Book Reviews

Review: Sasha Masha by Agnes Borinsky

You know that feeling when you read a book and think, this book will mean something very special to someone? That’s how I felt when I finished Sasha Masha. A book about questioning ourselves and figuring out who we want to be, Sasha Masha is a heart warming story about identity. Keep reading this book review to see what I loved about Sasha Masha!


Alex feels like he is in the wrong body. His skin feels strange against his bones. And then comes Tracy, who thinks he’s adorably awkward, who wants to kiss him, who makes him feel like a Real Boy. But it is not quite enough. Something is missing.

As Alex grapples with his identity, he finds himself trying on dresses and swiping on lipstick in the quiet of his bedroom. He meets Andre, a gay boy who is beautiful and unafraid to be who he is. Slowly, Alex begins to realize: maybe his name isn’t Alex at all. Maybe it’s Sasha Masha.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Tw: transphobia

Sasha Masha is a story about the discomfort we feel in our bodies. The ways that memories all of a sudden make sense. All the times we’ve felt like we aren’t being ourselves, but not knowing how to bridge that gap. How we cannot imagine a future for ourselves when the present feels so untenable. Sasha Masha is a story about self-discovery, gender and sexual identity, and friendship. To undo the lessons, norms, and rules of the world society imposes on us is no easy task. At the end of the day, to figure out the feelings we have had that separate us from these conventions, to unlearn them, to see a different possibility is even more difficult.

When we are taught a language, to figure out the unspoken words, the vocabulary we don’t know to describe how we feel can be daunting. Sasha Masha is a story about this journey. About the ways that a name does matter. To figure out the lines between what we think we want and what we want. There is power in the quest to find ourselves. The pieces of ourselves in the past we never recognized.

And there is an immense power in people who will accept and support you. People who recognize our lingering glances, our tentative footsteps, the necessity for an invitation. It is a stunning debut that I just want to hand out to everyone. Find Sasha Masha on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


What is your favorite debut queer novel?

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