Meredith Russo: If I Was Your Girl

A new kind of big-hearted novel about being seen for who you really are.

Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school. Like anyone else, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret, and she’s determined not to get too close to anyone.

But when she meets sweet, easygoing Grant, Amanda can’t help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she realizes just how much she is losing by guarding her heart. She finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself, including her past. But Amanda’s terrified that once she tells him the truth, he won’t be able to see past it.

Because the secret that Amanda’s been keeping? It’s that at her old school, she used to be Andrew. Will the truth cost Amanda her new life, and her new love?

Meredith Russo’s If I Was Your Girl is a universal story about feeling different—and a love story that everyone will root for.

YES YES YES YES YES YES

I’ve been looking forward to this book for awhile–it’s been on everyone’s lists since it released last year. I knew it would be my pick for the trans category for DiversityBingo2017 and I just kept not getting around to reading it! I’m here to tell you that if you’re like me and have it sitting on the back of your TBR…DO NOT WAIT ANYMORE. GO GET THAT BOOK AND READ IT NOW.

Sometimes a book gets hype solely for the topic alone–this is an Own Voices book written by a trans author about a trans girl at a new high school–but this story is absolutely worthy of every single five star must read THROW THE BOOK AT YOUR FACE review it gets. I couldn’t put it down. I had a migraine the night I was reading it and I STILL couldn’t stop reading it. That’s how good this book is.

I’m CIS, so trans issues are not my lane. But from If I Was Your Girl, I learned how to relate to people who are trans, and much of the terrible pain they have to go through. As I was reading this, I did wonder how on point the representation was–Amanda passes almost perfectly, and she gets to have the surgery and hormones at a very young age. I know this is not the experience of all trans people, but it was still really interesting to read such a main character on the page. The author does explain why she made those choices in her Author’s Note at the end, and it makes a lot of sense, why she wrote Amanda the way she did. I’ll leave everything for you to read yourself–but definitely don’t skip Russo’s note afterward.

In addition to the trans representation, we also get bisexual and gay main characters. There’s conversation about bullying, peer pressure, consensual sex vs rape. There’s also quite a bit of discussion about suicide. Take care of yourself, if you’re reading this book. But definitely read it. It’s just so so good.

DiversityBingo2017:  Romance with a Trans MC

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