website statistics Both Sides Now - PDF Books Online
Hot Best Seller

Both Sides Now

Availability: Ready to download

Gilmore Girls meets Red, White and Royal Blue in this witty and warm-hearted novel about a trans teen finding his place in the world. There's only one thing standing between Finch Kelly and a full-blown case of high school senioritis: the National Speech & Debate Tournament. Taking home the gold would not only be the pinnacle of Finch's debating career, but the perfect way Gilmore Girls meets Red, White and Royal Blue in this witty and warm-hearted novel about a trans teen finding his place in the world. There's only one thing standing between Finch Kelly and a full-blown case of high school senioritis: the National Speech & Debate Tournament. Taking home the gold would not only be the pinnacle of Finch's debating career, but the perfect way to launch himself into his next chapter: college in Washington, D.C. and a history-making career as the first trans congressman. What could possibly go wrong? Well, for starters, Finch could develop a teeny tiny crush on his very attractive, very taken, and very gay debate partner, Jonah. Never mind that Finch has never considered whether he's interested in more than just girls. And that dream of college in DC? Finch hasn't exactly been accepted anywhere yet, let alone received the full-ride scholarship he'll need to make this dream a reality. Worst of all, though, is this year's topic for Nationals: transgender rights. If he wants to cinch the gold, and get into college, Finch might have to argue against his own humanity. People say there are two sides to every argument. But, as Finch is about to discover, some things--like who you are and who you love--are not up for debate.


Compare

Gilmore Girls meets Red, White and Royal Blue in this witty and warm-hearted novel about a trans teen finding his place in the world. There's only one thing standing between Finch Kelly and a full-blown case of high school senioritis: the National Speech & Debate Tournament. Taking home the gold would not only be the pinnacle of Finch's debating career, but the perfect way Gilmore Girls meets Red, White and Royal Blue in this witty and warm-hearted novel about a trans teen finding his place in the world. There's only one thing standing between Finch Kelly and a full-blown case of high school senioritis: the National Speech & Debate Tournament. Taking home the gold would not only be the pinnacle of Finch's debating career, but the perfect way to launch himself into his next chapter: college in Washington, D.C. and a history-making career as the first trans congressman. What could possibly go wrong? Well, for starters, Finch could develop a teeny tiny crush on his very attractive, very taken, and very gay debate partner, Jonah. Never mind that Finch has never considered whether he's interested in more than just girls. And that dream of college in DC? Finch hasn't exactly been accepted anywhere yet, let alone received the full-ride scholarship he'll need to make this dream a reality. Worst of all, though, is this year's topic for Nationals: transgender rights. If he wants to cinch the gold, and get into college, Finch might have to argue against his own humanity. People say there are two sides to every argument. But, as Finch is about to discover, some things--like who you are and who you love--are not up for debate.

30 review for Both Sides Now

  1. 4 out of 5

    Loudermilk

    Personally I do not feel it is subversive to write about your white protagonist agonizing over how racist and ignorant his POC colleagues are being. In fact, it’s obnoxious. I could go on, but what’s the point. An absolutely soulless endeavor.

  2. 5 out of 5

    e

    sorry but i don't really think it's progressive to have the protagonist be irish catholic and then have the main antagonist be a rich jewish girl who is often described as hairy and manly and include a super racist and misogynistic desi character to be called out by the white protagonist and his buddies of color for brownie points. there are so many passages of this book that make it very clear that there was not a single sensitivity reader and it's an indictment of the author's team that any of sorry but i don't really think it's progressive to have the protagonist be irish catholic and then have the main antagonist be a rich jewish girl who is often described as hairy and manly and include a super racist and misogynistic desi character to be called out by the white protagonist and his buddies of color for brownie points. there are so many passages of this book that make it very clear that there was not a single sensitivity reader and it's an indictment of the author's team that any of this made it through rounds of editing. and if that weren't bad enough it's poorly written too! just absolutely awful. would rate half a star if i could.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Habeeba

    Very, very typical of a white queer narrative to be racist. There is nothing revolutionary about the righteousness of white people- frequently the narrator is portrayed to be "more woke" than his colleagues of color despite being L I T E R A L L Y white. Also horrible stereotype of a South Asian fuckboy, as in I can tell the author does not see people of color with any depth or life other than as a backdrop to their white-centric journey. Spare us next time and keep this kind of racist garbage t Very, very typical of a white queer narrative to be racist. There is nothing revolutionary about the righteousness of white people- frequently the narrator is portrayed to be "more woke" than his colleagues of color despite being L I T E R A L L Y white. Also horrible stereotype of a South Asian fuckboy, as in I can tell the author does not see people of color with any depth or life other than as a backdrop to their white-centric journey. Spare us next time and keep this kind of racist garbage to AO3. The publishing world does not need more of this.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tyler jay

    Even your racist south park fan fiction can get published! We are constantly lowering the bar for books!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I cannot believe more people haven't commented on how wildly racist this book is. Having a white, Irish-Catholic main character who actually unironically accuses a Brown character of "hibernophobia" made me feel unhinged, and it was only downhill from there. I'm sick of white queer people prioritizing "queer representation" over the concerns of people of color, and I'm sick of white queer people overstepping their boundaries when it comes to race issues. Your queerness doesn't make you less whit I cannot believe more people haven't commented on how wildly racist this book is. Having a white, Irish-Catholic main character who actually unironically accuses a Brown character of "hibernophobia" made me feel unhinged, and it was only downhill from there. I'm sick of white queer people prioritizing "queer representation" over the concerns of people of color, and I'm sick of white queer people overstepping their boundaries when it comes to race issues. Your queerness doesn't make you less white.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Em

    read Peyton Thomas's book about a white 17 year old falling in love with another 17 year old boy who is a pee oh cee, I said. how bad can it be, I said. there is a lot I hated about this book, but this is already long and I cannot cover everything I didn't like because there was a lot. spoilers ahead. tl;dr: peyton thomas thanks the south park guys in the acknowledgements. that's all you really need to know. don't waste your time!!! don't be like me!!!!!! I thought it would be fun!!!! it wasn't! read Peyton Thomas's book about a white 17 year old falling in love with another 17 year old boy who is a pee oh cee, I said. how bad can it be, I said. there is a lot I hated about this book, but this is already long and I cannot cover everything I didn't like because there was a lot. spoilers ahead. tl;dr: peyton thomas thanks the south park guys in the acknowledgements. that's all you really need to know. don't waste your time!!! don't be like me!!!!!! I thought it would be fun!!!! it wasn't!!! Peyton Thomas should not have attempted to tackle racism and the political sentiment of the youth of today, what with first of all having an awkward history of the former himself and second of all just fumbling the bag completely on both counts. I'm not black, so I don't want to overstep here, but I cannot review this book without mentioning that Nasir is a real problem. here he is almost certainly dropping the n-word in the second chapter: "'Bout time," he shouts. 'Ready to get fucked up, my [hair-raising racial slur Nasir's got no business deploying][sic]s?'" (note the censoring and the ~quirky self-aware lampshading~~ comment, neither of which change the facts of this sentence written by a white man) and, just: "'Oh, Jonah, my man." Nasir plants a sympathetic punch on Jonah's shoulder. 'On God we gon'[sic] get you laid tonight.'" these were both completely unnecessary moments. these were the only two instances Nasir talks like this but they were enough to turn my stomach. it is not Peyton Thomas's place to make commentary about rampant antiblackness within nonblack communities of colour, except he doesn't even use these shitty out of place moments to do that! I cannot emphasise enough that both of these comments are completely swept past. Nasir assuming that Finch is a big drinker because he's Irish gets a bigger rise out of Finch than him using the n-word. yes, you read that right, there is an unironic moment of reverse racism in this book!! Thomas even uses the five dollar word "Hibernophobia" and makes a reference to Ellis Island. I repeat: Nasir just dropped the n-word. Finch can be like "WOAH WOAH WOAH. WOAH!!! HOLD YOUR FRICKING HORSES BUDDY." about a comment about the drinking habits of Irish Americans, but not that? (also. I need to say this somewhere because Jesus Christ. Nasir is South Asian from what I understand. why the fuck would he make a snide comment about Jonah getting Asian flush??? is Nasir not Asian too??? make it make sense???? you cannot write a dickbag white guy and then give him brown skin. that's not how it works.) let's get to Ari Schechter. Finch's numerous comments about how wealthy Ari's family is and how it is only due to that wealth that she got into Georgetown (which she then admits herself right at the end!) become incredibly gross in hindsight when, halfway through the book, we find out she is, in fact, Jewish! like, I get that he's 17 and upset about his Gerogetown deferral. 17 year olds are immature and bitter and beyond that his class position is a huge part of this book, but there comes a point where you have to think about what you're putting down on paper to be published lol. there are also various moments of hypocrisy where Finch (Ari at this stage still assumes he's cis, so to her, in this moment, she is alone in a room with 3 cis boys) implies that she should flash him and the other two boys in the room to prove that she is "really" a woman: "'Finch, if you ran this line of questioning in a real debate, I'd report you for sexual harassment.' Jonah raps his knuckles on the table. 'So you admit that interrogating people about their junk is sexual harassment?' [...] 'I'm waiting for my answer,' I say, feeling smug now; I've got her cornered. 'Please, Ms. Schechter, go ahead: prove to everyone here that you're a woman.' 'Well, no, Finch, I'm not going to lift my skirt and flash a roomful of teenage boys,' she says [...]" Wow haha what a roast, Finch and Jonah! That really showed her! except, later in the same chapter, it's revealed that she might not even believe the point she's arguing for at all, which Finch himself has had to do in this book, and has already pointed out that this is something he likes about debate: that it makes you see every side of an issue. let's talk about Adwoa! she buys Finch a plane ticket when his parents refund his original one. she tells him to go after Jonah when he crytexts her. she has a heart to heart with him about whether or not he's okay with debating the bathroom issue. she is there for him again and again in a way that he cannot be there for her, due to the dynamic of her being a college graduate/teaching figure to Finch. the fact that Finch has such a strong supporter when so much is crumbling around him would be sweet if not for the fact that she has to do it for very little in return. now, I think it would've been weird if he had fully reciprocated because he's 17 and she's, what, 23? but it speaks to an issue with the actual creation of the character where she inherently is putting in more than she gets in return. with Finch, Jonah, and Adwoa going to get coffee, and the three of them plus Jonah's boyfriend riding the bus back home, it really feels like at some point she was maybe supposed to be a classmate or something and then just... wasn't. but anyway, as such, this leads to Adwoa, the only black character in the main cast, essentially becoming little more than just a cheerleader or an emotional dumping ground for Finch by the end of the book. now, I dared to dream at first. for a good two paragraphs after her first appearance, I dared to hope. she challenges her debate class's assumption that Obama was the opposing force of a good president when they come to the consensus that Trump is an outlier of plain, base evil to have held immigrant children in cages. I had the audacity to get excited about this moment! like, Christ, are we about to have an interesting discussion about whether it is possible to become the President of the United States and maintain any semblance of "good"ness? is it possible to ascend through the ranks of a murderous government of a murderous country and maintain your humanity? Nope! we get the question of if Obama "who's so much smarter than me, done so much more for the world than I'm ever gonna do--if he could miss something so obvious, what am I missing?", which is fucking weird because Central American kids being detained as they waited to be reunited with their parents was hardly, like, clandestine intelligence operations. I don't know how easy that is to "miss". Obama was probably aware what was happening. Thomas could've used a different example to make the same point more effectively. but anyway! how does that idea resolve? well! the resolution to that particular idea is, I shit you not, "Good people get talked into evil all the time." which is again used to emphasize the importance of debate. the idea that there was some little imp sitting on Obama's shoulder saying "Barack. Best friend. You have to put these children in concrete holding cells. It's good for the country. I know u want to do it." instead of Obama and Trump both simply fulfilling the role of their job, upholding the white supremacy that the USA was founded on, is a really fucking weird take. I think this exemplifies the weird somewhat naive trust that the main characters have in the core principal of U.S. government in the book, apart from Lucy whose entire shtick is that she's like a little anarchist. you know what else sucked? during a conversation between Finch and Adwoa over the debate topic for Nationals, they have this exchange where, in another world, this isn't such a fucking white book, Aodwa's response would be kind of killer: "'I honestly don't know how you do it.' I can hear awe sneaking into my own voice. 'I never have the energy to engage with people like that.' 'Well, I have to "engage" whether I like it or not[.]'" if her response had been left at this, it would've honestly made the following paragraph where his head does come back down to reality so much stronger (though it still would've needed a tighter edit and, maybe a sensitivity reader lmfao), because it would show, like, empathy and brain-having in Finch. however, Thomas decides this is a good moment to continue Adwoa's response, by just chucking in a mention of the death of Sandra Bland, and how Adwoa fears that she could one day become the person who needs to be advocated for. this leads to Finch realising how self-absorbed he's being over whether or not to go to Nationals, and he decides he can debate it after all. this moment of Aodwa's pain and fear followed by the reference to an actual real life black woman, an actual person with a history and a life and family, who died at the hands of police becomes a stepping stone for the white protagonist to get to the next stop on his emotional arc. and then just like that the scene moves pretty quickly back into a conversation with Jonah about silly coffee orders. and I mean obviously the way this book tackles Jonah existing in the world as a non-white body is just. bad. all of it was bad. I thought Adwoa telling him that no white boyfriend was worth shrinking yourself for was a sweet moment, but I did also think it was weird that Peyton Thomas, as a whitey, had her be like "now I've dated many a whitey in my day and let me tell you" like... bit jokes innit, bit funny. I don't have much to say on this point, honestly, I just didn't like it particularly. Jonah deserved better. I didn't like that when Jonah tells Finch he can fight his own battles, Finch has to tell him to be harsh to him. why does Jonah need Finch's permission to tell Finch that him bringing up a painful discussion of racism that Jonah was avoiding having with Bailey was totally out of line? and I'm sure we've all read the "Kennedy from Calabarzon" snippet, but actually reading the book, it is made all the worse by Finch's constant noting of his own incredibly pale skin and the "elfin" and pale features of Bailey. it's weird and fetishistic. the one thing I thought was genuinely interesting was the reveal that Finch adamant that he wasn't gay because it was a requirement to go onto hormones as a kid, because that wasn't shoved down our throats when it was revealed, and it made the little comments throughout make more sense, as good reveals should! but out of however many pages this book has, that was the only thing resembling a twist that worked at all. you do da math. also the very brief but concrete condemnation of Israel was bare-minimum but, y'know, nice--which is one thing it has over its spiritual sibling (Derogatory), RWRB. anyway. I did not enjoy this book. it was nice to read about a trans character finding joy and love but also considering the path it took to get there it kind of cancelled it out lol. this book read like a fanfiction and was just generally quite shoddily written with a lot of telling not showing and just dialogue and tropes that really felt like they came right off of ao3. this is 6 hours of my life I'll never get back. bonus petty notes speed round! 1) the phrase "terf[sic] talking points" is used twice in a noticeably short period of book. not TERF. not "trans exclusionary radical feminist". terf. i too love being in an informal internet space when reading a literal book?????? just say transphobic/transmisogynistic. 2) petty petty petty petty but it must be said. I JUST FEEL LIKE Bailey's breakdown would have happened on his Instagram story!!!! 3) the acknowledgements for Bill fucking Hader and the South Park guys and Natalie Wynn... not this <3 4) I never want to read another BreadTube reference in a published book ever again. OR an unironic Hamilton reference. why are they so fucking obsessed with Hamilton? is this 2016 twitter? where are we? 5) speaking of. why is Finch like "woaugh lucy wants to be a breadtuber but i dont get it xx" and then several chapters he's like "oooughhh babe wake up new contrapoints just dropped". 6) why is the entire audience shocked into rapture by Finch being like "no fuk u actually i kno im opposition but the bathroom issue isnt an issue bc of these good points" like yes he is objectively right but reading it was so weird because like the entire audience and the judges are like wowww he went against the grain.................. clap clap ... wiping tears......... like I'm sorry but his speech was not written viciously enough for the reaction it got 7) why did finch not know the flag of his best friend's country. what was that.

  7. 5 out of 5

    chris

    A stunning, brave portrayal of the ways in which surrounding yourself with people who refuse to criticise you will stunt not only your writing skills, but also your entire personality. Book sucks though, I'm desperate for a good trans story but not THIS desperate; didn't finish. A stunning, brave portrayal of the ways in which surrounding yourself with people who refuse to criticise you will stunt not only your writing skills, but also your entire personality. Book sucks though, I'm desperate for a good trans story but not THIS desperate; didn't finish.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    Mmm this one’s a bummer. There is so much about this book that clearly comes from a place of expertise and passion, and there are SO many elements of it that could have led to a story I absolutely adored. I truly hope that people who read and enjoy it come out of it feeling affirmed or represented or empowered to interact with their trans peers, but god this was not the book for me. At the bizarro moment very early on where an Iranian American character Microaggression Bullies the protagonist fo Mmm this one’s a bummer. There is so much about this book that clearly comes from a place of expertise and passion, and there are SO many elements of it that could have led to a story I absolutely adored. I truly hope that people who read and enjoy it come out of it feeling affirmed or represented or empowered to interact with their trans peers, but god this was not the book for me. At the bizarro moment very early on where an Iranian American character Microaggression Bullies the protagonist for being Irish, I should’ve just quit while I was ahead, but I kept being like. Surely it can’t get worse or weirder than that. BUT OH, DOES IT. It would be a joyless exercise and I would feel bad and shitty for going through and detailing every issue I had with this book with a fine-toothed comb, so I’m just gonna say: if we have similar taste in books I cannot rec this one in good faith. Ugh.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Telhurt

    As a novel, I can understand and appreciate the fact that "Both Sides Now" is helping pave the way for LGBTQ protagonists and offers something of value to young trans people. That said, it wasn't the trans novel for me which largely felt due to the inauthentic portrayal of race. There are by no means an abundance of trans novels in the world, but there are enough innovative trans authors in recent years where I feel as if there isn't a need to settle on any LGBT book gracious enough to throw a h As a novel, I can understand and appreciate the fact that "Both Sides Now" is helping pave the way for LGBTQ protagonists and offers something of value to young trans people. That said, it wasn't the trans novel for me which largely felt due to the inauthentic portrayal of race. There are by no means an abundance of trans novels in the world, but there are enough innovative trans authors in recent years where I feel as if there isn't a need to settle on any LGBT book gracious enough to throw a handful of characters of color into the supporting cast. When I say that this is a book that may offer something of value to young trans people, I do mean young white trans people. Yes, there are characters of color within the novel including Jonah, the main love interest, however, the additional of a few throwaway lines of Tagalog and references to food does not equal a well-written and nuanced Filipino character. Jonah falls within the same trap many white queer authors struggle with of fulfilling the role of the obligatory love interest of color. What are his interests outside of his current white boyfriend and future white boyfriend? Who's to say. We know that he's beautiful and smart and charismatic because the love interest of color will always embody these traits, but otherwise we're offered little other than some references to him liking Jughead from Riverdale or the fact that he's a teenager who somehow still owns a Hamilton sweatshirt. Plots where the main character is in love with someone who is already in a relationship are not rare, but there's something disconcerting with the way it is set up for the two white rivals. Continuing on the theme of not knowing much about Jonah, we hear little of the actual details of his relationship or the flaws that are within it other than the problem of racism. (view spoiler)[Jonah's boyfriend, Bailey, is the star of a musical production that has heavy anti-Asian themes within it. Jonah is reluctant to confess to his white boyfriend his discomfort around it so, of course, Finch does it for him. It is deeply uncomfortable to watch Jonah struggle to confess his feelings of embarrassment and shame to Finch in the first place, a topic he was uncomfortable with from the beginning. It's even harder to then watch this be forced into conversation with Bailey just because Finch felt like having an ally moment. Yes, this is called out in the book as overstepping, but there's a disconnect in the way it's done that leaves me with the impression that the author doesn't actually understand why this was a mistake on Finch's part. Finch apologizes for white knighting and speaking over Jonah, but that doesn't address the way Jonah was forced into a situation where he had to choose to either defend his feelings of hurt from the musical, or to disregard that to avoid a fight leaving him with no option other than reassuring and comforting his white boyfriend that he is not racist. Obviously this is an issue Bailey is responsible for as well, but it's strange to see when the explosive reaction to this was artificially caused by Finch inserting himself into the situation because of his own feelings of jealousy and attraction to Jonah. (hide spoiler)] Throughout the book we get to witness Jonah struggle with the increasing racial tensions between himself and Bailey. Although the audience can infer that there are probably other issues within their relationship if it means that this single problem can cause a blowup this big, the point of focus is solely on Bailey's privilege and racist biases. That's not a plot I'm opposed to, but it does feel odd to have this character of color flee from racism to the safety of another white boy. It's not an enjoyable experience to consider that Finch only gets the opportunity to potentially date Jonah if their relationship fails due to Jonah facing racism. Beyond that the choices around race are often just... odd. There's some small moments that leave you questioning why something like this would even be included, such as Finch's friend, Lucy, complaining about her mother's orientalist home decoration and Finch thinking to himself that he likes the decorations and doesn't think it's questionable. Or a truly bizarre scene of a Black student complaining that she is always put into the role of the oppressor during debate club more so than her other mostly white club members and the teacher (who is also Black) explaining that she does this because... evil isn't black and white and did you know Obama caged children? With the idea seeming to be that "good people can be talked into doing evil things" a concept that doesn't make sense and doesn't actually address the issue of a Black girl feeling targeted in her role. Most egregious of all in a way that is outlandishly bad is just... Nasir. Whatever the hell was going on with Nasir and whatever thought process was present when deciding to create his character. The last thing I want to see in my novel is representation where the sole Iranian-American male character is a caricature-like figure who is idiotic, obsessed with trying to get women, constantly copying AAVE, and somehow also racist? The most blatantly and openly racist character is a person of color? In the span of a few pages Nasir grants us privilege of watching him: (view spoiler)[say the n-word for no reason I can tell, spit anti-Asian microaggressions at Jonah hinging on him assuming Asians are a monolith despite... him also being Asian? Oh, and also be racist against the Irish. The white male character faces anti-Irish racism from a character of color which sure is a Choice to make. (hide spoiler)] Nasir very much comes off like a character who was originally a white dudebro randomly racebent at the last second with a single line of Farsi thrown in to make sure the audience remember that he is not white. Something that in the process actually changes his character into its own racist stereotype of the Brown teen boy nobody likes, obsessed with pulling girls despite girls being disgusted by him, and poorly fitting in with his peers as he tries to hard through misusing slang. He successfully manages to not contribute a single thing to the plot other than allowing Finch to bond with another white character, Ari (who is given time, nuance, and character development unlike her schoolmate Nasir) over how stupid and embarrassing they find Nasir. I just don't understand why the author would make this choice if I'm being honest. I truly do believe that the author wrote Finch with a lot of love and care. His journey through gender, friendship, and family felt as if they came from a place that was deeply personal and I'm sure there are other nerdy white trans kids who will look at Finch and feel seen. But as a nerdy nonwhite trans person he just wasn't doing it for me. Most of the character development felt rushed. The plot often slow where the most exciting part for me was actually the few times we were shown them debating. The debate tournament was by far the most compelling part of the novel which makes it feel odd that for a novel centered on debate there was... pretty much close to none in it. I wish I could have found it funny, but there was only really two types of jokes throughout the entire novel: 1. Referencing some political event/person/concept to show how smart and well-informed the characters are (smart well-informed baby leftists who love history and yet somehow did not know that about the horrifying conditions under Obama's immigration policy) and 2. Some joke from tumblr. Doesn't matter which one. Gamer girl bathwater here, a John Mulaney quote there, maybe if things get spicy a whole meme will even appear! (view spoiler)[Nasir, deer sweet Nasir, did actually make me laugh at the quote "On God, we gonna get you laid tonight!" A laugh that felt wholly undeserved considering it's kinda just... a popular meme (hide spoiler)] As far as trans representation goes, there's little to complain about. Sure, it feels a bit weird to not really have it brought up in any serious discussion the depths of privilege Finch experiences by having early access to transition care and how this is barred to most trans people especially poor trans people of color. But it was, like, fine? I'm sure there is some white transmasc teen who sleeps with an "I'm With Her" pin under their pillow right next to their commemorative antifa membership brick who will fall head over heels for Finch and all that he has to offer, but he just didn't do it for me. Overall, it was an unremarkable novel that felt perfectly tailored to appeal to an audience who in theory wants to read representation and anti-racist narratives, but only the kinds that are easily digestible within the scope of their own white normative worldview.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Larry H

    Peyton Thomas' debut novel, Both Sides Now , gave me All. The. Feels. Finch is an excellent debater. There’s nothing more he loves than to gather information on a subject or argument and explore both sides of it. He and his debate partner, Jonah, are heading to the National Championships, and he hopes a victory will encourage Georgetown to take another look at him, offer him a scholarship, and start him on the path to becoming America’s first trans congressman. But with his family’s financial s Peyton Thomas' debut novel, Both Sides Now , gave me All. The. Feels. Finch is an excellent debater. There’s nothing more he loves than to gather information on a subject or argument and explore both sides of it. He and his debate partner, Jonah, are heading to the National Championships, and he hopes a victory will encourage Georgetown to take another look at him, offer him a scholarship, and start him on the path to becoming America’s first trans congressman. But with his family’s financial status becoming more and more precarious—not to mention the state of his parents’ marriage—everything Finch wants is at risk. And in certain cases, he’s not even sure what he wants: his best friend is trying to convince him that he has feelings for Jonah, but what would that mean for Finch’s identity? Would Jonah even be interested in a trans guy? When it’s announced that the debate topic for the National Championship is transgender rights, Finch realizes that he’ll have to stand on a stage and literally debate at times that he doesn’t deserve equal rights. Is possible admittance to Georgetown worth that? I really enjoyed Both Sides Now and it gave me so many things to think about. It’s a fun and emotional read, and it showed me how quick we are to judge those around us without having any idea of their background or what they’re going through. So good!! Check out my list of the best books I read in 2020 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2021/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2020.html. See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com. Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Peach

    ohhhhhh boy. i'm going to be honest about two things upfront. the first is that i absolutely went into this book with the intention to hateread it. i have been aware of the author's internet presence for a decade, and i have seen and read enough to know that his behaviour is abhorrent, his views are questionable, and his writing is mediocre at best. it would be a lie to say i started this book from an unbiased standpoint. that said, the SECOND thing i am going to be honest about is this: as petty ohhhhhh boy. i'm going to be honest about two things upfront. the first is that i absolutely went into this book with the intention to hateread it. i have been aware of the author's internet presence for a decade, and i have seen and read enough to know that his behaviour is abhorrent, his views are questionable, and his writing is mediocre at best. it would be a lie to say i started this book from an unbiased standpoint. that said, the SECOND thing i am going to be honest about is this: as petty and as negative as i can be, i am willing to admit when people i dislike create something good. had this book ended up being a fantastic piece of literature, i would have hung my head in shame and admitted as such. it would have hurt me to do so, but i would have done it. fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately depending on how you look at it, this was not the case. both sides now is hundreds of pages of cringey, tasteless, and frankly BAD writing that makes the twilight/gossip girl crossover fanfiction i wrote at age 12 seem like a masterpiece. getting through this was like stumbling through a jigsaw trap but even worse because there was no pay off at the end. all i got was the power to say i finished it and therefore could hate it rightfully because i knew the material. and what good is power if it comes at such a cost? what good are bragging rights if you had to waste precious hours of your life to do so? what good is the written word if it allows soulless endeavours like this to be published? these are all questions i'd like the answer to, but i don't know if i'll find them. i certainly didn't find them in between these pages, squinting at the screen of the pdf because i love myself too much to spend money on this. my eyes are weak. my heart is crushed. my brain has less cells than it did a week ago when i started this horrific journey. i took a bullet for my friends by being the one to read this. and i think they'll have to take a literal bullet to make it up to me. but without further ado, let's launch into the terribly conceived, written, and edited world of both sides now by peyton thomas, a novel that would surely infuriate joni mitchell if she knew her music was being used this way. (JONI MITCHELL ON BOOK BASED ON HER SONG: "IF PEYTON THOMAS IS GOING TO WRITE IT, GOOD LUCK.") both sides now tells the story of finch kelly, a plucky young redheaded boy who loves debating and the us government and is also trans. many will say that he is just kyle broflovski of south park fame, given peyton's known history as a fan of the show, but peyton was clever enough to throw us off track by changing one major aspect: unlike the jewish kyle, finch is an irish catholic. of course, this is something he is bullied for, and given the source, you have to wonder if peyton thinks saying "irish people drink a lot" is as bad as violent antisemitism. you would be reasonable to wonder this, as the character who bullies kyle I MEAN FINCH for being irish is clearly based on cartman, except he's now...a brown boy. nothing else about his character was changed, mind you. peyton took the violent, racist, antisemitic, misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic character from south park, racebent him to throw people off trail and perhaps shoehorn in some mindblowingly offensive ""representation"", and called it a day. nasir is antiblack, makes snide comments about gay people, jokes about a character getting the "asian flush" (even though nasir himself is asian) and sees women as objects. finch objects to all of this, but only inwardly, because he may be a debater but that doesn't mean he calls out bigoted beliefs OFF the stage. (view spoiler)[the south park comparisons don't end there, however. the love interest, jonah, is clearly meant to represent stan, and even affectionately refers to finch as "dude" - a staple of the stan/kyle ship. wendy testaburger, stan's girlfriend and arguably the smartest character in the show, is now ari schecter, a rich jewish girl who only got into college because her dad bought a building and who complains about being hairy and having to contour her nose. finch, unsurprisingly, thinks these things of ari himself. in an incredibly uncomfortable scene, he implies that she looks manly and she should pull down her skirt to prove that she was born a girl. this is because they were practicing their debate on the rights of trans people to use bathrooms, and ari & nasir were arguing AGAINST it. finch, a trans guy, is understandably upset, but his reaction is horrifyingly misogynist, and, as ari points out, could qualify for harassment. finch has also spent the majority of the book justifying his decision to participate in this debate by saying the point is arguing on the side of evil, and even reflects on times he's argued against issues such as gay marriage and immigration. but all of that is forgotten when it comes to ari, who is treated like a transphobic demon who deserves to be insulted and harassed. (hide spoiler)] because finch kelly is an INCREDIBLY unlikeable protagonist, but peyton never seems to realise that. how could he, when finch is his self insert as well as being kyle broflovski? recognising that finch is selfish, shallow, rude, petty, misogynist, and so on, would require PEYTON to recognise these things in himself. and if there's one thing we've learned from a decade of callouts and no changed behaviour, it's that peyton is incapable of being self aware. and so we're given a protagonist who i never had any desire to root for. i could spend HOURS criticising the awful characterisation, the offensive stereotypes, the rushed relationships, and the not so subtle sources of inspiration (finch's last name is kelly because this was also once it's always sunny in philadelphia fanfiction, because of course it was), but others have already done it better than me and are better suited to discuss the rampant racism and antisemitism. so i'll just close off this section by saying that jonah deserved far better than someone like finch, especially after recently ending things with his racist and controlling white boyfriend. jonah does not need someone like finch, who is driven by his unearned superiority and privileged status that is never fully tackled. as awful and disgusting as bailey is, i find it hard to believe that jonah would find safety in finch. unsurprisingly, given peyton's centrist beliefs and the works he cites as inspirations for this book, the politics in this book are AWFUL. the stand out moment is perhaps when finch's debate teacher (adwoa, a black woman who seems to exist primarily to guide finch and help him with his struggles, while her own are only briefly touched upon) tells the debate team that debate is about seeing EVERY perspective. she asks them if anyone is fully evil, and when a student mentions trump and his horrific act of putting children in cages, adwoa counters that obama did the exact same thing. if you're like me, you might perhaps naively hope that peyton starts a good conversation for the first time in his life, and bring to light the war crimes and human rights violations caused by politicians regardless of their party. but no. instead, adwoa says that good people can do bad things, and obama was a smart and good man who was just misled. as if all the terrible things he did when he was president were just little mistakes. oops! my mistake, apparently, was believing that the man who named his cat after hilary clinton despite being a canadian, would ever provide well earned criticisms of the american demoncrats. it should be noted, that finch, who prides himself on being SO smart that he is a GENIUS and DESERVES to go to georgetown, was unaware of obama's crimes. this character, who we're supposed to believe is so knowledgeable about politics that his life goal is to move to washington and become the first trans person in congress (his belief that politicians are good people who cause good changes and "things happen" in washington is, of course, never contradicted), did not know that a president did shitty things when in power. this stuff isn't a secret, finch! you can know about it just by going on twitter! and i know you have twitter, because you go on it to read tweets from classmates about wanting to date shawn mendes! educate yourself, buddy, and maybe THEN you'll get into georgetown with ari! but i digress. unpacking every issue in this book would take a hundred years, and so i'm going to end this review with a more superficial aspect that i despised: the outdated and unfunny cultural references that were either stolen jokes but written worse, or things no teenager in 2021 would be saying. gamer girl bath water is two years old, dude. the princess diana bit is the most overdone john mulaney moment on the internet. and sure, things like hamilton and the bath & body works rant were references that i would have understood in high school - but i graduated five a half years ago. you would think that someone notorious for inserting himself into spaces dominated by minors would have some understanding of what teenagers like, but instead the most relevant cultural thing he talks about is riverdale. and i'm pretty sure that the only people who actually like riverdale are twenty somethings who defend it in the name of camp (myself included). finch kelly doesn't know obama committed war crimes but he DOES know that mitt romney tied his diarrhetic dog to the roof of his car back in 2012. SERIOUSLY? i only know that because of big fat quiz of the year. and i was old enough to use the internet in 2012, unlike finch. god. anyway. do not read this book. do not buy this book. do not support this author. it's not even worth the hateread. there is not one single redeeming quality in this novel, because on top of being offensive and outdated, the writing is just BAD. peyton combined his #greatesthits tumblr posts, fetched some unfinished fanfiction out of his computer, stole some jokes, and threw it all together in a blender with a dash of centrist politics and decided to call it a book. and maybe it is, in the literal sense, but it shouldn't be. absolute garbage. i'd give it no stars if i could. i should have run the moment i saw the south park creators being thanked in the acknowledgements along with bill hader and a comedy tumblr account. my only suggestion to you, dear stranger, is that if you decide to read this book: play the drinking game i invented to get through it, and take a shot every time someone mentions georgetown. easy way to get hammered, which is what you'll be needing after this. and on that note, i'm going to get a drink.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sage

    3.99 star average rating? are you kidding me? are you people actually fucking kidding me?

  13. 5 out of 5

    annie

    well this was not good! no character development, mediocre writing, too many winking pop culture references. ya isn't my fave but young adult readers deserve better than this. 1.5 stars bc it wasn't the worst thing i've ever read but definitely not great! well this was not good! no character development, mediocre writing, too many winking pop culture references. ya isn't my fave but young adult readers deserve better than this. 1.5 stars bc it wasn't the worst thing i've ever read but definitely not great!

  14. 5 out of 5

    diana

    This easily readable and bizarrely self-congratulatory little piece of YA drivel is perfect for uncomfortably self-aware John Green fans and smug white liberals who care more about being right than being compassionate or likable. The quippy dialogue flows like a CW writer's wet dream and the colorful assortment of racial stereotypes is bound to appeal to centrist, social justice-minded teens and adults desperately seeking validation from their peers. This easily readable and bizarrely self-congratulatory little piece of YA drivel is perfect for uncomfortably self-aware John Green fans and smug white liberals who care more about being right than being compassionate or likable. The quippy dialogue flows like a CW writer's wet dream and the colorful assortment of racial stereotypes is bound to appeal to centrist, social justice-minded teens and adults desperately seeking validation from their peers.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Signe

    "Even his sneakers are the color of a bruise." The amount of times Peyton uses "crowed" and "swallowed" etc instead of just saying said. The fixation on eating/not eating and feeling sick and throwing up (hello?). The unbearable main character. And of course, the racism. It all comes together into something that really should have stayed on AO3. Some favorite moments: - Having a panic attack because you're so horny after the guy who just got dumped touches your foot. - Ripping the "romantic" head "Even his sneakers are the color of a bruise." The amount of times Peyton uses "crowed" and "swallowed" etc instead of just saying said. The fixation on eating/not eating and feeling sick and throwing up (hello?). The unbearable main character. And of course, the racism. It all comes together into something that really should have stayed on AO3. Some favorite moments: - Having a panic attack because you're so horny after the guy who just got dumped touches your foot. - Ripping the "romantic" head in lap moment straight from Maurice (1987) as if no one would notice. - Again all of the racism which most people have commented on in their reviews - Ending the book with a comrade joke. - Wait you guys, Obama is BAD????? - The obsession with proving again and again (to your teenage audience?) that you've read Capital in the Twenty First Century and Infinite Jest. - The way every little thing mentioned felt like Peyton forcing things in to cross them off of his list of "Things I have to mention to seem woke." - The embarrassing jokes-i-guess that are just references to other things that will not be relevant in 5 years (and mostly weren't relevant now even). - The seven page long acknowledgement with mentions that makes you the easiest target for mockery in the world. - Rose pedals in coffee hello help can anyone hear me it's so dark in here h

  16. 5 out of 5

    Austin

    i am genuinely a person that believes just because you sucked a lot a few years ago doesn't mean you suck now. people change and grow! this is especially true in your early/mid 20s. so it was entirely possible that the peyton i knew around tumblr was NOT the peyton who wrote this book. well i was wrong! it's incredibly clear that at no point in the past several years has peyton ever learned from his mistakes or grown out of his EXTREMELY manipulative personality type. this is filled with all the s i am genuinely a person that believes just because you sucked a lot a few years ago doesn't mean you suck now. people change and grow! this is especially true in your early/mid 20s. so it was entirely possible that the peyton i knew around tumblr was NOT the peyton who wrote this book. well i was wrong! it's incredibly clear that at no point in the past several years has peyton ever learned from his mistakes or grown out of his EXTREMELY manipulative personality type. this is filled with all the same racism and refusal to accept that he is wrong that made peyton well...peyton! how's graceebooks doing, peyton? starting any more minor cults of personality about ships?

  17. 4 out of 5

    Cate

    Wild amounts of racism, but also just badly written cringe?

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mirjam

    Negative reviews of this book are being removed en masse if they so much as mention the author's history of terrible behavior, which is interesting. I wonder who's behind that? Anyway, Goodreads has sent me a very factual email saying that it was inappropriate of me to say something like "The way this is obviously just poorly disguised South Park fan fiction written by a serial harasser and abuser" (hypothetical example!), so I won't say that, because that's against Goodreads review guidelines, a Negative reviews of this book are being removed en masse if they so much as mention the author's history of terrible behavior, which is interesting. I wonder who's behind that? Anyway, Goodreads has sent me a very factual email saying that it was inappropriate of me to say something like "The way this is obviously just poorly disguised South Park fan fiction written by a serial harasser and abuser" (hypothetical example!), so I won't say that, because that's against Goodreads review guidelines, apparently. (The above is obviously just a hypothetical. I would never say something like that, obviously. There is no sarcasm here.) But here's what I can say: this book is absolute garbage. The writing is terrible, the politics are terrible, the characters are terrible, and it's racist as hell. Other people have already posted excerpts of the most horrendously offensive sections (WRT racism, specifically), so I'd suggest searching out and then reading some of those if you're considering supporting this pathetic excuse for a book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Isa

    What a fucking idiot

  20. 4 out of 5

    eilidh

    maybe white people should just stop writing. have you ever considered that?

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mae (readingwithmae)

    EDIT: Recently read through some reviews that brought of great points about some of the content in this book. I did not like this book when I originally read it, but now it seems there are some much deeper issues at hand than my dislike of the MC. I encourage everyone to read through some of the 1/2 star reviews that address some issues within the book. Rating: 1/5 CW: Transphobia, homophobia, misgendering, racism, sexism, ableism, alcohol consumption/implied alcoholism Thank you to Penguin Teen fo EDIT: Recently read through some reviews that brought of great points about some of the content in this book. I did not like this book when I originally read it, but now it seems there are some much deeper issues at hand than my dislike of the MC. I encourage everyone to read through some of the 1/2 star reviews that address some issues within the book. Rating: 1/5 CW: Transphobia, homophobia, misgendering, racism, sexism, ableism, alcohol consumption/implied alcoholism Thank you to Penguin Teen for providing me with an e-ARC of this title. All opinions are my own. Both Sides Now follows Finch Kelly, a trans guy in his senior year of high school. Finch's passions are politics and debate, which he's definitely awesome at. Finch and his debate partner Jonah are taking the competitive debate world by storm as they move up and make it to nationals. However, when it's revealed that the debate topic is transgender rights, Finch isn't so sure that there are two sides to every argument anymore. This book was pitched as Gilmore Girls meets Red, White, and Royal Blue, but I don't think that's the best comparison. While we have the debate team (which isn't a huge plot of Gilmore Girls to begin with) and the "I want to go to an Ivy League school" plot line, the similarities end there. Not to mention Rory has rich, connected grandparents who can get her into Ivy League's while our MC does not. The vibe relating to Ivy League school applications/admissions was much more Dan from Gossip Girl. The Red, White, and Royal Blue comparison also didn't click much with me. We have a lot of political references (of course), but the enemies/rivals to lover romance isn't there (which is basically what RWRB is). The romance is much more friends to lovers, which is a totally different vibe. This book is definitely about more than debate and politics - our characters are dealing with family drama, boyfriend drama, and more. I liked how these topics were explored, but I just wasn't expecting them to be talked about as much as they were. A large majority of the book was Finch whining about needing to get into Georgetown, or any D.C. school, for undergrad. While his friends and family were telling him that he can do amazing things at an affordable in-state school (bc you know, his parents are literally broke and begging him to consider in-state), Finch insists that he will not be able to change the world politically unless he's in D.C. While this view point is remedied, it wasn't done soon enough for me. I was so annoyed with Finch that the book dragged for me and felt boring + repetitive at times. This was mainly what hindered my enjoyment and made me rate the book a bit lower. I did really love a lot of the side characters, especially Jonah and Lucy who were honestly some of the most supportive and wonderful friends that Finch could have ever asked for. Jonah carried this whole book for me, tbh. The romance was also quite wholesome, but it just wasn't enough for me to love this book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kalena W

    5/5 stars, I am in love with this story and some of the things it represents Thank you Penguin Teen for the arc through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review! This was an amazing story, I loved every second of it and the debate aspect was really unique. The story follows trans high schooler Finch, as he hopes to win the debate championship so he can get into Georgetown. But he finds out that the subject for debate finals is trans students and bathrooms, which hits really close to home for 5/5 stars, I am in love with this story and some of the things it represents Thank you Penguin Teen for the arc through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review! This was an amazing story, I loved every second of it and the debate aspect was really unique. The story follows trans high schooler Finch, as he hopes to win the debate championship so he can get into Georgetown. But he finds out that the subject for debate finals is trans students and bathrooms, which hits really close to home for him. As he struggles with this, he also has to deal with family problems and potentially falling in love with his gay debate partner Jonah. The story was constantly talking about / showing important topics, and handled it all very nicely in my opinion. It was hard to read at times and I think that's what makes it all the more special to me, it was impactful. This book handles a lot of topics very effectively, especially because they use debate as a way to show all these problems within the world. There is so much going on, and a lot of it is actually nuanced. Some are left up for interpretation for the reader but looking back I believe most of it was given good thought and explanation for how it is harmful. The book characters deal with homophobia, racism in media, transphobia, struggling with self-identity, trans-rights issues (especially in bathrooms), family issues (such as class & money), struggling for your future, and bad relationships. One of my favorite parts was how Finch and all the other high schoolers felt like real teens, too often I think stories try too hard. Finch and his friends didn't go around talking about pop culture 24/7, although they did talk about some lesser-known niche sort of things, they had real conversations and it was really nice. They truly honestly felt like people I would hang out with or people that I would know. The best part about how they all felt like true teens, was that it turned out to be an outstanding character piece. The backdrop of the things this book handles with the teens, really showed them confronting all of their flaws. In my opinion, it is super important to show teens stumbling and messing up because too often such high standards are placed on their shoulders. They are still learning just like the rest of us, and making mistakes is part of their journey. Finch and Jonah were both amazing and standout characters, I loved being able to hear their story. They kicked butt at debate every time they were up on the stage, and that was honestly so wonderful to see. The romance slowly grew from friends to lovers, and it was great to see such a solid base of friendship between the two. It made the payoff all the more emotional and satisfying. They always had each other's backs, and each time they interacted my heart beat a little faster. They're so amazing as friends and lovers and I was so happy to read their story. Personally, this was such an impactful read for me and I was so in love with it through its entirety. I didn't expect to enjoy the debate backdrop as much as I did, but it really allowed for certain ideas to shine through. All of the characters felt very real and being able to see the progression of the romance made me so happy. A must-read for anyone who loves contemporary and young adults.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Grayson

    I loved this book! Finch was such a realistic trans teen. I love how he was incredibly smart, bus still allowed to make stupid teenager decisions. It made him feel really relatable. I also loved that this book commented on the privilege it takes to transition. Finch has the support, but not the money. I had the opposite as a teen. Its important to recognize the hoops trans people have to go through to exist. I also think it will allow trans teens to feel less alone since most don't get to transi I loved this book! Finch was such a realistic trans teen. I love how he was incredibly smart, bus still allowed to make stupid teenager decisions. It made him feel really relatable. I also loved that this book commented on the privilege it takes to transition. Finch has the support, but not the money. I had the opposite as a teen. Its important to recognize the hoops trans people have to go through to exist. I also think it will allow trans teens to feel less alone since most don't get to transition till adulthood. Im a character driven reader, and I adore how this author writes characters they all have there own struggles and voices. Also, I usually hate covers with photos but I will make an exception for miles mckenna, thank you for using s trans model Rep: trans boy, gay, POC LI (asian), questioning, mlm, lesbian side Own Voices CW: transphobia, racism, misgendering, underage drinking, panic attack, vomiting,

  24. 4 out of 5

    asena

    — rethinking about this book, and they are really not good thoughts.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rhiannon

    As a high school debate coach, I was really excited about this book. I've long since thought the epic highs and lows of debate would make perfect material for a YA novel, and so I was thrilled to see my dreams manifest into reality. Guys, I really wanted to like this one! I wanted to recommend it to my students! I was hype! But after reading this book, I cannot in good faith recommend it to anyone, especially teenagers. Let's just say the handling of race in this book was... weird. (view spoiler)[ As a high school debate coach, I was really excited about this book. I've long since thought the epic highs and lows of debate would make perfect material for a YA novel, and so I was thrilled to see my dreams manifest into reality. Guys, I really wanted to like this one! I wanted to recommend it to my students! I was hype! But after reading this book, I cannot in good faith recommend it to anyone, especially teenagers. Let's just say the handling of race in this book was... weird. (view spoiler)[Why was the Iranian character cast as the token racist? Why did he need to use the N word? If Thomas was trying to make a point about antiblackness in nonblack POC, it didn't land, because this instance goes basically unremarked upon. The white main character has a stronger reaction to, and I'm not kidding, this same character invoking a stereotype about Irish people against him a few moments later. Why is there a scene where the main character goes to his friend's house and engages in some brief apologism for her orientalist mother? Thomas dedicates multiple paragraphs to describing how the mother has decked her house out with all kinds of stereotypically Asian crap, then has the (white) main character and his (white) friend bicker over whether or not this is okay. I just... what? What did this add to the story? Did he seriously use orientalism as a quirky character trait to make the mom more interesting? Why is Sandra Bland's name invoked to make the white main character reflect on his privilege? I see the point that Thomas was trying to make: despite his experiences with transphobia, his financial problems, and his internal conflict over debating trans rights as a trans boy, Finch is very privileged to NOT have to constantly debate his own humanity the way that people of color do. But the framing of this scene is very weird, with the Black debate coach remarking that Sandra Bland "looked just like her," and Finch experiencing a brief flash of white guilt for complaining about his problems. And then everybody just moves on from that. I just think this commentary could have been done better. Additionally, when the (Black) debate coach is confronted by her (Black) student about the morality of making students debate the “bad” side of a topic, she’s basically like, “Well, Obama put kids in cages, so sometimes good people do bad things.” Not “Obama put kids in cages too, so sometimes the good guys we think we can trust aren’t so good after all, and that’s why it’s important to think critically about what you believe and investigate both sides of an argument to the fullest,” but “Well, good people do bad things!” Whatever point Thomas was trying to make there did not land at all, and I was honestly left confused. Plus… way to not even address the problem at hand? (hide spoiler)] Needless to say, this one was a bummer to me. There was a lot in this book that had potential. The theme of what it takes for marginalized students to debate their own humanity? Something very close to my heart as a coach. Jonah's internal conflict about whether or not to rock the boat with his white boyfriend about the racist play he's in? One of the most interesting plots in the book to me (which is why it was something of a disappointment, albeit not a surprising one, to see it mostly used for love triangle fodder). Issues of classism in the debate world? Again, another criticism of debate culture I was excited to see brought up. But this book just needed a good sensitivity reader or another few rounds of editing or maybe just a different author (lol). Side note, if you know where the allegations that this book is edited South Park fanfiction are coming from, please message me here. No idea if there's any weight behind that particular accusation because I've never seen the show... but man, what a weird thing to publish as YA if so.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Aslee

    It is imperative to me that you know this is indistinguishable from any Stan/Kyle content on tumblr.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    lol tumblr user lalondes wrote a shitty book

  28. 5 out of 5

    Janna

    "Both Sides Now" by Peyton Thomas is a YA novel about Finch who desperately wants to win the National Speech & Debate Tournament to receive a spot at his dream college in Washington, D.C., resulting in a history-making career as the first trans congressman. Unfortunately, this year's debate topic hits quite close to home: transgender rights. I have mixed feelings about this novel. I liked that it shows the struggles that Finch has to go through as a trans person whose parents do not have a lot o "Both Sides Now" by Peyton Thomas is a YA novel about Finch who desperately wants to win the National Speech & Debate Tournament to receive a spot at his dream college in Washington, D.C., resulting in a history-making career as the first trans congressman. Unfortunately, this year's debate topic hits quite close to home: transgender rights. I have mixed feelings about this novel. I liked that it shows the struggles that Finch has to go through as a trans person whose parents do not have a lot of money, who have a lot of struggles themselves. I think that's quite realistic for a lot of people. But.. and believe me, I'm here for all trans books getting published, we needs tons and tons more of that... ...I feel like a lot of books with trans characters portray them in a very similar way and it makes it seem like there's just "one way to be trans". Not every trans person is able to afford or even wants to take hormones, wear a binder or go through some kind of surgery. I wish that would have been reflected upon. There's so much transphobia in this book, it's full of trans pain and that's an important part to show, but I just want to warn my fellow trans readers that this might be too much pain to handle. There's also a lot of racism, some of it addressed, some left unaddressed, in this novel. The ignorant behaviour of the white main character and the stereotypical behaviour of characters of colour is something that cannot be ignored. That's why I cannot recommend this book. content warnings: queerphobia, transphobia, racism, toxic relationship, anxiety

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sage

    mostly just reads like mediocre fanfiction, honestly. and others have already pointed it out but seriously, what's with the racism and stereotypes, how did all that get through several rounds of editing?? mostly just reads like mediocre fanfiction, honestly. and others have already pointed it out but seriously, what's with the racism and stereotypes, how did all that get through several rounds of editing??

  30. 5 out of 5

    Salty

    Peyton Thomas is a notorious discourse harasser and creep who has tried to take down receipts of his bullying and creepiness numerous times. Here's the background on him: https://ffawiki-backup.dreamwidth.org... There are numerous excerpts from the book here: https://fail-fandomanon.dreamwidth.or... Tl;dr: Extremely tryhard prose and themes. The author vehemently wants you to know he's a "woke" white liberal ... but the book is actually racist, antisemitic, and misogynist. And trite as hell, at that Peyton Thomas is a notorious discourse harasser and creep who has tried to take down receipts of his bullying and creepiness numerous times. Here's the background on him: https://ffawiki-backup.dreamwidth.org... There are numerous excerpts from the book here: https://fail-fandomanon.dreamwidth.or... Tl;dr: Extremely tryhard prose and themes. The author vehemently wants you to know he's a "woke" white liberal ... but the book is actually racist, antisemitic, and misogynist. And trite as hell, at that, with lame jokes stolen from a variety of sources. The people who are raving over it are either very young and clueless, or they're Peyton's fellow discoursers and they're just as terrible.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...