Arin Andrews was born in the body of a girl. He struggled with his gender even before he knew what the word transgender meant. For his entire childhood, he was very masculine, which was something his mother wanted to change by putting him in beauty pageants and forcing him into dresses and makeup. When he came out as transgender, his mother was less than pleased. Some Assembly Required is a true autobiography of Arin Andrews and his struggle of coming out as a boy to his family, who want him to be something he is not.
I really enjoyed this book because of the realism in it. Not everyone is super popular with loads of friends, and some people do not have the happiness that others seem to possess. Arin was in a very bad place emotionally for a long time in the novel because, at first, people did not accept that being Emerald Andrews was not who he was. This is relatable to many people in our world whether they are not accepted for being part of the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) community or just unaccepted in general. I also think it presents the idea that people should live life for themselves and not through someone else’s eyes. Arin’s mother wanted him to be the perfect little daughter who dressed up and attended dance classes, but that made Arin unhappy because that was not him. He did those things, at first, for his mother, but after awhile, Arin stopped. He did not want his entire life to be what his mom had planned out for him. Finally he came out as transgender and while at first his mother did not understand, she grew to support him through his transition.
The purpose for Arin’s novel is to educate people on what it is to be transgender and that it is really not a bad thing for those who are. It can help people understand the world better if they know someone who is going under gender reassignment or even just to gain another point of view.
I recommend this novel for anyone willing to see another perspective because Arin’s story really immerses the reader into his life and the way he sees the world. The novel really shows the reader what it is like for lots of transgender kids out there and shows the ups and downs of his whole journey starting when he was very young. This true story captivates people and brings them into a new light about many different things that they could apply to their own life, even if they are not transgender.