What to read after... Dread Wood 28/02/24
What We Left Behind
Talley's second YA novel is a lengthy in-depth examination of two US university students' changing relationship: their struggle to find their true gender identity, and how that may affect their love for each other.
Toni and Gretchen have been together for years, but their move from high school to different universities separates them both physically and emotionally. Toni identifies as genderqueer - but as they meet other LBGT students, they realise that they may eventually move further away from their birth gender. Gretchen's dilemma is more related to her sense of bewilderment as Toni moves closer to Tony, and their sexual boundary shifts.
This highly charged Bildungsroman offers thoughtful, reassuring material for YAs who find themselves questioning their own gender.