Download Symptoms of Being Human Audiobook

Symptoms of Being Human Audiobook, by Jeff Garvin Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Jeff Garvin Narrator: Tom Phelan Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2016 ISBN: 9780062447258
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A sharply honest and moving debut perfect for fans of The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Ask the Passengers.

Riley Cavanaugh is many things: Punk rock. Snarky. Rebellious. And gender fluid. Some days Riley identifies as a boy, and others as a girl. But Riley isn't exactly out yet. And between starting a new school and having a congressman father running for reelection in über-conservative Orange County, the pressure—media and otherwise—is building up in Riley's 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. And 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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About the Author

Jeff Garvin grew up in Orange County, California, the son of a banker and a magician. He started acting in high school, and enjoyed a fifteen-year career including guest-starring roles in network television series ranging from The Wonder Years to Roseanne to Caroline and the City, as well as several independent features. While studying at Chapman University, Jeff won awards for classical guitar and visual storytelling before graduating with a BFA in film. As the front man of his rock band, 7k, Garvin released three albums and toured the United States. When the band dissolved in 2011, Jeff, who had always written short stories and lyrics, found his passion in full-length fiction. Jeff lives in Southern California with his music teacher wife, their menagerie, and a respectable collection of books and guitars.

About the Narrator

Tom Phelan, voice artist and audiobook narrator, is the breakout young actor on ABC’s The Fosters who, at seventeen, was one of the first transgender teens on prime-time television and an instant role model for many other trans teens. He manages a Tumblr account on which people can ask questions and look for support regarding their own questions of sexual identity.