Somebody Told Me
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About the Author
Siegert pulls no punches, tackling issues such as abuse of power, and acceptance, head-on in this important page-turning novel.--Helene Dunbar, author of We Are Lost and Found-- "Other Print"
Poignant, honest, controversial yet not any less important and timely--Somebody Told Me will stay with you long after you finish the final page and fuel a conversation that needs to be had.--Alice Reeds, author of Echoes
Somebody Told Me is the heart-wrenching and hopeful look at faith, gender, and sexuality I've been waiting for. It walks a careful balance of funny and thought-provoking, a testament to Siegert's skill. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to any reader wanting a compelling and captivating read, or any teenager dealing with rejection, upheaval, and finding their voice in the world.--Kate Brauning, author of How We Fall-- "Other Print"
Mia Siegert has crafted another magnificent tale of heartache and growth--a story unafraid to confront sensitive issues of gender, sexuality, and religion with compassion and courage. I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone.--Chris Kluwe, former NFL player and author of Otaku-- "Other Print"
Mia Siegert is an explosive talent in YA literature, with a writing style both raw and unflinching. Siegert's bold voice is impossible to forget.--Laurie Elizabeth Flynn, author of Firsts, Last Girl Lied To, and All Eyes On Her
When they start to feel unsafe after an assault, bigender teen Alexis/Aleks makes the difficult decision to go stay with their uncle, a Catholic priest, for the summer. Once there, Alexis/Aleks plans to cut off all ties to their former cosplay communities and to be as invisible as possible. The rectory's spare room shares a vent with the church confessional, and Alexis/Aleks keeps overhearing confessions. After listening to a particularly heartbreaking one, they decide to use their newfound invisibility to secretly help parishioners, growing in confidence along the way. But after hearing their uncle absolve another priest for a heinous criminal act, Alexis/Aleks cannot stay invisible any longer. Siegert's book maintains interest throughout with a fast-paced mystery, a relatable main character, and compassionate explorations of several tough topics. The deep, thorny issues of religion, sexual assault, and guilt are covered unflinchingly and with compassion. Relatably imperfect Alexis/Aleks must overcome their own assumptions and anxiety in order to help an innocent victim, and makes mistakes with tragic consequences along the way. Readers are also forced to face their own assumptions throughout the unexpected narrative. It seems especially unlikely at first that a queer teen would choose to stay with conservative family members, especially clergy, but Siegert writes Alexis/Aleks so well that their decision makes complete sense. A diverse and nuanced cast of secondary characters proves that friends and enemies can be found anywhere, and that those who help or hurt us are not always the ones we expect. VERDICT Highly recommended, especially where #OwnVoices books are in demand.--School Library Journal-- "Journal"
What would you do if you overheard a priest admitting to sexual abuse? This is the question facing 17-year-old bigender teen Aleks/Alexis after they hear a confession through an air vent. In the aftermath of a sexual assault during an anime convention, Aleks/Alexis moves in with their aunt and uncle to temporarily escape the trauma. But when they discover the air-vent conduit to the confessional, they try to play guardian angel, solving problems for others through ingenuity and cunning, at least until the priest's confession. In this novel, Siegert (Jerkbait, 2016) confronts a history of abuse without disparaging all Catholics. In fact, Aleks/Alexis befriends Sister Bernadette, a sarcastic and open-minded nun, and Dima, a candidate for the priesthood who also loves anime. Although some of Aleks/Alexis' internal monologue reflects a strong anti-religious leaning--which can read as overly didactic at times--Siegert's blunt and honest prose brings together a compelling narrative layered with intersections of gender, sexuality, and spirituality, which will be sure to provide teen audiences with much food for thought.--Booklist-- "Journal"