Birthday by Meredith Russo

I took a break from the Christmas reads to embrace Birthday over my own birthday period.

Morgan and Eric were born on the same day in the same hospital during a freak September snow storm. Whilst at the hospital their families became bonded and Morgan and Eric have been best friends their entire lives. However, when Morgan’s mom dies and the boys become teenagers with raging hormones things are bound to change.

Morgan is confused and feels like he’s supposed to be a girl despite being fully aware he is not. Meanwhile, Eric is finding himself attracted to Morgan in moments when he feels that he isn’t a boy but a girl. The two of them cannot share their experiences with one another for the first time in their lives.

Both boys throw themselves into playing high school football to ensure they are being as stereotypically manly as possible, however, it doesn’t change the feelings they are experiencing and the inevitable is that it will surface somehow.

Although I have never experienced a situation where I have kept as big a secret as my sexuality or gender dysphoria (I really hope there’s an appropriate phrase), I think all teenagers experience their own version of unhappiness and hiding things about themselves which makes this book totally relatable. Despite it being very hard hitting and difficult topics Russo has created a story which is actually suprisingly easy to read. I read a lot of great reviews about this book and all I can say is that they are absolutely right! It‘s another story (like My Dark Vanessa) that should totally be introduced into schools, more than anything to give an insight into the battles some of our peers may be facing behind closed doors.

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