Title: Picture (Im)Perfect
Author Name: J.S. Frankel
Publication Date & Length: September 1, 2015 – 220 pgs
Nolan Goodman, star swimmer for Portland High, meets Mia Swarva at a swim meet and thinks he’s found his perfect girlfriend. They start dating, things are going well…and then he finds out that Mia was born Mark, and his concept of what constitutes relationships not to mention sexuality goes out the window. However, Mia has that certain something about her, and Nolan does his best to understand as he genuinely cares for her. Their relationship develops after a series of stops and starts, but when Mia is inadvertently outed on a social website, she and Nolan have to run the gamut of emotions as well as deal with the inevitable reaction to her being transgender. It is only then, that Nolan learns the true meaning of commitment.
This was the first title I had the opportunity to read from this author and I was blown away. First, I believe it takes a special kind of person to tackle something like Transgender issues and not mangle the whole process. Frankel managed it with finesse and understanding while making the characters and their issues relatable.
The connection between Mia and Nolan was evident from the time they met and Mia’s subsequent worry about when and how to tell him seemed very real. His reaction ranked on the positive end of realistic and I had no trouble following it. A great talent for putting a spin on points of view and weaving a plot which kept me interested are things which will keep me reaching for this authors work in the future.
J.S. Frankel was born in Toronto, Canada, many moons ago and managed to scrape through high school and university, earning a BA in English Literature and leaving no book unopened during his time at the University of Toronto. Shortly after graduation, he moved to Japan in order to teach English to the hapless residents of whichever city he happened to be living at the time.
In 1997, he married the charming Akiko Koike and their union produced two rather interesting children. Frankel and his family make their home in Osaka where he teaches during the day and attempts to write YA fiction at night.