A moving YA debut about a trans boy finding his voice—and himself.
BETWEEN PERFECT AND REAL
by Ray Stoeve
Abrams, April 2021
Dean Foster knows he’s a trans guy. He’s watched enough YouTube videos and done enough questioning to be sure. But everyone at his high school thinks he’s a lesbian—including his girlfriend Zoe, and his theater director, who just cast him as a “nontraditional” Romeo. He wonders if maybe it would be easier to wait until college to come out. But as he plays Romeo every day in rehearsals, Dean realizes he wants everyone to see him as he really is now––not just on the stage, but everywhere in his life. Dean knows what he needs to do. Can playing a role help Dean be his true self?
Ray Stoeve is a writer. They received a 2016-2017 Made at Hugo House Fellowship for their young adult fiction and created the YA/MG Trans and Nonbinary Voices Masterlist, a database that tracks all books in those age categories written by trans authors about trans characters. They are a contributor to Take The Mic: Fictional Stories of Everyday Resistance. BETWEEN PERFECT AND REAL is their debut novel. When they’re not writing, they can be found gardening, making art in other mediums, or hiking their beloved Pacific Northwest.