Friday, February 14, 2014

February's Book of the Month: O.E.M; an ftm/mtf Romance by Katie Leone

By Sabrina Samone, TMP

Well it's that time of  year again folks, Valentine's day. So happy Valentine's day to all my Trans sisters and brothers. For many people at different times of our lives, Valentines day is one of those holidays you just wish you could ignore and the 15th would hurry and come. Usually that was me nearly every year of my life, but this year is different due to the recent engagement of my true soul mate. With that in mind, I felt the cupid arrow and did something I've never done. I read a romance novel. Recently on the TMP Facebook page, I came across a post about a book highlighting the beauty of an ftm/mtf romance. This peeked my curiosity and for 3.99 on Amazon I just had to check it out.

Katie Leone is a well known author of Trans related novels and though I've only read this one, I'm determined to see what other adventures her characters are up too.

In OEM, there are very few characters and through the first few chapters this seemed a blessing. The main characters are Amy and John.  Amy, a female mechanic with a very up in your face approach to life  who operates out of the towns most respected garage with her less than tactful red neck brother Timmy. John, is a  soft spoken romance novelist. Somewhat eccentric in town given the fact he becomes temporarily his characters. He once dated Amy. We're told through the story that the relationship did not work. John felt that Amy challenged his manhood and Amy thought John was not much of a man to begin with. The story starts with this piece of information as we watch a close friendship become more.

After John's manhood is thrown into question by Amy's brother Timmy and Amy's femininity by John. The two place a bet. Amy bets she is more of a man than John and John more of a woman that Amy. The story gets a little confusing at this point...

At first it appears the author must be appealing to an uneducated audience or puts too much effort in names and pronouns. John gradually becomes Jasmine,but even after we as the reader understand this we are constantly  reminded of John and that Jasmine is him. The same goes for Amy who gradually becomes Nick. For several chapters it nearly feels like four characters but then the genius of the author is revealed.

Through out the story we watch both Amy/Nick and John/Jasmine go through the changes of trying to win the bet, that one is better at being the opposite sex than the other. What happens is the realization that it's more than a bet and their true identities are revealed. It is during the planned date night, the night the bet should have been won, that each character sees the other in their true identity and from that moment on the author chooses to use each of their preferred names.

Katie Leone, I think did a great job, not only writing a sweet, romantic comedy but in a way educated a potential uneducated reader about when is the time to use preferred names and pronouns. Whether this was planned or not, it stood out as a valuable teaching tool as well as a romantic novel. Even at this point in the story both characters also chose to respect each others new identify.

Well what happens to Nick and Jasmine? I guess it would be why they call them romance novels. A beautiful story about two people transforming their lives only to find that the person they loved before is still there to be loved by them.

The biggest surprise comes from the author at the end, that gives not one ending; for the more conservative reader, but the type of ending many of us expects from a hot steamy romance novel.

Without a doubt OEM; an ftm/mtf Romance, is a must read for this Valentines Day regardless of gender. It's proof that love transcends all things.

Click to purchase OEM: an ftm/mtf romance on Amazon

                                  RELATED TOPICS ON TRANSMUSEPLANET

September book of the month; Trans Love: Radical Sex, Love & Relationships beyond the Gender Binary

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