Study Guide

Luna Courage

By Julie Anne Peters

Courage

"I can't do it," Liam says. "I can't even do it. I can't do anything right. I'm wrong. All wrong." (8.67)

Maybe Liam initially thought that not being able to swallow that football helmet full of pills was an act of cowardice, but it was actually an act of courage to live on.

I breathed a sigh of relief—the same one I've breathed every day since that Liam's been too chicken to do it. (8.83)

The fact that Liam didn't have the courage to kill himself the first time is what saves him in the end—he's about to live on just as Luna, the girl he's always been inside.

"I have to transition. I don't care how much it costs. I have to transition now." (9.48)

Even though the emotional and social cost will be high, Liam is ready to make the big changes in his life. He's ready to reveal Luna to the world.

"Teri Lynn was pretty traumatized, she said, but it'd taken her so long to get to this point, to build up the courage to dress as herself, that she wasn't going back. She said she'd die if she ever had to go back." (10.59)

It's pretty nerve-wracking to go out dressed as a woman when you possess male physical traits, but Teri Lynn did it despite the haters. Liam can do it too.

A long moment passed. Then an expression I'd never seen before seized Liam's face. Determination? Resolve? His jaw set. He nodded once and opened the door. (10.63)

The mall may not seem like a battleground, but for Luna it's a big deal to go out in public dressed as a girl. Even though things may go pretty poorly, she's prepared for the consequences.

Then pivoted and skittered off down the hall like the spineless chicken I am and always will be because I'm such a coward and disgust myself for being so scared of everything and everyone that I'll never have a life, ordinary or otherwise. (14.15)

Seriously—Regan may be great at backing up her sister and even standing up to her dad, but she's not so courageous when it comes to dealing with cute boys, is she? Chris must really like the chase…

I was a traitor. I was a coward. I abandoned Luna in her hour of need. I betrayed her the same way Aly had. Luna trusted me. She believed in me. She counted on me for her life. (23.18)

Things are really going down at school. Regan is finally reaching her limit of how much she can be there for Luna—even though she loves her sister, she doesn't know if she has the courage to defend her in public.

She lowered her eyes. "You said it: I had to. I had to test myself. To see if I could go through with it. I needed to know that I had the self-confidence, the will to do it every day." (23.46)

Even though the whole situation with Hoyt was unpleasant (Luna came out of it with bruises, after all), she still feels good about it. She was able to survive it.

"That moron. No, I survived," she clenched my arm. "That's what I'm trying to tell you, Re. I survived. I lived. I proved myself today. I want to live. I can. You did that for me. You made me stand on my own two feet, gave me the push I needed; you required me to face it alone, which is what I have to do eventually." (23.54)

People may be jerks, but Luna doesn't care. She can live through all the judgment and the dirty looks. She can stand on her own two feet and hold her head high—all while living out her own personal truth.

Luna held her head high, waiting. Almost daring him to do it. Seconds ticked away. Years. (24.52)

Luna has come too far to back down when their dad acts belligerent and upset about Luna being transgender. She has to see this through, no matter what comes.

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