—her real self—has been silent and hidden away since age nine because she was labeled a boy at birth. She’s learning the secret codes that let her pretend to be a boy. She knows her body’s not quite female, but she hasn’t realized yet it’s not male enough either. She’s neither, and the Bible doesn’t tell her who neithers are meant to long for or to lie with. She goes to church, keeps the rules, listens to pastors, studies God’s word, and still doesn’t feel like the boy her father says she should be. And she falls in love. The story’s beautifully told with low-key emotions, intriguing revelations, and genuine concern for honest faith, hope and love. In a world that wants to label us all and fit us into boxes, Jamie’s story defies branding until she accepts that name hermaphrodite—she is who she is; her body belongs to her and to God; and she can love and be loved just as surely as anyone else. There are no great Biblical revelations, no long and glorious prayers, no mystical healings and no wonderful gifts of self-help—just a genuine teenager facing a few more problems than most and finding a way through, a real person reminding us that nobody’s perfect but everyone’s worthwhile however their body’s put together. I gained a lot of knowledge in passing as I read this book, but mostly I learned to relate to someone I’ll never meet, to see through a different pair of eyes, and, I hope, to understand. Lianne Simon has created a wonderfully readable and enjoyable story, enticingly insightful, challenging and rewarding, and surely essential reading for anyone who knows or might one day know an intersex adult or child. Disclosure: I was given a free copy of this book and asked for my honest review. I can honestly say I loved it and couldn’t put it down.
LadybugLinLH More than 1 year ago
How many books have you read over the years you couldn't put down until you'd read the last line? I've tried to put a number to this and except for the books written by my daughter award winning author Kat Holmes, I can only think of two before this past weekend...The first I read in eleventh grade, GONE WITH THE WIND by Margaret Mitchell and the second towards the end of 1999 THE LAST DAY by Glenn Kleier when I began battling cancer for the second time. As of this weekend I add another CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE HERMAPHRODITE by Lianne Simon to that small list. The first time I saw this title I knew I HAD to read it...why? Because I spent the best years of my life teaching children born with Down Syndrome. Lianne Simon has written a book that will touch every person alive because I have never met a single human being who has not suffered with doubts about who they were born to be...or worse, who they think they were meant to be and who those who should love us demand we pretend to be for them. I am not going to steal any of the powerful thunder of this book by giving away the story of Jamie/Jameson, but I will share this...I was born to an alcoholic mother. Right after I was born they had to rush me to burn off blood tumors her drinking created on my body with dry ice between each of my fingers and toes and one really spectacular one across the right cheek of my buttock. Now imagine having this raw wound every time your body needs to pee inside your diaper. According to my mother I was not a happy baby. If anything I was a very cranky baby. The scar across my butt didn't disappear the way the ones between my fingers and toes did...as my body grew, it grew. One of my most hated memories from my childhood is when I was growing up; company would come over, my parents would call me out to where the scotch and 4 Roses Whiskey was flowing without stop, and my parents would make me turn around, pull down my pants and bend over to show the devil's mark across my bottom...proving to one and all I was born the Devil's Spawn. Coming to terms with being "different" is never easy, but when your differences cannot be hidden... Lianne Simon has created such a tale. She delves into the raw emotions so well I spent much of this past weekend in tears, remembering my own pain at not being accepted for who God chose to make me, and having to figure out this difficult world without the support of those who SHOULD have loved me. Jamie/Jameson in some ways, was more fortunate because (s)he found herself, once her brilliant mind allowed her to escape into college at an earlier age than most young people, surrounded by people who finally DID understand her unique genomes. I taught children born with Down Syndrome...I chose them because despite their challenges they showed joy in simple things, grateful for life's simplest pleasures...I learned more from them than I ever hoped to teach them. No one walking amongst us is without their own insecurities...but junk is NOT in the Creator's blueprints and love should never be conditional. I believe those with OBVIOUS challenges are here to remind the rest of us what Angels really are. Lianne Simon's book CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE HERMAPHRODITE has given me several more angels to add to my list of those I am profoundly grateful to for finding their places in my life. I guarantee you will not walk away from this book without feeling the same reverence for Jamie/Jameson's courage and capacity to give the deepest levels of real love that I feel. To give this book less than FIVE STARS would be in injustice. Your gift of sharing heartwrenching stories is most welcome, Ms. Simon.
review_buzzz More than 1 year ago
This book was gifted to me by the author Lianne Simon for an honest review. I’ve never come across a case of gender disorders, either in books or in real life. So, this was an entirely new concept for me. At first, I was a little apprehensive about reading it but once I started reading, I realised that this is a poster book for “Don’t judge a book by its cover” or in my case, its title.  I loved the cover of this book. In this novel, the author has told the life story of a hermaphrodite girl, Jamie. She was born with one testis and one ovary. Although the doctors designated her as a male in the birth certificate and her parents also expected her to be boy, Jamie had always been a girl at heart, an elfin princess. While she was growing up she loved to play with dolls, play dress up, and tea party. After her ninth birthday her parents banned her from dresses and tried to get her on testosterones. This story narrates the journey of Jamie as she struggles through her gender issues and tries to gain the acceptance of her parents. In Jamie’s own words, “I just wish me father will tell me that it is okay to be his daughter.”                                                                Jamie's character is very realistic and immediately caught my interest from the synopsis. The book emphasizes a more emotional and mental turbulence of DSD (disorder of sex development) than confusion over the physical changes. The supporting characters were also really great. I liked how Sharon & Lisa (Jamie’s friends) and Kaylah (her cousin) were supportive of her and encouraged her to be what her heart says( in this case, being a girl). The two love interests (Tyler & Sean) in this story are really sweet and totally swoon-worthy. They loved her and accepted her even after knowing her truth. Both are great guys for Jamie and I'm glad she finds her happiness in the end. This book is set in 1970, with the backdrop of the Vietnam War. It also has a very strong Christian element in it. Jamie’s central dilemma is whether she should honour her earthly father by becoming the son he wants, or whether she should honour her heavenly father by becoming the person she was created to be.  The story is written very well and accurately portrays the themes of love, sex, religion, friends, and family. Ms Simon has done excellent job writing about such a delicate topic beautifully. I definitely recommend this book to everyone.
Angie_Lisle More than 1 year ago
I wanted to like this book. It has potential to be a great story. But. There are some typos and formatting errors that make this a difficult read. The book needs another round of editing, particularly substantive, because the plot is very unorganized. Details pertaining to the plot threads are given at inappropriate times. Then, those details are ignored. Chapters often pass before those details are explained, if and when they are explained at all. Various medical terminology is tossed out but the meager definitions that are given for the terms are repeated verbatim, instead of being built upon, whenever the word comes up again. The story is also cluttered with too much unnecessary information regarding topics (like Japanese terms) that have nothing to do with the plot. These details take up space that could have been used to paint a better picture of intersex disorders or the child abuse (medical neglect) that occurs and is never addressed. Characters are poorly developed and many are never properly introduced. Every character acts years younger than their given ages. I found it difficult to believe that any of them could be real people. Then, there's the Christianity - it's presented as an idealization of what Christianity could be, if it wasn't tripping up on its shadow all the time. This portrayal isn't a bad thing - the world needs more people like Pastor Gillespie, who was one of my favorite characters because of his open-mindedness and willingness to look for different definitions of Biblical teachings - but the theme is underdeveloped and would benefit from conflict. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review. I would reread and review this book again, if it was subjected to another round (or two) of editing.
purpinkrose More than 1 year ago
I really loved this book for lots of different reasons. This is a subject thats not talked about widely so it brings up the stigmas and bigoted opinions of people because they are ignorant and dont know anything about the condition. This made me question myself and ask myself do i treat anyone with any conditions i do not understand differently, the answer is no i would like to think i treat everyone at face value. The emotions i had whilst reading this was....... god i wanted to scream at jamies/jamesons father and mother. I was heartbroken at the conflict jamie/jameson had to go through every day. The physiological damage this child must of gone through made me want to cry. The first 2 chapters were hard going trying to understand Jamie/jameson talking about them selves in the third person or between the 2 personalities i was beginning to think this child had a split personality which i suppose in a way she did. I was so glad Jamie had a few good close friends that stuck by her no matter what, and that she fell in love. I am not going to give any spoilers about this book because i think it will take away from the story. Lianne I loved everything about this book and want to say thank you for writing a truly inspirational book. I think everything about it was right i liked the ending that left you with a sense of sometimes things can be fixed overnight. I would recommend this book to everyone.
Backyard More than 1 year ago
This was a great book and a quick read. I did have my misgivings, and there were some parts of the book I didn't like, but I'll get to those in a bit. I want to focus on what I loved first, because that's the bulk of my reading experience. Confessions of a Teenage Hermaphrodite was an extremely interesting look into a life that I'll never live. The idea that someone would have to play act for half their life as the opposite gender was just mind boggling. I think it was hard for me to grasp that someone would do that because Jamie is never portrayed as someone that is unsure of what gender she is. Instead, we see outside forces (namely her family) who are trying to force her in one direction while she knows she's really not that way. I mean, I'd be pretty incredulous and upset if my family tried forcing me to be a boy and told me to go have sex with a girl to make me a boy. Regardless of her genitalia, Jamie knows she's a girl. End of story. Maybe as a nine year old that would be harder to believe for adults since children aren't fully developed mentally, but I think it's safe to say that there were many factors that showed her natural tendency. Her parents (particularly her father, but her mother too) pissed me off to no end, and I think that's a fantastic indication of excellent writing. The only time I ever truly hate characters is when I am fully immersed in the storyline, and that was the case here. I was enraged when her father gave her that Things Boys Do list. I cheered when Alicia, Lisa, Kaylah, and Sharon all fought for her freedom to decide her own path. While I know this is a novel, I do hope that anyone that has this genetic anomaly has as strong a relationship-base with others that they never feel alone. While I do want to sing the praises of this book, I do also want to focus on what I didn't like. I feel like many of the reviews for this are one-sided, and I want to be fair about what I felt was lacking. Firstly, I was disappointed that Sharon isn't really talked about anymore at the end of the book. She played such an integral role in getting the ball rolling for Jamie, and then she just kind of slips off the radar. I felt like she should have at least been mentioned when the marriage was discussed, but nothing. Second, I really wasn't a fan of the pet names Jamie used. Calling her reflection the elf princess constantly. Calling Rachael her little princess. Sean Mr. Horsie. It just made her seem childish to me, and not ready to be adopting or getting married. I understand the novel takes place in the 1970s and maybe things were different, but she was already young to begin with when all of this is happening but to exemplify that childishness with cutesy names was a bit much for me. Also, as a general rule I don't like any titles that are "Confessions of..." or any variation. Just a personal pet peeve of mine, but it's not fair to judge a book on that. However, my biggest disappointment could really be considered a compliment, and I hope it's taken that way. The story was too short. There was plenty of room where the novel could have been fleshed out more, and yet it isn't. The biggest part of this to me is how we really don't see Jameson at all. Being able to see how the puppet Jameson acted with Jamie at the controls would have been an interesting look into what it's like for people who have to pretend to be something they're not. Sure, Jamie tries a little bit throughout the novel. But really all she's doing is spinning the truth. "I have to cut my hair short? Okay, I'll get a pixie cut. I have to pretend to be a boy? Okay, that means I won't get testosterone pills, but I'll take estrogen instead." I really didn't see any indication of her pretending to be Jameson. Also, I would have liked her experience with testosterone documented. It's mentioned a few times, but there's never a scene about it, whereas there are plenty of flashbacks to her childhood as a girl. For me it would have added a layer of depth to the story that would have made her struggle that much more winning. I wanted to see more of everything. More of the confrontations with her family, particularly her father. I wanted to see Jameson. I wanted to see the struggle Tyler had with the revelation in more detail. I want to see how five people with similar conditions all conveniently live in the same area as her despite it being a rare condition. I want to see how the heck this teenager could afford to travel to all these places when her parents didn't approve of half of it. It's only a little over 200 pages. It could have been much longer and still relevant, which is why I'm a bit disappointed with it. Overall though, I really did enjoy this book. My complaints are actually quite small compared to the entirety of the storyline, and the storyline is what kept me reading. I am happy that a novel like this is out there because maybe it will breed a little more understanding for people who are different, aside from just being a really great read.
Goddess_Beth More than 1 year ago
Confessions is marketed as a YA novel, but I think of it as a contemporary fiction coming-of-age more than a YA (which tend to be more one-dimensional adventures). In it, Jamie struggles with his/her gender identity. It's a very solid case (reading it as an adult) of what gender Jamie is expected to be, and what gender he enjoys and prefers being.  For Jamie, as for all of us, there must be an acknowledgement of WHO we are, regardless of everything else in the world, even regardless of the people we love. It's difficult to learn, and certainly Jamie's journey through this is realistic. The scenarios are realistic, though I found his voice in the book to be somewhat flat (likely because gender identity is the sole issue that he's struggling with- although romance and bullying and body image come into the big picture in a delightfully touching way).  This could be because, for an intersex teen, gender identity would be the largest and most dominant issue, and everything else takes a back seat. For me, as a teen, I always felt like I was dealing with a dozen huge issues at once, more than one overwhelming issue. I would definitely recommend this novel for anyone curious about what it's like for intersex individuals (aka hermaphrodites)- it's definitely a different issue than sexual preference or femininity in men/masculinity in women. I'd also recommend it for fans of contemporary coming-of-age stories, and those who seek a common voice of an underdog dealing with life's unfair and stringent restrictions.
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