My first thoughts while reading Luna was how different this text would have been if it was told from any other person’s perspective. I just kept thinking how rhetorically brilliant it was for Julie Anne Peters to chose to tell the story from Luna/Liams sister’s perspective. I thought it gave us insight not only to how Luna/Liam felt, since Regen was told everything by her/him, and Regen was so perceptive of her brother/sister, but it also gave us insight to how having a Transgender family member effects the entire family. Through her memories of growing up with Liam/Luna she realizes how her brother/sister has idolized her his/her entire life. We see character growth and development in both Regen and Luna/Liam. As much as Regen helps Liam develop into her true self as Luna, I find that Luna helps Regen develop into herself as well.
I thought the flashbacks were also a smart rhetorical choice. It gave us back round knowledge of instances that shaped the family dynamic, that played such a crucial role in the story. This was definitely one of the YA novels that the family played roles that helped develop the main characters. The father-son and father-daughter relationship comparison was so crucial to help the reader understand the torment that Liam was really going through his whole life. I related it to my relationship with my father, I got to go to father daughter dances, and be “daddy’s little princess”. Not that my brother ever wanted too, but I could understand the anguish it would feel if he had and couldn’t because of societal “rules”.
Finally, just by reading Luna and writing this blog, I have realized how sex and gender oriented we are in our society. Everything relates back to gender. I had no idea how to even describe Luna/Liam ( I did it again) in this blog so I keep writing he and she and hers and his. We have to associate a gender when discussing anybody in language. Also in our toys, our clothes, the what we are allowed to be good at, the jokes we make, so much deals with sex and gender. I thought I had it tough finding myself in high school but this book opens my eyes to a whole other level of confusion.
Although I can say that this is the first book that I actually disliked, I can still respect it for what it accomplishes. The choice to have flashbacks worked well. Julie Anne Peters would insert them right in the middle of the action or tension. It’s exactly how Regan would think. In the midst of situations, she may think back on what events in the past related to the trouble in the present.
There was a lot that was accurate and responsible about the transitioning stage for Luna. Such actions such as taking hormones was a good detail that Peters carries throughout the novel so that the audience understands how much work goes into full on transition.
As Meghan mentions above, gender roles are a huge issue. The father believes that the mother and Regan should do cooking, while he and Liam should be interested in other things like sports.
Also the choices of pronouns throughout the book never ceased to amaze me. That was one of the strongest moves that this book uses.
I also liked two themes, expectations and secrets. Expectations comes up with the gender roles while secrets keep unraveling all the way to the last page. For example, I am really intrigued as to what Luna’s relationship with her mother was really like.
That’s the good news, the bad news however, is that I just didn’t like how this book was actually written. Beginning to end, the book is extremely straightforward with what it is trying to say. For example p165, Peters actually says “There was that word again—expectations” It really annoyed me that she had to point out to readers a theme. This was happening throughout, where she would just describe something so in detail and not make the readers do any work.
Also I think this book would be a turnoff because of the excess and what I thought ridiculousness of Regan and Chris’ relationship. There were parts where I was like “is this really happening?” in a bad way.
Also, I realized 100 pages into the novel that we know next to nothing about Regan’s character. We find out that she likes opera after 100 pages into the novel. Other than that, I don’t know if we have anything else to describe her.
Maybe I don’t really like the novel as a whole because of all these small annoyances that distracted me from Luna’s struggle.
Lastly, what do we think of an Archie? Is it Teri Lyn? Probably.
Is it their mother? Dun dun dun! Or if the mother isn’t a guide/Archie, she still is an interesting character to discuss.
I… I just…. um….
I’ve never wanted to write a text response less than I do right now. I just finished it- no that’s a lie. I went pee and then paced for a bit… I’m having a very hard time untangling how I feel because…. I LOVED it. It was ANNOYING. I was really frustrated through parts. I kept sympathizing with different people. I hated it. I loved it. My feelings are a bit trans-somethinged right now…
I think it’s interesting how Julie Anne Peters executed an emotional understanding out of the reader. It would have been totally expected for her to write from Luna’s perspective, but then if you think about the audience of the book- she COULDN’T. The transgendered people that read LUNA will certainly benefit from it, but they can only ever make up a certain percentage of the readers, so making it in Regan’s perspective delivered the message to more ears. I loved the book largely because I can connect with Regan, I have siblings, I could have been in her position.
I honestly just thought everything was perfect- the infusion of every character and how they played in Regan’s world. I thought that sometimes the gender roles were a bit overemphasized, but they were all important. The Materas kids- they were almost TOO stereotypical. But they were perfect at the same time. They reflected exactly what Peters needed them too, in order to make gender differences resonate for the reader.
I DIDN’T like that there weren’t any all-accepting, awesome adult-people. I agree with Evan up there^ that Teri Lyn is the Archie…. I don’t see how any other human being can be. The mom is wack. The men in this book (Dad, Bruchac, even Mr. Materas) are all sexist/blinded by societal conforms… CAN’T ANYONE JUST BE ACCEPTING OF DIFFERENCES??? Chris- eh he was on his way, but he made sexist jokes…
I thought the language was beautiful, when faces “welded shut” and “roiling anger.” Awesome.
And I thought it they way that Peters segued into a memory was interested- it sort of read like a movie, sometimes. pg. 93. Luna has just revealed herself to Aly, and Aly asks Regan, “How long have you known? When did he tell you?”
The words echo in Regan’s unspoken line: “Tell me. Did he tell me?”
And then it transitions to memory. I think it’s freaking awesome. It somehow adds a dimension to the way the book is read… It is seamless- if Regan’s thought hadn’t been there, if it had gone from Aly’s question to the memory, one after the other, it would have halted the text.
ok. i’m done. i think….
I really liked this book for so many reasons, and I think that the first reason that I really liked it was because it was a story that I hadn’t heard before. Luna is a story that definitely needs to be told—not just to help transgendered or questioning teens, but to help those in their lives who might not know how to deal with it; even more so to give insight to those who have never and may never encounter or experience anything like it.
I loved Peters’ rhetorical choices, especially the flashbacks. They gave the reader so much more insight. I felt that I immediately knew so much more about the way that Regan thinks and the way that Luna/Liam came to be the way she/he is. Even Peters’ choices about which pronoun she used to refer to Luna/Liam at certain times made sense to me. I never felt particularly confused about who Regan was referring to at any given time, but I think that’s because I felt very connected to Regan. I loved her tone. I particularly loved this passage on page 30, “He was asking me? My social life consisted of one word: utter void. Okay, that’s two words, but you get the gist. ‘Yeah, it’s wild,’ I said. According to Aly and Liam, who actually got invited to parties. Aly got invited more often, and dragged Liam along when he’d go. Although Liam was pretty popular himself. With girls, anyway.”
I felt like Regan was someone that I would want to be friends with. She’s so up front about everything and even sassy about it. I also liked the short concise sentences that Peters would sometimes write with—“My name. It sounded strange coming from his lips. Sounded…nice.” When written this way, it made me actually feel like I was in Regan’s head getting her perspective because realistically, we don’t always have complete thoughts—especially above where Regan is reacting to an interaction with Chris.
Overall, as much as this book was about Luna/Liam and his transition from a him to a her, there were issues in it that every teen could relate to: the way teens are treated by their parents, boy versus girl gender roles and stereotypes, love interests, rebelling, secrecy, and so many more.
This is one of the most inspirational books we’ve read this semester. Luna is the kind of YA book that should be taught in high school. Sexuality is a huge part of going through puberty and in most cases, it’s a difficult thing to deal with. Julie Anne Peters makes this clear by showing the transition of Liam into Luna. As with Annie On My Mind, I found myself overly invested in the wanting of these “troubled” teens to come out on top. And this is why I loved Regan. No one else in their family tried to make things work for Liam/Luna. (Quick question for Lindsay: why didn’t you like that there weren’t any obvious Archies? I think the ambiguity of was on Liam/Luna’s side was needed. To me, it would have been unrealistic for Regan and Liam/Luna’s emotions to go unscathed considering their circumstances.)
I am fascinated as to why Peters chose to have the story of Liam/Luna told through the eyes of her younger sister rather than Liam/Luna herself. I didn’t find and issues with this rhetorical choice and it didn’t hinder the storytelling for me at all. I only found myself putting into question the audience Peters was trying to reach out to. Was Peter’s main focus to show the growth of a young transgendered adult or was it to show the affect that has on a family? Or was it both? The flashbacks make it seem like that latter is probably the answer but who knows? I can only imagine how dramatically different the story would be if Luna gave us her perspective. How would our views of Regan be altered?
One of the most brilliant rhetorical choices on Peters implemented with Luna was the theme of growth and transformation. More specifically, how growth and transformation is seen on the cover of the book. A butterfly is a superb way to represent what Luna was going through. A centipede has no choice but eventually morph into a butterfly, and basically, Liam had no choice but to morph into Luna. This also plays into the fact that sexuality is something that shouldn’t be forced but something that is naturally come upon. Peters has done a wonderful job creating a YA book that’s caters to the adolescents struggle for identity. Whether the struggle come from inside or outside of the family, identity comes naturally through such endeavors. This book was able to reach out to me, a junior in college. This NEEDS to be taught to high school students.
First of all, I want to start out by examining the cover because it really struck my attention. I don’t know if everyone has this cover, but I thought it worked so well with the meaning of this book. Half a girl’s head tilted to the side looking down at a butterfly resting on her shoulder: this cover totally captured the meaning of Regan and Liam’s relationship! Both Regan and Luna/Liam trapped—Regan stuck in Liam’s confusion wrestling to find her own identity and Liam trapped in two different worlds, waiting to transform into the “butterfly” (girl) he’s truly meant to be. Regan’s entirely life is consumed by Liam’s transgender identity—Luna.
I thought Peters was smart when she had Regan continuously switch from “he” or “she” when referring to Liam and Luna. I could see Regan’s confusion—she thought she understood the whole situation and then when Luna finally confesses her inner identity to Aly, Regan’s confusion is even more apparent than ever before. She simply doesn’t even know how to explain who Luna is.
It was interesting to see how big of a role family played in this book—I mean it was huge. The mom was absolutely insane, knowing all along the truth behind Liam’s desire to be a girl, but hiding everything from the dad. I couldn’t tell if this was selfish or not… this whole idea of transgender identity was very confusing, but I liked how Peters had Regan narrate the story, showing how much someone else’s identity crisis could make another person lose track of their own identity. Regan was so absorbed in this battle between Liam and Luna that the ending really worked well, “Good-bye, Liam…. Hello, Regan.” As soon as Luna emerges into daylight, exposing herself to everyone in addition to initiating the actual transformation into a real girl, Regan finally finds herself as well.
Also, this was no fairytale ending, which I thought was important—it was so realistic and it really showed how many families have difficulty in accepting children that step away from the norms of society—thus I thought Peters did a great job in showing LGBTQ teens that no matter what, they should follow their dreams because they will still be able come out strong no matter how difficult it is on the family. Overall, Peters did a pretty good job of undertaking this confusing subject and I think it would be interesting if she rewrote this book from the point of view of Liam. I wonder what if would be like to dig deep into the mind of Liam and understand fully this transgender identity- this belief of being born in the wrong body.
I’m surprised by how negative my reaction to Luna was. My principal objection was its implication as I read it that transsexuals need to be embraced- that accepting them is somehow a challenge. The subtext of that is nasty and it subjects trans individuals to a carefully constructed “other” status. I don’t blame Peters for this- It’s clear to me that she’s trying hard to accomplish a state of acceptance she’s just a little tone deaf. But then I take offence at all visions of society use someone’s involuntary qualities as a way of setting them apart- Luna as an individual is in fact trapped in her status as a trans individual. Her gift for fashion seems indistinct from her gender identity- instead of the talent it is. I can understand to some degree the need to start from the cultural norm but still this bugged me.
It will probably come as no surprise that I also had deep and pervasive issues with Regan. Her victim like status in her relationship with her sister was further evidence that there was something off about this book. Given how the author identifies it doesn’t work to accuse her of a hetero normative mindset but I will and do accuse her of a gender normative frame of mind. Trans individuals are just as complicated as the rest of us- I don’t deny it’s difficult to wrap your head around sometimes but I’d think an author like Peters would have done a more careful job. It’s unclear just what the deal is with the mother- it’s clear she’s separated herself from the framework of the rest of the family but what’s unclear is why.
I would expected that the antagonists- in the case the parents would have developed something like the nuanced reactions people coming out tend to morph into. This is not a sudden revelation but a gradual process and its sad that we see so little of its impact. I understand that this is a complicated sensitive subject and that “do no harm” is often the first goal of authors in this genre. I just think that a narrative more focused on Luna- and her humanity would be a more meaningful moving work. At the very least it would avoid the confused messaging that I found here. One positive note- I liked how unapologetically unpleasant Luna’s experience was. Even with Regan imposing her own struggles on the back of her sisters narrative Luna’s strength of character and self shone through.
Novemeber 13th 2011
When I first started reading Luna I was just confused what she was talking about in the first chapter but because I knew that the book was based on a transgender I put it all together. The relationship that Liam has with his father since he was little already shows that their relationship was not close at all. Even if Liam has a father figure in his life, its as if he doesn’t for the simple fact that he knows his father will not support him in whatever he desires to do with his life. His father wants him to play sports and even if Liam is not good at it he still wants him to do it so that he can be manlier. While I read the sections of relationship between Liam and his father I got the vibe that his father knew that he was going to ‘different’ as he got older because his son was always having girl friends around and no guy friends. This is why I felt that his father pushed him to play him some type of sport.
I also liked how the author made Regan the narrator because it shows the relationship between them and how Liam felt a certain way towards her since they were little. Whether it was because she got the most attention from her father, attention he wouldn’t get form him, or just for the simple fact that she was a girl and he wanted to be one. Although this might have bothered him at some point it doesn’t take away from the fact that she is his sister and they had a close relationship. They grew up together and because Liam was a transgender it made Regan’s point of view be different than the normal “norm” towards those who are transgender.
I also realized how gender roles had a lot to do with the roles that each family member took in their household. An example of this was when it came to cooking, the women had to do it and it even forced the mom to cancel her appointment to be able to cook and satisfy the father. For one it is not that serious who cooks; in this generation we have male chiefs who cook pretty damn good!!! But I feel like it goes back to the father not wanting Liam to do feminine things because he already felt he was going towards that direction…. Well it was too late for all that lol.
Over all, I liked the book because it was interesting to see how a family with a transgender was like and it also showed how just because he was a transgender does not mean that he did not have feelings, he was still human!
Before I started reading this book my friend showed a trailer of a movie that is going to come out possibly on Netflix about a transgender who’s father was not their while he was growing up but then the father returns from jail and tries to change his son, the trailer looks really good so take a look at it and let me know what you think.
Its called Gun Hill Road: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09zgt6-f_b4
Hmmm, where shall I start?
The cover–I’ve become so cover obsessed. I google the books that we read just to see how many different covers of each exists. I have to say that Luna is by far my favorite. The cover I have is all black with a slight outline of someone’s shoulders and a green butterfly resting on the shoulder. The other cover has an actual girl. I think they’re both such poetic covers. The butterfly relates so well to Luna and the overall theme of the novel. Even if someone hadn’t read the book, the single butterfly tells many stories as butterflies are often symbolic of change, growth and freedom.
I though flashbacks were an essential device to telling the story. Because Regan was telling the story of Luna, so it really didn’t matter if we didn’t know much about Regan as a person.
As I was reading this story, I couldn’t make up my mind on whether we should trust Regan as a narrator. Sure she is likable, and accepting, but I feel she had a lot to lose too.
All in all, it was a touching novel. I am not a fan of the ending, but I think it was realistic and keeping audience in mind, it was a nice place to stop this story.
I think that sexuality is on a spectrum. People aren’t all male or all female. Biologically, yes things are classified one way or another but in a psychological way people are part of a spectrum. There are guys who do ballet but are straight, and girls who wrestle. Society says that girls do ballet and guys wrestle but ITS OKAY IF THE ROLES ARE REVERSED. This is why the character dynamic is so important in Luna. The interaction between the family members and friends shows a comparison to how society sees Liam, and how Regan sees Luna. Liam is socially acceptable, Luna is not. I think the best way to discuss this book is to break down the different main characters and the roles in the book.
Here it goes:
Mom- Patrice She is a wedding planner. This is significant because a wedding is one of the biggest gendered events in society’s eye. She also knows that Luna exists but chooses to ignore it. She wants the perfect family: a mom, a dad, a girl and a boy.
Dad-Jack He love sports. Society says that boys should play sports and that is why Liam is pressured by his father to try out for the school’s sports teams. Then after Liam lies about trying out, his dad jumps to him being gay, which he is not. His dad knows Liam, not Luna.
Regan- She is the girl of the family and her father tries to force her into those roles. She is asked to cook and clean and watch younger children. Yet, her biggest responsibility is to support her sister Luna. She is the protector, but she struggles with dealing with her own life because she is constantly worried about her sister. I think that this book really is best written from her perspective.
Chris- Although not part of the family, he is crucial part of Regan’s life throughout the book. Chris represents a “normal” boy meets girl relationship yet Regan struggles to allow the relationship to flourish because she is so invested in helping her sister.
Luna- She is who she is. That’s it. She represents a controversial topic that really shouldn’t matter. You are who you are, whatever that is. She represents discovery of the self. Everyone searches for way to fit in, but sometimes that way only comes in a form that goes against societal “norms”.
I think that the Internet is a very important part of this book because it allowed Luna to explore and discover who she wanted to be. This is a lot like in Wintergirls with the Pro Ana websites. The internet allows anyone to quickly search for what is on their mind whether is be thinsperation or facts on transgender lifestyles. Luna could learn about other transgendered teens who are in transition or historic people who considered themselves transgendered, like Joan or Arc and King Henry of France. I think in the this case the internet is Luna’s Archie. Regan is a cheerleader, but not an inspiration/influence to Luna.
Now the pronoun usage was so key to this novel, because of who Liam/Luna presents him/herself. To her father, Liam exists, but to Regan, Luna is her sister—not her brother. The pronoun usage was genius. Unlike some responses to the confusing pronouns, I wasn’t very confused by it. Liam and Luna are two different people, therefore two different pronouns. What did bother me about the novel was the gender stereotypes that the father would support, some of the comments, even though I know its just a book, it really set me off.
A little observation/ interpretation of the cover:
On my cover there is the butterfly and the shoulder and the lips of a person. I think that butterfly represents the metamorphosis into Luna. The shoulder is a distinct marker of what is masculine and feminine. Men typically have broader shoulders, and women have petite shoulders. The shoulder on the cover could go either way its not too feminine (but is more on the feminine side) but it would be a girly looking guy also. The person on the cover really captures the essence of Luna.
My thoughts are a little scatter-brained but now to one of my favorite passages of the novel.
Page 50-51(two paragraphs, not quoting the whole thing!)
“There were lines you didn’t cross, in clothing, behavior, attitude…The gender scales didn’t extend equidistant in both directions. For example if you were a girl you could be off-the-scale feminine and that’d be fine but if you acted or felt just a little too masculine, you were a dyke”.
THIS IS SO TRUE! GO LUNA!
I need to read about the author, definitely, and never before have I felt the need for needing confirmation on her credibility. The book was well-written. It was respectful & insightful. It made me think. The flashbacks were useful. They helped us see Reagan’s thought process and her attempt to understand. Her thoughts helped us see how much of a black sheep Liam was in the family; she was the closest to him and yet had such a hard time understanding.
But my need for credibility confirmation comes from my own stereotypes. The ways that Reagan explained Liam seemed very textbook; he wanted to play with barbies not GI Joes, he says words like “fabulous”. I guess I was searching for something on a more deeper level. Different behavior of a transgender that is less obvious. I don’t doubt that those are some of the defining moments, but I also would have liked to see something more developed and deeper in thought. So, that kind of got me thinking about the reason why Julie Anne Peters chose to write this story through the eyes of Reagan.
If Reagan tells this story, then she does not need to tell past these stereotypical thoughts about a transgender person and how they would feel. It leaves me with a big question: was Reagan chosen because Julie Anne Peters is NOT a transgender, and with so much research, knows that she would not be a credible author if she had made it in the eyes of Liam/Luna? Was this a move chosen to save herself from criticism, rather than a desire to tell it through Reagan’s eyes? What do you guys think? I think in books like these, this is an important question to ask.
Lastly, about the relationship between Reagan and Luna (and specifically not Liam, but Luna), I thought it was very clever how Peters made Reagan a character who was not completely comfortable with this sex transition. Instead of trying to “save” Luna and the reactions amongst the people, she had more of a “flight” reaction– she dodged the questions, and pulled Luna out of the situation almost immediately (example: when in Gap, they did not have a teal colored shirt for Luna… Reagan insisted they leave the store). This was an interesting choice, and I’m glad Peters did it. To me, that was more of a realistic relationship that you would see.
My big thing about this book was credibility and the point of view this book was told in. I’d be interested to get a discussion generated about this.
Inteereeesting. Gets me thinkin some more:
I agree with Kristyna that I liked this story because it is unique. There really aren’t many fiction books out there (if any at all) that talk about transgender. I don’t believe there are any for teens. Therefore this book is quite important. I actually did my author analysis on Peters, and she says on her website that she wrote Luna because of the vast number of requests from readers. Luna also came to her in a dream demanding to be written about. I agree that “Luna” needed her story heard, and Peters makes some brilliant rhetorical choices in doing so.
First, the pronoun use keeps the reader on their toes and accentuates the identity struggle transgendered teens, and adults, go through. I felt that the first chapter was brilliant. “Yeah, I loved her. I couldn’t help it. She was my brother,” (Peters 3). The reader finds out that the protagonist is transgendered on the 3rd page. Before reading this one may be lead to believe that this is going to be another ordinary story about a teen that we have read so many times. This comes as a shocker to some, and definitely drew me in.
Also, I think Teri Lynn was an important character, just as Ms. Widmer and Ms. Stevenson are in Annie on My Mind. I definitely think Teri Lynn is the Archie in this book. She is needed because she offers a view of someone has survived transformation and is now at peace. Ms. Widmer and Ms. Stevenson portray a lesbian couple who have come out and are happy living together, just as Liza and Annie could be some day. It offers hope for both the character and the reader, which I feel is especially important in young adult literature.
As much as I found Regan annoying, and her relationship with Chris just frustrating to read through, I think it was important for the story to be told through her eyes. To see directly into Liam’s mind as he transitions into Luna might have been a bit too confusing for a reader (especially a young adult reader) to read through if they are not familiar with transgender. Having Regan tell the story gives insight into the effect it has on family and friends, as well as the effect it has on Liam/Luna. It appeals to a larger audience.
I completely agree with Luke: this book NEEDS to be taught in high schools. The main focus is sexuality, but this book is so much more complicated than that and discusses so many issues that are critical to teens that it has to be talked about.
What I found most interesting about this book were the flashbacks. I thought the choice to put them in italics made them stand out even more, and they felt like I was was watching flashbacks in a movie that faded to gray whenever they happened. I felt that through the flashbacks, we learned more about the O’Neil family then we ever found out through Regan’s narrating. In the flashbacks, there was so much information we learned that Regan could never have told us as the narrator that as readers we could only learn about through seeing things happen in the flashbacks.
I also felt conflicted throughout this novel about who I was supposed to feel sympathy for. Was I supposed to feel bad that Regan suffered in silence for keeping her brother’s secret? Or was I supposed to feel bad for Luna/Liam for having to live with such a terrible secret about his identity? In the end, I think my identity position played a huge role as to who I felt for. I’m an only child, and I think that because of this, I don’t know what it’s like to have a sibling that you love unconditionally and that you would do anything to keep them safe. Because of this, I felt sympathy for Regan throughout the whole book. I thought Luna was annoying and needy and all I wanted was for Regan to break free from Luna and have her own life. I definitely struggled with this throughout the book, and I think that in some ways my identity position kept me from fully understanding Luna’s choices and Regan’s love for her.
I took this text as a story all about relationships. Also, from the very beginning, gender roles seem are clearly very important in Liam’s family. This is established through the argument about the tuna casserole and his refusal to talk to the sports coach. Though these seem like small problems, the set up for what is to come and it gives the audience a preview of what the character of the father is like. I thought that it was a very clever of the author to choose Regan to narrate the story. Since she, like the audience, is witnessing this person trapped and trying to show the world who they are. By telling her own story, and Liam’s story, there are much deeper issues that just how Liam feels but also how the family feels.
I also really like the use of flashbacks in the story. I think that Liam has always felt like Luna so those early memories were important for the reader to know about. Also the use of italics when flashing back was helpful in setting the two times apart. Having access to Regan’s mind in these flashbacks show how consistently Liam has always felt like a Luna. Some moments were heartbreaking like the jealousy he experienced when he saw his Dad treating Regan like a little girl; a way he had always wanted to be treated. I enjoyed the story, and was surprised by how early Liam was a Luna in his mind. I actually learned about the transition process through this novel and it exposed me to a lot of issues that I had never really put thought into.
First thing that I noticed off the bat when I started to read this book was the title, Luna. I really did not know what to expect from it. The only reason I knew that it was going to be about someone who was transgender was because Michele told me about it. Luna means moon in Spanish. When I first saw this on the list really thought it was going to be another book like Stargirl but about a Latina.
The cover reminded me a lot of Stargirl as well. I have a different cover than the one that is shown on the blog. It is all orange with a butterfly on it. First of all where the butterfly was it was burned out (I’ll show it in class) so I thought it was part of the book. But it made me feel as though it was very cartoon-like. I am missing the butterfly in my copy of the book but it is something that is very symbolic to the whole theme of the book. It represents Liam setting free and feeling beautiful. The way a butterfly comes about from an “ugly” caterpillar building a cocoon and then transforming is Liam’s life.
Now to what I feel about the book which I am confused to how I feel about. First I want to say that this would have been a much more powerful book if it was told through Liam’s eyes. Regan did a great job at narrating the story but again she is a foreigner looking into the situation. The only way to truly experience something is through the eyes of the person in the situation. The way I look at it as we are learning through what Regan sees and want us to see. Overall, I think that it was a well written book and it was a perfect choice when transitioning from the last book we read.
This book is sending me mixed messages. One moment I pause to admire a certain piece of writing:
“The moon cast an eerie glow through my basement window. A spotlight. A spray of luminescent beams.”
and then the next I read about clichéd catty girls and typical romance-y stuff. Maybe Luna is written like this on purpose, to accentuate the break between normal and not normal, what society expects and how people actually are.
One thing that I noticed with the novel is that the narrator employs a lot of hyperbole: “My social life consisted of one word: utter void.”
“Liam had stranded me in Siberia without a sled.”
And so on… This mirrored the “adolescent” part of this literature very well. Teens tend to be dramatic, and so I’d bet that Regan’s angst about every small thing will resonate well with adolescents who read this. It was a bit much for me; but then again, I prefer novels where the darkness is on the outside and the hero pushes optimistically forward no matter what.
The cover of this book is definitely geared toward a female audience. First off, the author is female, and her full name is spelled out on the bottom of the cover. Then there’s what looks like a feminine body with a butterfly on her shoulder. And the title is “Luna,” a name that’s distinctly female. For some reason, I associate the word with fragileness, delicacy, so it’s particularly appropriate for the character that it represents in the book. The font is plain, but when coupled with the bare shoulder and butterfly, it comes off as distinctly feminine.
I find this interesting because of the contents of the book: shouldn’t a novel dealing with the topic of transgender-ism be less distinctly aimed at one sex? Shouldn’t it not feed into gender roles?
Regardless, this book has certainly given me a lot to think about. Despite the fact that I find Luna rather needy and egocentric (the way that she treats her sister definitely didn’t warm me to her), this novel gave me a peek into the pain and longing that come with being born into the wrong body, and made me wonder why we have to match particular ways of thinking with physical form. Individuals should be able to be whoever in the world they want, without judgment or fear of reproach. If anything I just feel frustrated about American society now.
I loved the way Luna was put together. Peters did a great job of letting us hear Liam/ Lia Marie/Luna’s story through the eyes of his/her sister because in so many ways she was his/her voice and her best friend. It is so interesting seeing how people a transgender person struggles from growing up and not being able to express yourself and the time you put into trying to find yourself and force people to accept you. Peter’s rhetorical decision to change the font of the flash backs was smart in the sense that it made it clear for the reader when the characters were reminiscing about different milestones in Liam/ Lia Marie and Luna.
I definitely think that Regan is her brother/sister’s Archie, she saves him from everything ranging from suicide to coming out. I thought life would have been so much easier if Regan was a boy and Liam was a girl biologically that is. I picture Regan as a tomboy up until she starts with her rant about Chris and how she feels, etc. I think the idea that their father was so sexist made it even harder for Liam to deal with being transgender. The father did not seem to be supportive of the mom’s career, nor was he supportive of his son trying to help out around the house. I definitely feel like I am more informed about the topic and that this book should be used to teach high schoolers more about the LGBTQ community.
For the most part I have liked all the books, but I am more interested in your not so generic YA books. Cannot wait to discuss this in class.
I found Luna to be a very interesting novel, especially since I never read a LGBTQI… novel (with the exception of Rainbow Party— if you would even put it under that category). I enjoyed the way Peters presented the issue of “transexuality” staying away from stereotypes. Telling the story of Luna from the point of view of a non-trans person (Regan) was a very smart choice because it provided readers with a different perspective, making it easier to explore the major problem of transition—the reaction of society, while providing different ways of looking at the social construction of gender.
There were some times I became confused during the flashback sequences. However, Peters was very effective at writing the text and the subtext because it gave me insight into what was going on in Regan’s mind. In short, it allowed me to “hear” what she was thinking and how it differs from what she said. In addition, I felt that the story moved along well, I did not want to put the book down because I wanted to know what happens next.
I think Luna was a very good book and although I am still a little confused about certain things, I did learn a lot.
i never said that I specifically didn’t like the fact that there wasn’t an archie at all- I don’t like the fact that none of the adults can BE an archie because they’re all so sexist and obnoxious.
the mom- i hope that we talk about her on wednesday, she’s so messed up with all her pill poppin’ etc. but the way that Luna describes her relationship with the mom (how she knew the whole time and told her not to tell Regan) rubs me in this weird way- like maybe LUNA thinks that she’s an archie? (if she knew what that was…)
Mr. Bruchac was a sexist, assuming, asshat. so he’s out.
Dad- no need to mention him- he’s certainly not archie…
Neither one of the Materas fits the bill- what interests me about them is that we loved them for all the same reasons that regan did. If it hadn’t been for what eventually happened (them catching Luna/Liam and revealing themselves to be general butt heads) then I would never have thought of them in a negative light at all. Does our archie HAVE to be all-accepting? or is their main purpose just to guide our protagonist? Would Haymitch have treated Luna the same way that Mr. Materas did? If he had, would that mean I’d strip him of his Archie title? I want to say yes….. but that wouldn’t be right, would it, after all he does for Katniss?
and there aren’t any other secondary adult characters OTHER than Teri Lyn… but I almost don’t want to count her because we never met her at all!!!
ok. i’m supposed to be writing an annotated bibliography right now. dang you, Adolescent Lit! You get me every time!! But i hope this makes at least a little bit of sense… BYE ❤
ok to sum up in just a few words:
Regan’s Archie: Luna (exemplified by the entire last seen where Luna tells Regan how beautiful she is and prompts Regan to end the book with the line “Hello Regan”
and if Luna is ALLOWED to have an Archie, even though she’s a secondary character, then I think her Archie is Teri Lyn. Regan didn’t really help her come into herself at all… honestly, Regan tried everything she could to STOP it, she told Luna NOT to tell Aly the truth- they only thing that inspired Luna to “come out” was the successful life of Teri Lyn.