Study Guide

Luna/Liam in Luna

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Double Life

Luna's character is particularly complicated because her transition into a female is at the heart of this story. Luna leads a serious double life—by day she acts as Liam (the gender people expect based on her anatomy), and by night she reveals her true self as Luna:

Liam was dressed in role, as he called it. Boy role. His long-sleeved shirt was pressed and buttoned to the chin; tucked into his khaki Dockers, which were ironed with military precision. (2.24)

For Luna, being a boy really is a matter of pretending and putting on a costume. It doesn't come naturally to her no matter how long she's been doing it for, and she hates the effort that she has to put into creating a double life. It's like Luna is two different people and constantly has to keep track of what the two different people like or do. Liam is a boy who might be trying out for baseball, whereas Luna wants to get dressed up and go shopping with Regan. It can get pretty difficult at times to keep track of the two sides of Luna.

A Girly Girl

The true Luna is definitely what you'd call a girly girl. She loves dressing up, doing her hair and makeup, and going to the mall. Luna's been this way since birth—after all, at age nine she asked for a bra and a Prom Barbie for her birthday. She spends hours just dressing up and showing Regan different outfits every day:

Luna turned and examined herself in the mirror. "But I like this one." She posed sideways, arching her back to enhance her figure. She twisted to view the other side.

Hours. She could do this for hours—posing, preening. (6.73-74)

Luna has an interest in all things girly, which just makes it harder when these things are completely denied because she is expected to be male.

A Tortured Soul

Even though Luna is sweet, super smart, and makes enough money to buy herself a car, she still isn't happy. That's because Luna is always protecting her secret and has to deal with the repercussions of what would happen if anyone found out her secret. It's definitely not a pretty situation.

Liam lifted his head and straightened in his seat. "Every day, the same old thing. Hiding, lying, holding her in. It's too hard. I can't do it."

Don't cry, I thought. Please don't cry. (3.68-69)

For Luna, every single day is a struggle because she cannot be truthful with the world—she isn't accepted by society and her family, so she keeps her real self in the shadows. This fact makes it so that Luna is constantly miserable and feels trapped in her body. She's even tried to commit suicide before because she sees no other way out.

Relationships, Relationships

Luna's relationship with her family members and friends dictates the way that she lives her life. After all, because her father is difficult and uncompromising, she has to live as a boy for most of her life; and even though her mom knows the truth, she doesn't step in to help Luna transition at all. In fact, she seems to encourage Luna to stay hidden forever:

Why hadn't Mom acknowledged Liam's difference? She could've made his life so much easier. She could've raised him a girl. (24.124)

Thankfully though, Luna has Regan and Aly as her best friends forever. Even though she knows that she has to lose some people close to her in order to fully transition, she knows that Regan will always have her back. Her sister's always been there for her and has never judged or pushed her away. As for Aly, even though she initially reacts poorly to Luna transitioning, she eventually does come around and proves to Luna that people can change their minds.

Because of these positive relationships, Luna is encouraged to fully transition and become the person she's always wanted to be. Even if she will face some inevitable backlash and suffering in the process, she will still be loved and supported in her journey to live life as her true self.

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