Noteworthy, by Riley Redgate
I love the realizations that Jordan has about the expectations that come with being seen as a girl versus the expectations that come with being seen as a boy; how she comes to understand that both identities carry burdens, but in different forms. I love that she is forced to consider aspects of gender that she’s never really considered, and how Redgate captures the legitimately hilarious trains of thought that occur when you try to unravel and understand and pinpoint specific elements of behavior and identity that you’ve previously taken for granted:
The second I set foot outside Burgess, I became hyperaware of my posture, the way I usually kept my elbows tucked in and my strides short. That wasn’t masculine. Was it? I loosened up and tried to walk like a dude, at which point I discovered I had no clue how dudes are supposed to walk. It took me the entire journey to figure out a gait that didn’t look like a velociraptor pretending to be a West Side Story character.
I love her thoughts about friendships with boys as a boy versus friendships with boys as a girl—that as Julian, she feels like she’s on even footing, whereas as Jordan she is always grappling with worry.