Review: Static

StaticStatic by L.A. Witt

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Heartbreaking violation perpetrated by family members will always catch my attention.  Ms. Witt is an author I can always depend on for a great read.  Static may be a revision for her, but it is new to me and breaks my heart.  It is a bit embarrassing to cry whilst reading this book on the airplane.  This book moved me.  If you haven't read it yet, buy the book and read it now.

Ms. Witt takes a concept and totally runs with it.  The way she presents an idea and makes it relatable is truly an art form.  Damon is a man who loves his very moody girlfriend, Alex.  Worried about Alex, he goes over to her home only to find a man there instead.  Surprise, it's his girlfriend, now a boyfriend.  Ms. Witt creates a fascination supposition.  What happens if the person you love is no longer the physically sexual gender you started out with?  What happens if she becomes a he?  What happens if you are not bisexual?

Rather than take the standard animal shifter, Ms. Witt comes up with a gender bender shifter.  It's fabulous how she shows how love shouldn't be just based on physical and societal dictation.  Instead, love a person by who they are.  This speaks to me so loudly because I thought I was the only one who felt this way.  Now, I'm no Shifter although I'd love to be one or be involved in one.  This is because I always felt the categorizations and labels of sexuality to be too limiting.  In Static, the reader sees the difficulties from both Damon and  Alex's point of view.  It's not easy.  Damon wrestles with how to reconcile loving the person, not the body.  Whilst this is an extreme, it's interesting to see how he copes and the questions he asks himself.  Alex goes from choosing his identity to forced conformity which nearly literally kills him.  This is a deeper philosophical question Ms. Witt poses.

Does a family member have the right to impose their views upon a person for their "safety".  How are people who are outside of the normal treated?  Why are they treated in this manner?  How do those who are considered deviant discriminated against both socially and financially?  All of these points Ms. Witt brings up shows how thorough she thought this story out.  On the surface it comes across as something simple.  When a reader digs deeper, there are so many discussion points which is fabulous.  A book which makes a person think and perhaps change their viewpoint is an excellent book.

From a character standpoint, I confess I didn't really like Alex.  Ms. Witt tends to create these characters which are realistic and not the best role models.  Alex is an alcoholic drama queen at times.  He flies off the handle and sometimes needs to be bitch-slapped to gain some sanity.  Ms. Witt carefully built Alex's persona based on his experiences.  While it is completely understandable why Alex behaves the way he does, it is unappealing to me because of my personal preferences.  Alex is a victim.  He's always a victim, not a survivor.  This is okay because there are people around him who are survivors and balance Alex's weakness.  Damon is truly the amazing one in this story.  His world is flipped upside down and he still sticks through with Alex.  If this isn't love, I don't know what is. 

We did, so hush. We passed the hat around, and . . .” She paused. “Well, we got a little carried away.”

I swallowed. “Carried away?”

“Oh, just a little. We only expected it to go on here in the club, but then a bunch of people spread the word to their churches, their offices, all over the place. Someone did a website, and I think someone even auctioned their underthings on eBay. Oh, and you should have seen the carwash.” (loc. 2175-2178)

The scene which breaks me down in tears is when all the inhumane injustices are righted by a gift which is more than monetary.  This one act of kindness from many people shows how Ms. Witt still is an optimist who believes in hope and people doing the right thing.  It's beautiful and a powerful message.  This story's message is more than just about love from a lover.  It's about acceptance and friendship.  Recommend this gender bending book to everyone.

*provided by NetGalley

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I don't like crying while reading (or watching tv or movies). It makes my eyes puffy, my nose red and gives me a headache. :P
Yeah, me too. I read it under covers so no one can see.

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