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Symptoms of Being Human

By Jeff Garvin

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Book review written by Charlotte Bull (Year 10, 2022)

This book is about a genderfluid teen called Riley who is the child of a congressman. They move to a new school and are bullied and called things like 'tranny'. They make friends with two other teens, Bec and Solo. Riley starts an anonymous blog about being genderfluid and eventually gets outed. Bec introduces Riley to a trans adult who eventually invites them to speak at a trans panel. 

One aspect of the text which grabbed me was the way that Riley kept going and was strong (not the whole time, they are human) throughout panic attacks/anxiety, slurs, and everyday life as a genderfluid person. 

Another aspect of the text which grabbed me was character development. I liked how the author made them complex and flawed like real people. 

After I finished reading this book, I was even more horrified about the things people do to LGBTQ+ people. I have a better understanding of how they feel (but not completely because I can't understand if I do not experience it). 

I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in LGBTQ+ stories because it is a sad but great story. 


Garvin, J. (2016). Symptoms of Being Human

Book review written by Charlotte Bull (Year 10, 2022)