I've totally moved outside of the box on this...it's not even fiction. That's right this one is a memoir and I have to say I'm pretty damned nervous doing a review of someone's life or rather the telling of a part of that person's life, especially when that person is sharing some incredibly personal details. I'm not even sure where to begin on this one so if this turns out to be one big ramble...please accept my apologies in advance.
Ok first thing I want to say is this guy's got cojones...big ones! because he is entrusting everyone who reads this book with some incredibly personal and intimate information about himself (I'm not saying it's a big secret...because well, hello! book?) still these are very personal details about a very personal part of this person's life. Things that he doesn't need to share but he is and he's doing it not for himself but because there's a very real, very vulnerable section of our society out there who hopefully will benefit from one man's courage to speak out, to tell a story that yes might make some people a little uncomfortable....hell they may even squirm a little, but it might also make some people say 'Wow! If he can do it, I can. I'm not alone, I'm not a freak or the only person who has ever felt like this."
'Balls...It takes some to get some' is the story of one person's journey to have their body become who their mind knew they were meant to be. Starting life as the man he knew he was suppose to be was not gods (or nature's, whichever works for you) plan for Chris Edwards, but it was the hand that got dealt to him and Chris knew this was the change that had to happen in order for him to be happy and be who he felt he was suppose to be.
I probably looked at this book on Net Galley a half a dozen times before I finally decided I needed to read this. There were a number of reasons why I did and didn't want to read it but ultimately it was just plain old curiosity that won out. I had questions things I wondered about, wanted to know and in the end I realized this was probably going to be my best chance to find out. I know they say curiosity killed the cat but in this case it led the cat (that would be me) to an incredibly well told and socially relevant story as well as appeasing my curiosity and giving me what I hope is a more informed insight to part of our society that struggles more than anyone should ever have to.
Told from the author's personal experiences the reader is taken on a journey that in spite of having the benefit of a strong support system and access to quality medical care is neither easy nor painless. For me the most heartbreaking part of this story is the fact that there are so many others who struggle with this journey and lack not just the finances but the support of friends and/or family. As well as telling his story Chris Edwards educates and it was this education that brought tears to my eyes because knowing something in the vague abstract isn't the same as being given the facts of what you know and then having personal details added to highlight those facts. Things like more than 50% of trans kids will attempt suicide before their 20th birthday, sorry if that doesn't make you at least fight back some tears and anger at the unfairness that this is a fact than I guess you're a much tougher person than I am when it comes to kids because I can't even begin to pretend that this fact alone isn't deeply disturbing for me. Ok, sorry I got a little derailed there back to the book.
There are honestly so many awesome things I could say about this book but I have to admit because of the subject matter I also know I would take off on more than one rant and my review could possibly end up being as long or longer than the book. So I'm going to wrap it up with just a couple more thoughts the first one being 'BALLS it takes some to get some' is a well written and insightful memoir told with wit, humor, intelligence and dignity and with a strength of character that not all possess but maybe if more of the world did it would be a much better place for those who need it to be and lastly, thank you Chris Edwards for writing a story about a sadly maligned and poorly understood segment of our society that shows it to the rest of the world in a more positive and informed light.
I'm pretty sure this ones going on my top 10 list for 2016. Definitely recommended.
A copy of "BALLS, it takes some to get some" was graciously provided via Net Galley by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.