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Reviewed by Jean Hall for Readers' Favorite
For the reader, Alan's journey to become Alana begins in her therapist's office. I felt as though I was walking in Alana's high heels as she tentatively but sexily made her way into the counseling session. Most of her story, from childhood to middle age, is told as though she is speaking to counselor Marcie. Alan is born in a boy's body but he identifies himself as a girl. We are touched by the question, "why did I feel so good dressed in mom's clothes?" Alan plays a hard game of cops and robbers and he drives Bubba's car without being old enough for a license. He rides horses and he goes out drinking with friends. He generally enjoys his life in Kentucky but he holds many of his feelings inside. Eventually the rough masculine beard is shaved and hormone medicine promotes softer, feminine characteristics. Alana finds love and he has a son. Alan/Alana is transgender and she learns to deal with being different.
Alana Nicole Sholar's "Hung in the Middle," explores her relationship with family members, friends and herself. Ultimately, I felt as though I could accept her because she learned to accept herself. The chapters of her story are nicely labeled with a glimpse of what is to come. The story may provide a helpful guide for others in a similar situation. There is some bawdiness, cussing and sexual situations which make the author's voice ring true. Some of the therapist's comments seem to be what the author wishes society would think of her appearance, feelings and situation. The prose and dialogue flow smoothly and the story is thoughtfully told.