Pageboy: A Memoir
Author: Elliot Page
Narrator: Elliot Page
Published: June 6, 2023
Audiobook: 8 hours 24 minutes
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: June 6-9, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars
Pageboy is a groundbreaking coming-of-age memoir from the Academy Award-nominated actor Elliot Page. A generation-defining actor and one of the most famous trans advocates of our time, Elliot will now be known as an uncommon literary talent, as he shares never-before-heard details and intimate interrogations on gender, love, mental health, relationships, and Hollywood.
Memoirs are a hard thing to rate and review. It is someone’s life and they are telling their story in their way. And with Pageboy Elliot Page tells his story. I just didn’t really feel I learned much listening to him actually tell his story. And he does actually tell his story to the listener as he is the narrator for the audiobook.
The memoir is nonlinear so we are going back and forth through time throughout. It was at times a bit confusing and didn’t really seem to go where it was meaning to. Page does show how child actors are treated in Hollywood and it really isn’t something that kids should go through. Page even had a stalker at a young age. When he talked about that it was scary to hear, as it was early in the internet days where this stalker came from. And the things this stalker said to a young person are just scary!
Most of the memoir dealt with Page being a closeted lesbian to the public, but those in Hollywood knew. Page came out in 2014 as a lesbian with a speech that Ellen at the time made. Page does a lot of ‘kissing and telling’ with intimate details with many partners but there are two actresses that he names. I would assume he got permission to tell those tales/names. One relationship was mentioned more in depth. It also seems like Page may love the idea of being in love with all the details he shares over all the many ‘relationships’ he had.
Page makes it clear early on in life he knew that he was not a girl but a boy and dressing in ‘girl clothes’ didn’t work for him. That even went into acting jobs in Hollywood that he had. Page knew he was different from others when he was younger. Several times he asks others if they think he is trans when he was still Ellen. Maybe he was looking for support and acceptance from others.
We also see the bigotry and more that Page experienced before and after he was out as Ellen and a lesbian. We see the anger that Page had with his reactions to those which could make those situations worse.
There are some stories that Page starts that really don’t get finished and the last part of the memoir dealt with his top surgery. I was wanting to hear more of his transformation process, but it was just skimmed over. It just seemed like he was telling a lot of different stories that he may or may not have finished. He didn’t really seem to know where he was going with this memoir.
I do applaud Page for telling his story in the way he wanted even if it was not really for me. But I am also not the targeted demographic for this memoir being a heterosexual CIS female. I am sure there are those who are closer to the target demographic that will fully enjoy the memoir. Page was brave by coming out not once, but twice in his still young life and I hope he continues to be an example to others and increase awareness in the LGBTQ community.
This cover is the Barnes and Noble Special Edition which I own!
The First to Die at the End
Series: Death-Cast prequel
Author: Adam Silvera
Published: October 4, 2022
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: January 2-16, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
In this prequel to #1 New York Times bestselling phenomenon They Both Die at the End, two new strangers spend a life-changing day together after Death-Cast first makes their fateful calls.
It’s the night before Death-Cast goes live, and there’s one question on everyone’s mind: Can Death-Cast actually predict when someone will die, or is it just an elaborate hoax?
Orion Pagan has waited years for someone to tell him that he’s going to die. He has a serious heart condition, and he signed up for Death-Cast so he could know what’s coming.
Valentino Prince is restarting his life in New York. He has a long and promising future ahead and he only registered for Death-Cast after his twin sister nearly died in a car accident.
Orion and Valentino cross paths in Times Square and immediately feel a deep connection. But when the first round of End Day calls goes out, their lives are changed forever—one of them receives a call, and the other doesn’t. Though neither boy is certain how the day will end, they know they want to spend it together…even if that means their goodbye will be heartbreaking.
Is it wrong to say I love this Death-Cast world that Adam Silvera has created??? It is more of the story that he gives the reader with these couples and the lesson to just live your life with the time that you have. I just adored They Both Die at the End, and when I found out a prequel was coming out that shows the first night of Death-Cast, I was ready to go for another heartbreaking ride: This time with Valentino and Orion! This time one boy receives THE call and the other does not. I did have all the feelings I was supposed to have while reading They Both Die, but did not cry reading it, but Silvera got me with The First to Die! Oh man!
First is a long novel over 500 pages, and I never lost interest. You know where it is going to go, but these novels are about the journey the characters go on. We have many POVs throughout this novel which includes the creator of Death-Cast, Joaquin Rosa. Through him we get to see what that first night at Death-Cast is like with its ups and downs. We get to see inside Death-Cast with some hints as to how it actually works. We see how Death-Cast already affects everyone, even if they are not subscribed to the app. It is a different world with Death-Cast live.
We also get cameos and more of young Rufus and Mateo which I really enjoyed. You see it in a different way knowing what their ultimate ending will become in just a few years. Silvera did a great job taking us back into the past of 2010. For a city as huge as New York City is, to see how all the pov’s are connected show how small this world can be. The romance between Orion and Valentino is lovely and also heartbreaking. I can’t go into the ending because of spoilers, but it really pulled at the heartstrings of this reader.
Though The First to Die at the End is the prequel to They Both Die at the End, you should read They Both Die first. It gives you a different perspective reading The First to Die with several characters knowing where they end up.
Silvera plans to write more stories in this world, and I will be along for the ride. I don’t know if we will ever find out how Death-Cast works and can tell you who is going to die. I read somewhere that there are only two people other than Silvera that know the secret to Death-Cast, so I think it will always be a mystery to the reader.
If you haven’t read these books, you need to![Top]
Darius the Great is Not Okay
Series: Darius the Great #1
Author: Adib Khorram
Published: August 28, 2018
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
Darius doesn’t think he’ll ever be enough, in America or in Iran.
Darius Kellner speaks better Klingon than Farsi, and he knows more about Hobbit social cues than Persian ones. He’s about to take his first-ever trip to Iran, and it’s pretty overwhelming—especially when he’s also dealing with clinical depression, a disapproving dad, and a chronically anemic social life. In Iran, he gets to know his ailing but still formidable grandfather, his loving grandmother, and the rest of his mom’s family for the first time. And he meets Sohrab, the boy next door who changes everything.
Sohrab makes sure people speak English so Darius can understand what’s going on. He gets Darius an Iranian National Football Team jersey that makes him feel like a True Persian for the first time. And he understands that sometimes, best friends don’t have to talk. Darius has never had a true friend before, but now he’s spending his days with Sohrab playing soccer, eating rosewater ice cream, and sitting together for hours in their special place, a rooftop overlooking the Yazdi skyline.
Sohrab calls him Darioush—the original Persian version of his name—and Darius has never felt more like himself than he does now that he’s Darioush to Sohrab. When it’s time to go home to America, he’ll have to find a way to be Darioush on his own.
This is a great story! To me, it’s the perfect coming of age story. There may be some teenage angst, but it doesn’t feel whiny. I’m no teenager anymore but I definitely related to Darius. Obviously, because we’re two different genders, there are some things that I’ll never really get. I mean, I never had to worry about circumcision the way the boys do. But the rest of it, not fitting in, loving things that aren’t cool, feeling like no one cares; I’ve been there! And bring in Star Trek and LOTR, I think Darius could be a kindred spirit. I also found his fascination with tea to be inspiring. I may not really like tea, but I can appreciate the little nuances. I think the relationship between Darius and Sohrab was really sweet. Khorram didn’t overdo it with the “everything has to be a woke lecture” thing and just let them be friends in a healthy and realistic way. By the time I got to the end, I was misty! Ok fine I was almost ugly crying but thankfully I didn’t full on ugly cry! I think this would be a really good one for those young nerds who haven’t figured out that fitting in isn’t all it’s cracked up to be yet. I definitely recommend it!