REVIEW: Sasha Masha by Agnes Borinsky

The Official Description: Transgender author Agnes Borinsky deftly explores gender identity and queer romance in this heart-wrenchingly honest debut novel.

Alex feels like he is in the wrong body. His skin feels strange against his bones. And then comes Tracy, who thinks he’s adorably awkward, who wants to kiss him, who makes him feel like a Real Boy. But it is not quite enough. Something is missing.

As Alex grapples with his identity, he finds himself trying on dresses and swiping on lipstick in the quiet of his bedroom. He meets Andre, a gay boy who is beautiful and unafraid to be who he is. Slowly, Alex begins to realize: maybe his name isn’t Alex at all. Maybe it’s Sasha Masha.

Just the facts: YA, short novel, teen grapples with sexual/gender identify

The mash of turmoil, hurt and excitement that comes along with self-discovery is beautifully depicted in this book.- Kinzie Things

My thoughts bit: Sasha Masha is a contemporary YA novel of self-discovery. Penned by own voices author – Agnes Borinksy – this book will be published on November 10th, 2020 by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. I received an ARC copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Alex’s best friend, Mabel has moved away at the beginning of this story and it’s a chance for Alex to begin anew. New relationships bring out different aspects of Alex’s identity and Alex comes to realize he is also Sasha Masha. Sasha Masha wears beautiful dresses, feels pretty, feels right in her skin, smooths lipstick on her lips, and twirls on the dance floor.

With the loving and adorable support of his best friend, Mabel, and fearless new friend, Andre – it’s time for Alex to wonder more about his feelings, what he wants, how he wants to be. I feel as though books like this one is more important now than ever before. We live in a world that often has mixed messages about gender identity and sexual orientation. Stories like this one give young people a place to grow and explore as they question who they are.

This story is a beautiful tale about figuring out who you are. We all take different paths to become ourselves and this novel is a very important depiction of the fluttering beginnings of that journey. Sometimes it may be an inkling, a hint, or a bold choice… but it can all be life-changing and emotional.

I would happily recommend this book to any young person and I’d love to see it as an addition to my local library system.

Links: Goodreads

I received an ARC of Sasha Masha by Agnes Borinsky from Farrar, Straus and Giroux via Edelweiss in exchange for an unbiased review.

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