Molly Reviews: Shifting Tides by Caitlin Ricci and A.M. Burns

Angela always knew there was something different about herself. When she realizes she’s really Adam, his whole life changes in ways he never expected.

Adam comes out to his family during a vacation to Assateague Island. While he’s trying to explain to his parents that he’s not Angela anymore, they leave him there with the rest of his family. His aunt and uncle take him in to live with them and his cousin, Seth.

Over the course of that summer, he also begins a relationship with his cousin’s best friend, Blaine, a boy he’s had a crush on for years. With the support of his extended family and Blaine, Adam embarks on the drastic changes he must undergo to be the person he always felt he was inside.

Where To Buy:
Finch Books

This was a lovely story for teens. I really liked how the focus was on the younger end of YA and not closer to NA. Younger teens need more books, especially on the topic of discovering you’re trans and what happens afterwards. This was a really good book and I hope it can reach the teens that need it.
Adam’s backstory is fairly well developed. I would have liked a little more of his emotions from discovering he was no longer Angela to be on page. The “aha” moment was really well done on page but most of the time between that moment and coming out is skipped. Some of that internal struggle for acceptance along with the dichotomy between his inward pronoun/name use and the use of a different pronoun/name before he came out would have been beneficial to be on page. How does he react when a friend or family member calls him “Angela” or “she” after he’s accepted himself but not ready to tell anyone yet? Getting to see those emotions would have made the story more powerful and showed how Adam overcame those obstacles.
I liked how this was more realistic in how people reacted to Adam coming out trans. Adam deals with his parents leaving him and family members having varying degrees of reactions. Things aren’t all hearts and roses for Adam. Though there is a definite theme of things getting better and Adam finding a new normal despite the fallout in the beginning. I loved seeing Adam’s reactions to being able to be his true self. From haircuts to clothes to meeting his boyfriend’s gran. The way he reacted was wonderful to see. A few of them were so well written I was getting choked up myself.
I loved how supportive Blaine is and how he helps Adam when he needs it the most. I also like how they start dating and are totally comfortable with each other. Blaine brings an interesting perspective for Adam to consider based on Blaine’s experiences. His gran though is a total trip. She’s fun and is the kind of person every teen needs in their life. Seth had a heart of gold. He may have been clueless with the ladies, but he was supportive when it mattered. Plus he was willing to learn to treat those around him better and truly wanted to be seen as a caring person. Seth’s parents are the kind of people I wish all adults would be like. The way they fought for Adam and ensured he was safe and secure first and foremost was beautiful.
My biggest issue with the story is that much of the negative aspects of Adam’s life after coming out were glossed over. You can have a book that deals with a teen coming out and a positive ending while still showing the bad side of things. There wasn’t much of the negative on page. There were two instances where Adam dealt with harsh reactions and negative emotions. But they went by quickly and were almost added as an afterthought to get to the happier parts. There needs to be both the good and bad on page. Life will always have both. But definitely keep the good to show that things get better and there can be hope despite the bad.

About The Authors:
Caitlin Ricci
Caitlin was fortunate growing up to be surrounded by family and teachers that encouraged her love of reading. She has always been a voracious reader and that love of the written word easily morphed into a passion for writing. If she isn’t writing, she can usually be found studying as she works toward her counseling degree. She comes from a military family and the men and women of the armed forces are close to her heart.

She also enjoys gardening and horseback riding in the Colorado Rockies where she calls home with her wonderful fiance, their dog and Blue Tongue Skink. Her belief that there is no one true path to happily ever after runs deeply through all of her stories.

A.M. Burns
A.M. Burns lives in the Colorado Rockies with his partner, several dogs, cats, horses, and birds. When he’s not writing, he’s often fixing fences, splitting wood, hiking in the mountains, or flying his hawks. He’s enjoyed writing since he was in high school, but it wasn’t until the past few years that’s he’s begun truly honing his craft. He is the president of the Colorado Springs Fiction Writers Group. Having lived both in Colorado and Texas, rugged frontier types and independent attitudes often show up in his work.

Author Contact:
Caitlin Ricci

A.M. Burns


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