This book was gifted to me by a friend!
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
Stand Alone Book
Genre: YA, Romance, Contemporary, LGBT
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 was mentioned in my Diverse Books Tag, and since then I’ve been trying to expand my reading materials! I’m honestly glad I read it, it gave me a look into a world that I’ve almost had zero experience with. Amanda was a very sweet and hopeful character, and I rooted for her so hard throughout the book.
She grew up in the South, a dangerous place for anyone who doesn’t fit their ideology of what a young woman should be.
“I felt the scar over my ear and remembered that even now that I’d had my surgery, even now that nothing but some legal papers could reveal my past, I was never really safe. I looked down at my lap and tried to will myself out of existence.” pg 14
That statement really upsets me, because this is the 21st century, and yet she still has to worry about getting jumped. This is the USA and people like her literally fear for their lives, simply because a stranger deemed them “sinful,” or a “freak,” or “dangerous” for simply being a little different. How disgusting is that?
Anyway, she begins the book starting a fresh life with her dad. He is still struggling to accept her as his daughter, but is slowly coming around. I really liked the dynamic between them, if anything her transition brought them closer together. It was fun reading about their journey as a family.
She also starts a new school, and she must be weary around her classmates, but she does find some real friends. Furthermore, like most girls, she falls for a handsome boy. I wasn’t the biggest fan of Grant, and to be honest, I can’t really tell you why I didn’t like him. He was hard working, and had a lot of responsibility, but he just kind of annoyed me throughout the book.
Amanda falls in love, trusts the wrong people, gets stepped on, but in the end she comes out stronger. She doesn’t give up, and she keeps putting one foot in front of the other. I think that everyone can benefit from Amanda’s message.
“…I wasn’t sorry I existed anymore. I deserved to live. I deserved to find love. I knew now–I believed now–that I deserved to be loved.” pg 273
I only had one problem with the book; there is no way Amanda’s mom could have afforded both top and bottom surgery. However, all of my doubts were put away when I read the author’s note. Meredith Russo, who is also a trans woman, stated that she made it this way for the flow of the story. She is a “story teller, not an educator” and I respect that.
So just keep that in mind while reading, anyway, I loved this book! Seriously, read it if you get the chance!
Overall Rating: 4.7
*written by a cis female