I should be sleeping, but Katie's story was just too compelling to put down She's a wonderful, strong, inspiring young woman, and I look forward to her continued advocacy for ALL people I haven't seen her TV shows/specials, and I don't think I want to, the book is enough for me I'm so glad that this book is out there for young people to read, but I also think adults can learn a lot from her open and honest introspection about her transition and her teen years in general If you're confused as to why Bruce Jenner suddenly decided to become Caitlyn or why there's such a fuss about transgender bathrooms, this book might help you understand a little bit better But keep in mind that this is Katie's story I like that she called the book Rethinking Normal Everyone finds their own normal and defines their own normal Katie, it seems, has found hers, but for other people (transgender or not), the definition is still fluid and still up for (internal) debate Let's aim for a world where people are given the support and the room to define and redefine normal for themselves. Katie Rain Hill is a young college student recounting her experiences as a young trans woman attempting to be an activist in Biblebelt Oklahoma Hill initially gained widespread public attention because of her publicized relationship with her exboyfriend, Arin Andrews, because it was a relationship between a trans woman (Katie) and a trans man (Arin).Originally Hill and Andrews were supposed to write a combined memoir about their relationship, but after their breakup they ended up both writing their own memoirs with the assistance of different ghost writers Hill wrote Rethinking Normal while Andrews wrote Some Assembly Required I remember when Katie and Arin's story went viral and them being discussed among my trans community on my campus In some ways, the viral nature of their lives and relationship inevitably colors their narratives Additionally, their memoirs are obviously aimed at a younger audience (likely, late middle school/early high school) ]Despite all this, it is worth noting that Hill's immaturity takes away from her narrative and all her goals of providing information about trans experiences A constant discussion of cute boys, clothing, and attractiveness may be readable by themselves, but they draw away from her overarching narrative and come across less as unique descriptions of her personality andas a juvenile writer trying to fill pages Even after a second reading these factors take away from the progression of the memoir Since Katie and Arin's memoirs were originally planned to be one memoir, it is natural to compare them In regards to writing style, readability, and general storytelling skills Arin's memoir is noticeably better than Katie's I'm not sure, however, how much of this is due to the ghostwriting/writing assistance differences between Ariel Schrag for Katie's and Joshua Lyon for Arin's. Being aware of both Katie Hill and Arin Andrews, I've seen their stories being portrayed in the media and in a variety of magazine publications so it made me curious to read both their personal bios as transgender teens I've read Arin's book Some Assembly Required and enjoyed it and offered it to customers who are dealing with their own children coming out as trans and to have another perspective from someone who is MTF, I thought that this would be another resource to use Sadly, Katie's book does not hold the same standard of substance compared to Arin's.Don't get me wrong Certainly, Katie's book gives a personal account of her experience growing up trans and the hardships that she faced However what really made this particular book lackluster was the ridiculous reality show teen dramas that overshadowed her story From the first few chapters where she attempts to explain her cheating mentality (she's in a relationship with Arin while she is seeing another boy while there is potential to date another), it just got too much and I began to grow frustrated with this type of kiss and tell gossip If anything, I felt I was watching a soap opera than trying to understand her as a trans woman.I'm sure there are other really great MTF books out that could serve as an alternative resource or trans youngsters but this certainly didn't do it or me I wish Katie the best of luck but seriously, the girl needs relationship counseling before getting involved with anyone. Read as digital arc.Initial impression: Katie's a badass and Whoa, girl, calm down In the prologue, Katie came on very strong, but she eventually won me over with references to Naruto and Pigfarts.I have a 5star biography policy, where as long as your story is real, interesting and makes a fair amount of sense, it should be five stars I will say that, organizationwise, I appreciated that I read Arin's book first Katie jumps around a bit and isn't as detailoriented; I didn't feel as present in the moment with her It was nice to already have a timeline in mind, so I had a littleinformation to work with.Ultimately, Katie was very relatable She works hard for what she believes in, she gets tangled up in wordchoice controversy, and she has a fair amount of relationship drama to share with the rest of us I was first introduced to her through Inside Edition and, although I totally shipped she and Arin and thought they were the cutest thing ever I can't fault her for the way things ended I haven't handled every breakup with grace either Closing thoughts: I love the title, rethinking normal, because that's what society is going to have to do What Katie's story comes down to is to things we can all relate to: struggles, relationships, major revelations about ourselves Just another life, but withsurgeries By getting her story out there,andunderstanding can take place It helps that it's interesting Good work, Katiekeep it up. I'm trying not to compare Katie's book to Arin's, which is basically impossible, but it feels unfair to compare them? I'll do my best!Katie's writing is OK; she's engaging and personable, and she structured the book well Her memoir jumps around timewise for a bit and I enjoyed that she didn't start straight from the beginning I think part of this tactic is to give readers a sense of hope as they read the bad parts, so that they can remember that things turn out OK Katie's life has not been a cakewalk and she's lost a lot of friends and gone through a lot of familial strife She makes it very clear that she wants to be an advocate and use her story and voice to help young, transgender people, and basically outlines her very impressive public speaking resume I appreciated her honesty and was at times surprised by the incredible efforts she made to empathize with others, even when they treated her very poorly.As others have said, the hesaidshesaid stuff that Arin and Katie write about their relationships is a little wearing I wasn't super interested in the particulars of why they broke up or how many times the broke up or whatever, but I understand that they both felt compelled to tell their sides of the story because their relationship was so very public Kate never outright accuses any of the media outlets they worked with of using or exploiting them, but she rightly points out things the media did wrong, like focus unnecessarily and rudely on gender reassignment surgery and the couple's sex life She does a good job of expressing how complicated it is to have a very public life and want to be an open, honest advocate but to also just want to life her life quietly and without the pressure of always being a transgender advocate.Overall, I felt like Katie did a good job of explaining how complicated her life as a public figure v private person became, and appreciated her candidness and drive to help others. I really enjoyed reading both Katie's and Arin's books I have never had a transgendered friend (At least as far as I know) before and so I was very interested in reading their books and finding outabout transgendered people and how they felt I am so very glad I read this I really do feel like reading these two books has helped me to understand people better First, I am so sorry for the hell that Katie went through both at school and at home School was hell for me until my Junior and Senior years because I have always been overweight and battled my weight problem and through that I was always picked on by other people by being called Good year blimp and so many other horrible things and they would come up and grab me around the pec area saying things like Nice boobs and things Even though it's suppose to be sticks and stones it doesn't matter because it sure as hell hurts you no matter what So when she was talking about being picked on both before and during transitioning and being called names and tormented I could easily relate to that I also felt bad about what was going on with her father and family How he treated her was just sooo sad and made me very defensive for her Especially when he told Jazzlyn he didn't want an effeminate son or something along those lines That just pissed me off I don't have children but I sure as hell would like to think if I had a son who was transgendered or gay that I would love him or her (in transgendered case) no matter what! This is how this book has helped me! To see that we need to listen to our children and how they feel because it isn't something to be blown off there is something important in what they tell us If we would listen to themand keep our selves open to them then maybe our children wouldn't have such struggles and have so many problems but behappier I know even if a child is transgender that they will have struggles because of their peers but if they have supportive parents maybe it would make their hell period that muchtolerable I am so glad Jazzlyn was so willing to be understanding and learn about how her daughter felt I got through my years of torture because of my friends and most importantly because of my parents especially my mom Mostly I feel like these are some of the things I got from reading both Katie's and Arin's book:1 Listen to your children and how they feel and what they say They are important and what they say is important and if you really listen to them and help them they can lead healthy, happier and better lives Also, giving them support through tough times (Though sometimes times are very bad) can really make a difference in how they cope with situations.2 I learned what it is like to be transgendered (at least how Katie and Arin felt) and what they feel and go through.3 I learned to watch what I say and be respectful of everyone and to be open to people who are going through life experiencing things differently than I am.4 I learned that LOVE is one of the most important factors when talking with people That if you love people no matter what gender, sexuality, race or any other detail you can make amazing friends and help support them with what they are going through and beside aren't we here on the planet to love one another At least I feel I am anyway If you talk to people with love truly in your heart it doesn't matter what gender, race or sexuality that person is you love them just for who they are as a person.5 I learnedabout myself and how I feel about things I learned to listen to people and hear their side of the story because you might not know exactly what you though you knew In fact you might not know anything at all when at one time you though you knew it all I was partially like this but I feel like I have learned better now I know there arethings I could add to this but it would go on to long so I am just listing these five I want to reread these two books again in the future and I hope to see things I missed from before I feel blessed that I was able to read both accounts because I have learned so muchthat I have never known and I feel that my heart has expanded in love for transgendered people and to try to understand each person based on their own needs and preferences I hope that if and when I ever meet transgendered people out in my walk in this life that they will feel nothing but love and acceptance from me and that they know I want to know them as the person they truly are! I remember seeing Katie on facebook, with Arin her thenboyfriend A trans couple to inspire all, or somesuch stuff The part of this book I enjoyed the most was when Katie discusses the flaws with how the media treated hers and Arin's story Focussing on the relationship wasn't the goal either of them had in mind when they began being advocates, but media does as media does and turned it into that It's something that still needs to be adjusted and I thought it was interesting to see the inner workings of the person on the other end of the camera, why they would go along with media appearances that weren't necessarily helpful due to focussing on all the wrong things.Allinall, I'm giving this four stars for its value as an educational and mindopening tool I definitely recommend it to people wanting to learn about transgender youth/kids, and for transgender youth themselves to read as a source of inspiration and to see someone like them in action However, as a book itself, I'd choose to only give it three stars It's advertised as a YA Memoir and people should take that information into account when reading Often, I'd be annoyed at the focus on crushes, boyfriends, sex, etc and have to remind myself that Katie is a teenager writing about this and those are very important things to that age group Other than that, this is well done and worth reading if you've any interest in the subject of trans issues at all. A selfinvolved, badly written Live Journal entry masquerading as a book Get a ghostwriter And some selfawareness. In her unique, generous, and affecting voice, nineteenyearold Katie Hill shares her personal journey of undergoing gender reassignmentHave you ever worried that you'd never be able to live up to your parents' expectations? Have you ever imagined that life would be better if you were just invisible? Have you ever thought you would do anythinganythingto make the teasing stop? Katie Hill had and it nearly tore her apartKatie never felt comfortable in her own skin She realized very young that a serious mistake had been made; she was a girl who had been born in the body of a boy Suffocating under her peers' bullying and the mounting pressure to be normal, Katie tried to take her life at the age of eight years old After several other failed attempts, she finally understood that Katiethe girl trapped within herwas determined to liveIn this firstperson account, Katie reflects on her painfilled childhood and the events leading up to the lifechanging decision to undergo gender reassignment as a teenager She reveals the unique challenges she faced while unlearning how to be a boy and shares what it was like to navigate the dating world and experience heartbreak for the first time in a body that matched her gender identity Told in an unwaveringly honest voice, Rethinking Normal is a comingofage story about transcending physical appearances and redefining the parameters of normalcy to embody one's true self Katie seems like an amazing young woman Some thoughts:1 The kid who bullied Katie when she presented as a gnc male but told her post transition that she had thought she was a weirdo but now sees she's just a girl Katie's interest in boys but disgust at the idea of them liking her as a boy I wonder how schools can better deal with both transphobia and homophobia so that children are better able to figure out who they are and who they want to be Trans acceptance should not go hand in hand with gender essentialism (to clarify, that it often does is not the fault per se of trans people but because of how deeply embedded these gender norms are in our society) 2 That Katie gets jumped on by other trans people for acknowledging male and female socialization and that people are assigned male or female at birth is depressing Katie is by no means radical and that the simple admission that trans men may have common experiences with women would be perceived as transphobic particularly when said by a trans woman is ridiculous The discourse really needs to move past this because it's so unproductive.