It's always a pleasure to find a book that far exceeds one's expectations. The Transformation by Stacey Zackerly is such a novel. As a book that I didn't expect too much from, it delivered in spades. With a foundation borrowed from the concept of computer generated virtual reality, it's the simple story of a young man, who through the assistance of profound technological advances of the not-too-distant future, transforms into a coed. This is all part of a newly-launched government sponsored gender change program available to young people upon having reached the legal decision-making age.
Our protagonist, the young Robert, on the surface is just a "regular guy" who does all the right "regular guy" things. Underneath it though, in the inner sanctum of his mind, he's really the girl, Valerie. Always has been. When he makes the decision to join the Program, his world obviously changes. His relationships with parents and friends dramatically shift. His entire approach to life, without benefit of girlhood, needs to be shaped and honed. His sexuality demands discovery and exploration. Then, there is a dramatic love affair replete with all the expectant drama and vicissitudes of any romance, but with a rather unexpected and happy twist.
Where this book really shines though is when the author explores the philosophical components of gender and why things are the way they are. This is what makes this book quite a bit deeper than it would have seemed at first glance and this is why I enjoyed it very much.