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Download Symptoms of Being Human Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Symptoms of Being Human, by Jeff Garvin Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jeff Garvin Narrator: Tom Phela Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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“The first thing you’re going to want to know about me is: Am I a boy, or am I a girl?”

Riley Cavanaugh is many things: Punk rock. Snarky. Rebellious. And gender fluid. Some days Riley identifies as a boy, and others as a girl. The thing is, Riley isn’t exactly out yet. And between starting a new school and having a congressman father running for reelection in uber-conservative Orange County, the pressure—media and otherwise—is building up in Riley’s so-called “normal” life.

On the advice of a therapist, Riley starts an anonymous blog to vent those pent-up feelings and tell the truth of what it’s REALLY like to be a gender fluid teenager. But just as Riley’s starting to settle in at school—even developing feelings for a mysterious outcast—the blog goes viral, and an unnamed commenter discovers Riley’s real identity, threatening exposure. Riley must make a choice: walk away from what the blog has created—a lifeline, new friends, a cause to believe in—or stand up, come out, and risk everything.

From debut author Jeff Garvin comes a powerful and uplifting portrait of a modern teen struggling with high school, relationships, and what it means to be a person.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Readers never learn Riley’s birth-assigned gender, but there’s no question that Riley is a smart, funny, sharp-eyed force. Debut author Garvin clearly wants to teach his readers about gender and gender fluidity, but the knowledge he imparts buoys this rewarding story, never weighing it down.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “One of the first YA books to deal with the complex issue of gender fluidity…Riley’s emotional life and personal growth shed welcome light on a hitherto obscure subject.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Garvin is skilled at truly encapsulating the feeling of being completely without allies in high school. The isolation is palpable in every scene…Very few YA titles have featured protagonists like Riley, who don’t fit into the black and white of the gender binary. Verdict: Recommended for any library that serves a teen population.”

    School Library Journal

  • “Riley’s family relationships and growing friendships…are vibrantly imagined, and the panic attacks are well-illustrated. Overall, a welcome mirror for gender-fluid teens and a helpful introduction for others.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “An important introduction for readers who know little about gender fluidity and a welcome nod to those who may be experiencing similar feelings.”

    Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

  • “Narrator Tom Phelan deftly conveys all the emotion and angst in Riley’s journey…Phelan’s ability to deliver an authentic voice for a teen who is exploring non-binary gender identity while coping with the fear of being outed lends truth to this powerful story of self-discovery.”


  • “With a main character who truly deserves to be called unique, combined with heartbreak and triumphs that are universal, this unforgettable book made me laugh and also cry.”

    Lissa Price, internationally bestselling author of Starters

  • “Riley is a character who’s deeply needed in young adult fiction, and this book is a beautiful new addition to the queer YA canon.”

    Robin Talley, author of Lies We Tell Ourselves

  • “Riley Cavanaugh is a sharp, funny, powerful voice for those who haven’t quite found theirs yet. Both highly entertaining and highly necessary, Symptoms is the kind of book that makes you a better human for having read it.”

    Dahlia Adler, author of Last Will and Testament

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