Publication Date: May 3, 2016
Rating: 5 Stars
Goodreads Synopsis :
Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school in Lambertville, Tennessee. Like any other girl, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret. There’s a reason why she transferred schools for her senior year, and why she’s determined not to get too close to anyone.
And then she meets Grant Everett. Grant is unlike anyone she’s ever met—open, honest, kind—and Amanda can’t help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself…including her past. But she’s terrified that once she tells Grant the truth, he won’t be able to see past it.
Because the secret that Amanda’s been keeping? It’s that she used to be Andrew.
This book is everything!! I just put the book down and cried for a bit, actually I cried multiple times while reading this book. This was one of those books that I fell in love with at page one.The book is very honest about the struggles that trans people go through. The honesty of the novel and the main character, Amanda, was one of the things that I absolutely loved about it. I really think that everyone who reads this will connect with the story in some way.
I really loved Amanda as a character. She was real to me as she had moments of uncertainty while still having moments of confidence. The way the Russo ties in issues that Amanda faced as a trans teenage girl was important to the narrative. I fell completely in love with Amanda, who is super-smart, funny, earnest while being playful. Her voice is incredibly sincere and there were passages that just spoke to me, beautifully written descriptions of being lonely and afraid that I connected to.The battle she was fighting between the need she felt to be honest, and to stay safe, was so believable.
“I wasn’t sorry I existed any more. I deserved to live. I deserved to find love. I knew now – I believed, now – that I deserved to be loved.”
The romance it this book was so freaking cute! I really enjoyed the romantic moments and how Amanda slowly fell in love and opened up her heart to this relationship. It was beautiful to watch unfold.I thought the female friendship in this book was one of the highlights. Layla, Anna, and Chloe were amazing, especially towards the very end of the book.
The family dynamics in this book were so good. I really liked that there was focus on the good times and the difficult times. This is so realistic and the parents were there in the novel! Thank goodness the parents were there. I loved the relationship between Amanda and her Dad. How they grow together and it shows the struggles of her Dad coming to terms with his son actually being his daughter.
I even liked that the ending was left open, normally I need everything to be tied up perfectly but that wouldn’t have felt right.WARNING: Nothing about her bullying experiences is sugarcoated.I’m definitely going to read more from Meredith Russo.I can’t say enough good things about this book.
About Meredith Russo
MEREDITH RUSSO was born, raised, and lives in Tennessee. She started living as her true self in late 2013 and never looked back. If I Was Your Girl was partially inspired by her experiences as a trans woman. Like Amanda, Meredith is a gigantic nerd who spends a lot of her time obsessing over video games and Star Wars.
If I Was Your Girl is her debut novel, but definitely not her last. When she’s not busy writing she can be found reblogging pictures of cats and babies, reading high literature (and definitely not fanfiction and fantasy novels), arguing with strangers about social justice, and, of course, raising her two amazing children, Vivian and Darwin.
You definitely, absolutely should not be shy about contacting her, even if it’s just to talk. She’s always open to new opportunities and chances to speak with new people.