It begins as your typical boy meets boy. Ming is the perfect antidote to Tom's awkward energy, and their connection is instant. Tom finds himself deeply and desperately drawn into Ming's orbit, and on the cusp of graduation, he's already mapped out their future together. But shortly after they move to London to start their next chapter, Ming announces her intention to transition. From London to Kuala Lumpur, New York to Cologne, we follow Tom and Ming as they face tectonic shifts in their relationship and friend circle in the wake of Ming's transition.
The dual perspectives elegantly enact themes of transition and relationality. Bellies is a novel about feeling seen ... The hotness quotient is one of many aspects that make Bellies such a juicy read ... As deep as it is chic, propelled by the good intentions dropped between different wavelengths, a sensitive study of the challenge of moving past judgment towards perception.
A keenly observed and unflinching examination of that journey and its emotional, social and physical consequences, both for the individual and the people close to them ... The main narrative focuses on the couple’s struggles for self-knowledge and self-actualization. Between the anxiety and exhilaration of first love and first steps into the wider world, author Dinan packs in a wealth of insights. She combines this with an enviable ability to perfectly capture a particular feeling, complex or psychological process in a few short sentences.