My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I read Static last summer on a plane to Vegas. I was almost apprehensive to read it, because I loved the idea of it and was afraid it wouldn’t live up to expectations. But it really meant a lot to me on a personal level and by the end, I found myself in the awkward position of being teary-eyed on a plane, the worst of all places to cry.
I’ll admit that I’m not usually a shifter fan. The idea of people turning into animals does nothing for me. But shifting between genders at will? It’s a great premise, and I love the thought of it. Yes, there’s angst in this story, but there needs to be. The author doesn’t get judgmental or preachy about the fact that Damon needs time to adjust, that he doesn’t understand everything right off the bat, but builds up to understanding that Alex is simply Alex, no matter what. In a world where we’re often quick to paint people as phobic, I was grateful to see some patience extended to a cis person whose heart was in the right place but just needed time to process the changes in his life and relationship, and to come to terms with his feelings on same-sex attraction. Bonus points for the fact that sex and love didn’t necessarily gel at first, and again, Damon wasn’t portrayed as a horrible human being for having doubts as to whether he could be attracted to Alex’s male form. These are real issues that come up in trans* relationships but often get smoothed over in fiction far too quickly so that nobody feels uncomfortable. I was glad to see them realistically addressed here, and the characters allowed to feel negative, uncomfortable, and unhappy at times.
Most of all, I was glad to see real love. The unselfish love of one person for another, wishing for their genuine happiness more than anything. You wouldn’t think that would be lacking in the romance genre, but often in the books I read, I find the love story unfulfilling and taking a back seat to sex. It was good to leave a couple knowing that they were going to be OK, because they loved one another unconditionally.
Oh, and the new cover on this edition is absolutely sublime. By far one of my favorite covers in the entire LGBT romance genre.
I adored this book. I especially recommend it to anyone looking to read a trans* book but who might feel a bit nervous or uncomfortable about it. It’s a good starting point for some of the issues trans/genderqueer people face in real life, and the book is framed in a way to make it welcoming for cis romance readers.