If I Was Your Girl
Author: Meredith Russo
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Publication Date: May 3rd 2016
Format: Kindle (288 pages)
My name is Amanda. I’m 18. When you look at me, you might see that I’m pretty and popular; you might think my life is easy. But being me has never been easy. Because I haven’t always been Amanda. When I was born, I was named Andrew. Now, at my new school, I finally feel like myself. But do I owe my new friends the truth about my past?
My Rating: ★★★★
I absolutely devoured this wonderful book. From the first few pages I was sucked right into Amanda’s world and I thought this was a really touching coming of age story.
I loved all of the characters in this book. They were so very well written and completely realistic. Amanda was definitely my favourite and I felt honoured to share her experience with her. One aspect I truly enjoyed seeing was how Amanda’s relationship with her father developed over the course of the book. Having not had much of a relationship with her father all her life, it is fair to say that he is still getting used to his son now being his daughter but there are some incredibly beautiful moments between them that really warmed my heart. It’s not all plain sailing but I thought it felt very authentic.
I loved the way this book flashed back between Amanda’s present and her past experiences and during her transition. It really helped me to feel like I was bonding with Amanda as our MC and to understand her relationship with herself. Amanda is undoubtedly a complex character and it was also interesting to see her struggling with her religion and romantic feelings as a teenage girl. Although I’m not normally a fan of insta love romances, the romance between Amanda and Grant felt very real and I was rooting for them all along.
I am a sucker for reading author notes and dedications and I absolutely loved reading Meredith Russo’s author note. Separated into two sections Russo talks to her cis readers and her trans readers. I thought it was so well written and such a poignant addition to the book. Importantly, Russo reminds us that If I Was Your Girl is her book, written using some of her experiences as a transgender woman and that her experience is not the same as anyone else’s. It’s something that is always important to remember when reading an #OwnVoices book.
I want to point out that I am a cis reader and therefore I would like to link to this fantastic review that was co-written by a cis person and a trans person.
Have you read If I Was Your Girl?
What did you think?