Book Review // If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

Book Review // If I Was Your Girl by Meredith RussoIf I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
Published by Flatiron Books on May 3rd 2016
Rating: three-half-stars
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, LGBT, Romance, Social Themes, Bullying
Pages: 272
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The award-winning, big-hearted novel about being seen for who you really are, and a love story you can't help but root for
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?Stonewall Book Award WinnerWalter Dean Myers Honor Book for Outstanding Children's LiteratureiBooks YA Novel of the YearA Publishers Weekly Best Book of the YearA Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the YearAn Amazon Best Book of the YearA Goodreads Choice Award Finalist A Zoella Book Club SelectionA Barnes & Noble Best YA Book of the YearA Bustle Best YA Book of the YearIndieNext Top 10One of Flavorwire’s 50 Books Every Modern Teenager Should Read

If I Was Your Girl is one of the most important books I’ll read in 2016. Because of the topic it covers, and while Amanda’s story is probably one of the more tamer trans stories, it’s still important, and it’s still something every teenager should read, so we can learn more about what trans people go through day after day. I’ve learnt more this year about being trans that I’ve known my whole life, and it will baffle me forever that people can’t just live the life they want to live, be the person they want to be, because other people are rude/ignorant/idiotic and it was kinda nice to see that Amanda’s transition wasn’t as horrific as it most probably is. We missed a lot of steps of Amanda’s transition – steps I was curious to read, if I’m honest. I want to know what it takes to transition, to learn more – what does it cost, what’s the emotional toll, there was mention of a fight which prompted Amanda leaving to live with her father, that I would have liked to see. So, yes, there were missed opportunities, but there was also a lot of good stuff in, informative stuff, that needs to be read by the masses.

The romance between Grant and Amanda was so sweet. In fact, it was all kinda perfect – Amanda and Grant’s romance, Amanda’s friendships with the girls, it all seemed to be going so well, that I ended up getting incredibly nervous. Because you can’t have a book like this, and not have some kind of reveal, it had to happen, and I could feel myself getting all antsy and wondering what would happen, and hoping it wouldn’t be as awful as I was imagining, and what shocked me most was who did the reveal. That really, really, really made me angry. Like punch a wall angry. I genuinely didn’t see it coming, actually, which made it worse, and I kinda wanted recriminations for everything that happened after, and I was kinda annoyed that there wasn’t anything, because the book just ended.

That’s my only gripe with If I Was Your Girl – the ending. I wanted more. It just ended. I literally turned the page and there were no more words and I was kind of distraught. Will there be a sequel? Was that it? It was really dissatisfying. Was it supposed to be like that? I just don’t know. It just left me with lots of questions. Apart from that, and that’s just my own personal opinion because I just love books tied up with neat bows, this book was outstanding. I really loved Amanda’s voice, she was so strong, brave, so confident in herself, she knew who she was, and that’s an amazing thing to have. This is such an important book, every single school in the world needs this book on their shelves, it will teach people so, so much.


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