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If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo - Review

Friday, October 28, 2016

Where did I get it? I bought it at YALC this year after hearing a lot about it. 

What's it about? Amanda is a trans girl, and is just moving from living with her mum to living with her dad at the beginning of the novel. She is in the south of the United States, in pretty much the bible belt. She has been out for a few years and has had surgery and taken hormones. She hasn't had much to do with her dad in that time, as he struggles to accept her. She quickly makes friends at school, from popular girls Layla, Anna and Chloe, to Bee, who confides that she is bisexual.  Amanda also starts going out with Grant, and wants to tell him about herself, but he has secrets of his own. 

Interspersed within the main narrative are chapters going back into Amanda's past, including when she was very small and living under her previous name, and including her parents dealing with her and each other and their divorce. 

Amanda is a really gorgeous character - I loved her. I was utterly rooting for her at all points. She's very likeable and humanly flawed. I really liked her. I like Grant, too, I liked his issues and his family. 

Meredith Russo is a trans woman herself and there are notes to cis readers and trans readers in the back of the book, which were both lovely. I think it's great to read a book by a trans author and I fully support more diverse authors getting published. 

What age range is it for? 15+, I think

Are any main characters LGBTQ+? Yes, of course. Amanda is trans, and straight. Bee is bisexual and I liked this side plot.
Are any main characters people of colour? It isn't mentioned, so I assume not.
Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? No
Is there any sex stuff? Yes, a little, and it is beautifully done and was lovely to read.
Are drugs mentioned or used? Marijuana, but that's it. I liked it, actually, I thought Amanda and Bee sitting on the grass smoking pot was entirely real.
Is there any talk of death? Yes, and trigger warning for suicide/suicide attempts
Are there swear words? A few, and also homophobic slurs.
Would I recommend the book? Yes, god yes. Go, read it now. 
How many stars? Nine and a half out of ten - wonderfully almost perfect
Where is the book going now? I'll keep it, for sure. 

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