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Reviewed by Maria Victoria Beltran for Readers' Favorite
Born This Way by Tammy Ferebee is a heart-wrenching novella about a boy that's not allowed to be who he really is. The son of a pastor in a religious southern American small town, Joseph realized that he was attracted to people of the same sex. This is not a choice that is available to him and he always knew that it was taboo in his family and community. Desperate for acceptance and support, he finds solace on the internet in the person of Bruce, but things do not turn out the way he had always dreamed they would.
Tammy Ferebee's Born This Way is a unique coming of age story that focuses on a highly relevant social issue. Narrated in the first person voice, it is emotionally gripping to the point that it could even feel physically exhausting for sensitive readers. And this is what makes the story unforgettable and one of a kind. What is more disturbing is that Joseph's painful struggles are not that unique really. These are repeated countless times in more ways than one in thousands of communities all over the world.
Tammy Ferebee's commentary on an all-pervasive social issue definitely touches a sensitive nerve and so it should. Melancholic but straight to the point, we follow Joseph's story and it is dark and saddening but through it all, there is always a hint of some kind of hope. Hope that there are friends around you that will accept you, warts and all, and for this acceptance, life is worth living. Born this Way is a gripping short story that will stay in readers' hearts forever.