This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel


*****4.5 STARS*****

Have you ever read a book that changes your outlook on life? Well, I have a time or two.

More importantly for this review, This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel, changed a piece of me that I never knew needed growth.

I’m not going to go into details or specifics of this book, but I will tell you how it affected me. Often times great books don’t need their details displayed. Instead they need your emotions to bleed into life.

I’m going to keep this review pretty, no need for my mess!

First, a quick word from the author. . .

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This is how a family keeps a secret…and how that secret ends up keeping them.

This is how a family lives happily ever after…until happily ever after becomes complicated.

This is how children change…and then change the world.

This is Claude. He’s five years old, the youngest of five brothers, and loves peanut butter sandwiches. He also loves wearing a dress, and dreams of being a princess.

When he grows up, Claude says, he wants to be a girl.

Rosie and Penn want Claude to be whoever Claude wants to be. They’re just not sure they’re ready to share that with the world. Soon the entire family is keeping Claude’s secret. Until one day it explodes.

This Is How It Always Is is a novel about revelations, transformations, fairy tales, and family. And it’s about the ways this is how it always is: Change is always hard and miraculous and hard again, parenting is always a leap into the unknown with crossed fingers and full hearts, children grow but not always according to plan. And families with secrets don’t get to keep them forever.


I could have sworn I was a grown-up.

Maybe, I’ve only been pretending to be one.

Who the fuck knows.

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What I do know is that I have let my life pass me by without truly taking into consideration what it’s like to live in a foreign body. I have failed to see the pain transgenders and their families endure.

It’s kind of like when you have that one white person who swears their not racist because they have one black friend yet they talk mad shit about people of color. Okay, it’s not that bad but you get my drift.

I don’t know many transgender people but I do know and hang out with many people of the LGBTQAI community. I’m not 100% sure when the A&I were added but I’ll rock with it none the less.

As you gather from the synopsis, Rosie and Penn, are the parents of male anatomy child, Claude, feels as though he was born in the wrong body. Claude feels like a girl in every way possible. Claude is lucky enough to have two remarkable parents who will do anything and everything to ensure they embrace Claude as Poppy – which is not an easy task.

I am giving This Is How It Always such a high rating because I gained a brand new appreciation for transgender people.

I learned that transgenders hurt on a level many do not understand. I always knew people were born gay or straight, but this book taught me that’s it’s deeper than that. Transgenders are born in the wrong body and often times they suffer so quietly that they are willing to take their own lives. I also learned that this is an important conversation that parents need to have with their children. It is up to us as a society to educate ourselves on how our ignorance and silence is just as harmful as bigotry.

I know I’m all young, sexy, and beautiful but believe it or not, I have a thirteen year old son and a 10 year old daughter. I have never discussed transgenders with either of them. We’ve talked about what gay, lesbian, and bisexual is but nothing beyond that. After reading this book I knew I had an obligation as a parent to bring the topic up.

I asked my daughter how she would feel if she had a transgender friend and here was her answer…..

Please don’t mind the shirt. She was missing her daddy who’s away on business and wanted to wear his clothes.

Now for the two most important questions. . .

Do I recommend this book? I do. Even if you don’t have children, pick it up to understand the internal struggle of transgenders and their families.

Will I read another book by this author? I totally would give have books try.

I told you I wasn’t going to get messy with this review. I don’t even know if I would call it a review or just a chit chat about how I felt about it as a whole.

Remember to follow all things messy. . .

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Hey there! I'm Danielle! I just a girl who loves books. I love books so much that I talk about the stories like they are real. Who knows? Maybe, they are real to me. I do love the book world, it's way better than reality. . .sometimes. . .because. . .I'm also a proud mama bear, wife, and mother!

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