I AM WATER by Meg Specksgoor


Age Range: 13 - 18
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High school junior Hannah begins a relationship that will change her understanding of herself in this free verse novel.

Hannah, who works as a river rafting guide in her small town, is intrigued by Ezra, a new student at her school whose flamboyant clothes and unusual interests set him apart. When Hannah and Ezra get closer, Ezra confides that he is genderfluid. When he clarifies what this means to him, Hannah recognizes herself in the explanation. Though Hannah’s realization about her gender identity feels like a turning point, that thread is almost entirely dropped in favor of focusing on the relationship that grows between Hannah and Ezra. Their relationship turns rocky when Ezra moves away for college and becomes distant, pushing for polyamory despite Hannah’s wishes. As things between them sour, Hannah ultimately finds support from two boys in her life: her best friend, Sam, and her older brother, Renny, who reminds her of a valuable lesson: “So, / I’ve always found / it’s best not / to change / for people. / Much better / to change / because / of people.” The titled free verse poems that make up the book convey the story in fluid, lyrical language that frames Hannah’s experiences in aquatic metaphors. Characters are assumed white.

Ideal for reluctant readers who enjoy relationship stories. (Verse novel. 13-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-5383-8280-6
Page count: 200pp
Publisher: West 44 Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2019