Genre: Teen & Young Adult, Romance, Gay/Lesbian/Transgender, Contemporary
Publisher: Devine Destinies
Date of Publication: September 8, 2015
File Size: 401 KB
Print Length: 185 pages
Nolan Goodman, star swimmer for Portland High, meets Mia Swarva at a swim meet and thinks he’s found his perfect girlfriend. They start dating, things are going well…and then he finds out that Mia was born Mark, and his concept of what constitutes relationships not to mention sexuality goes out the window. However, Mia has that certain something about her, and Nolan does his best to understand as he genuinely cares for her. Their relationship develops after a series of stops and starts, but when Mia is inadvertently outed on a social website, she and Nolan have to run the gamut of emotions as well as deal with the inevitable reaction to her being transgender. It is only then, that Nolan learns the true meaning of commitment.
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Mia didn’t answer me. She went to her desk and pulled out her photo album. Coming over to the bed, she thrust it at me. “Look at this,” she said.
“I already did, remember? You look great.”
A note of insistence entered her voice. “I added some pictures. Just look.”
Flipping through it, the pictures sped by, and the one I remembered most was of her wearing a string bikini, showing off her curves. The poses looked professional yet natural, but most of all, they looked totally hot.
“Keep going,” she urged.
Suddenly the feeling of entering a kind of twilight world where nothing was what it seemed came over me. Maybe it was her voice—quiet and insistent—or something else. Who knew…but doing as she said, I kept turning pages. Near the end of the album, a picture I’d never seen before stood out—a picture of a boy.
Taking it out of the plastic casing, I slowly turned it over. Mark, age ten, the caption read.
The kid in question had dark hair and green eyes, a green so intense it practically leapt off the paper. I noted the chiseled features which included high, sharp cheekbones bracketing a long and aquiline nose. Amid all the angles and plains, a certain sculpted look stood out.
“Keep going,” Mia whispered.
On the next page there was another picture of Mark. It showed him at age fifteen, his face a little softer this time, eyes not so angry. He’d changed. Taller and leaner, now—naturally—but the shape of his nose and jaw were different, less angular. His chest also somehow looked fuller…rounder. In this particular pose, the mole on his cheek stood out…the same mole in the same spot as Mia’s and…
Oh, holy crap. Nervous system failure ensued and my hands suddenly lost their grip. The album fell to the floor. You couldn’t call me the smartest guy around, but I’d always figured my native savviness and intelligence would carry me through any difficult situation when necessary. Not now…
“You understand now, don’t you?” Mia asked. Her voice, slightly louder now, crashed through my impromptu examination of the impossible, but the impossible had indeed become possible. This was as real as it got.
“Yeah, I got it,” I said, my voice sounding dull and half out of it, comprehension notwithstanding. This whole thing had suddenly entered into another realm.
“Do you?” she asked. Her voice rang with bitterness, the bitterness of those she expected to not understand, the anger against those she may have initially trusted, and the depression that came with the realization of the world never having been a fair place to start with. “You saw the pictures. My birth name is Mark, Mark Andrew Swarva. Use your imagination.”
About the Author :
J.S. Frankel was born in Toronto, Canada and grew up there, receiving his tertiary education from the University of Toronto and graduating with a double major in English Literature and Political Science.
After working for Gray Coach Lines a grand total of three years, he came to Japan at the age of twenty-six and has been there ever since, teaching English to any and all students who enter his hallowed school of learning.
In 1997, he married Akiko Koike. He, his wife and his two children, Kai and Ray, currently reside in Osaka. His hobbies include weight training, watching movies when his writing schedule allows, and listening to various kinds of music. The Tower is his first novel, published by UntreedReads.com. His other novels, all for the YA set, include Twisted, Lindsay Versus the Marauders and it’s sequel, Lindsay, Jo, and the Tree of Forever, all three courtesy of Regal Crest Enterprises. He has also written Death Bytes and Catnip, courtesy of DevineDestinies.com.