Author: Meredith Russo
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication date: May 3, 2016
Source/format: ARC from publisher
Rating: ☆☆☆☆ 1/2
Synopsis (from goodreads.com):
A 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. 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 in. 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 she used to be Andrew.
Will the truth cost Amanda her new life--and her new love?
If I Was Your Girl is a universal story about feeling different--and a love story that everyone will root for.
M Y T H O U G H T S
Amanda Hardy moved to Lambertville, TN sometime after her parent's divorce. Grant Everett sat next to her at lunch asking her number for his friend Parker. From that day on, Amanda and Grant became inseparable.
Meredith Russo writes a honest story about Amanda. If I Was Your Girl is definitely the LGBTQIA novel of 2016. Not only does Russo educate readers, but she also evokes a multitude of emotions. The writing style flows fairly well despite the flashbacks which shed light on the history of Amanda's past without disrupting the present plot line.
Although Amanda has a hard time figuring out who she is, I am glad that she has a supportive group of friends. Layla, Anna and Chloe are unique in their own way and they helped Amanda break through her shell and they didn't force her to do something that she is not comfortable with. They were very open minded and they didn't shun her when they found out that she is trans.
Russo tackles a variety sociodemographic and family dynamics. Grant may seem like the perfect guy but he harbors some secrets too. He hides the fact that he works many hours to help support his family. His family is not well off and he wants to help out as much as possible. Bee has her own share of secrets too but what she did at the end of the book is ridiculous. At first she is a good friend but then she becomes jealous and maddened. What kind of friend back stabs someone like that?
If I Was Your Girl is an important and powerful book that everyone should read. It's a coming-of-age novel that tackles bullying, questioning your identity, making new friends, divorce, moving and finding love.