Title: If I Was Your Girl
Author: Meredith Russo
Genre: LGBTQ+, Contemporary, YA
Publication Date: May 3rd 2016
Publisher: Osborne Publishing
Summary: Amanda Hardy is the new girl at school. Like everyone, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is holding back. Even from Grant, the guy she’s falling in love with. Amanda has a secret. At her old school, she used to be called Andrew. And secrets always have a way of getting out.
This month we’ve been really rubbish with our advertisements because of our very busy lives. Which means not many of you will be aware that our LGBTQ+ book club pick for November and December is If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo. This novel is one that me and Sophie have both had on our TBR’s for a very long time and one i was particularly excited to get to.
If I Was Your Girl is an own voices novel centered around Amanda, a transgender girl growing up in a small American town. It comes with all the pain and worry of hiding your past from everyone around you, whilst trying to be comfortable in your new life.
Overall, i really did enjoy this story. It was quite an easy read that opened my eyes a little bit to the horrors of society when you’re a little bit different. I did however, wish there were more of the feelings Amanda had about herself before and after transitioning, and a little more in depth knowledge of being a transgender girl. This book has been heavily advertised to a much younger audience than me, so i feel like it would have been greatly beneficial to them to learn about those things more in depth.
The story jumped time frames quite a lot. Every few chapters they’d be a snippet of Amanda’s life two years ago, six years ago, or six months ago. It was nice to see the character development a little in those time-jumps. Where we could see her very uncomfortable with herself in the past which highlighted the character development in the last few chapters.
One extremely positive message that this book gives off is that everyone is the same. It’s that time-old tale of ‘don’t treat anyone differently, we’re all the same’, but this book really emphasises that. It focuses on a trans character living their life without any interruption for the most part, which is something i’ve not read before. I really enjoyed that about this book.
There were a few points i didn’t like so much. Some characters i didn’t connect with, some plots i found a little bit out of the blue and unnecessary. However, If I Was Your Girl was a pretty easy read that felt mildly educational to me. If anyone is after a quick and somewhat fun LGBTQ+ read, this is definitely for you!
You can get a copy of If I Was Your Girl on Amazon*