I Rated It:
I had planned to begin this review with a little rant about how much I disagreed with some other reviews that I’ve read. Realizing, however, that a book review is in fact an opinion, I am simply going to say that I take issue with several of the more negative reviews this book has received. Daphne Scholinski didn’t address the gender identity issues as much as I had expected her to in the book, but I actually don’t think that took away from my reading experience. Not having researched the book to much extent, I assumed that there wasn’t actually anything wrong with Scholinski. This isn’t the case. She came from a very dysfunctional home and suffered from significantly severe depression. Her story gives readers an inside look at some of the flaws that existed in our mental health system in the not too distant past. Daphne, who has officially changed her name to Dylan, is not trying to claim that there wasn’t anything different from societies norms as far as her gender and sexuality go. She was a fifteen year old girl and while some people’s reviews indicate that they didn’t like the fact that she didn’t seem to recognize her true sexual identity until the end of the book, she probably didn’t understand it herself until after her years of institutionalization. I think that the most important message that I can take away from the book (and in my opinion, the one that everyone should take away from the book) is that she was sick. She was depressed. She did need help; but being placed in a flawed mental health system by her less than stellar parents, she did not receive the help she needed. Despite all that, she was still able to find herself and pull through a very difficult time in her life. I hope that after reading this book people will realize how flawed our mental health system was, how far it has come, and how much it can still be improved upon.