If I Was your Girl

If I Was your Girl

Book - 2016
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Amanda Hardy only wants to fit in at her new school, but she is keeping a big secret, so when she falls for Grant, guarded Amanda finds herself yearning to share with him everything about herself, including her previous life as Andrew.
Publisher: New York : Flatiron Books, 2016
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781250078407
1250078407
Branch Call Number: YA RUSSO
Characteristics: 280 pages ; 22 cm

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2017 Stonewall Book Award for Children's and Young Adult literature; 2017 Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children's Literature.

Amanda Hardy’s start at a new school is going well: she finds some friends, and a boy who shows interest in her. However, Amanda doesn’t necessarily want to be noticed.


From the critics


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Amanda has grown up with a secret. Amanda is in the process of Transitioning from Andrew. She's starting fresh at a new school, with new friends, and has also found a boy she really likes. She's terrified that if her secret is revealed, she may not find the acceptance she was hoping for when she had first arrived. I really loved this book and found myself completely enthralled in Amanda's story and felt every emotion with every word she wrote.

JCLTiffanyR May 08, 2019

Readers looking to gain perspective on the experience of trans teens will find this an interesting read. It's an important #ownvoices story, albeit one told without literary flare. It's straightforward and doesn't rely on the trappings of lavish wordsmithing.

VaughanPLMichael Feb 14, 2019

This book really hit me in all the emotions.

With so many different YA romances coming across my desk, this one really stood out for me. It's so much more than just a straight up romance, it tackles very real identity issues.

I've rarely connected so completely with a character the way I connected with Amanda. I lost track how many times I nodded and thought 'yup, I've been there'. I know Amanda and my path are very different, but still.

Meredith's writing was superb for a first time novel. All the characters were really flushed out, even those minor characters like Layla and Anna who we only see a handful of times.

Please read this book. This has been one of the most moving books I've read to date. It's funny, heart wrenching, and emotions.

But more than all that, it's real.

Hillsboro_GrayceB Jan 22, 2019

A wonderful book for fostering empathy and allyship for young transgender people, IF I WAS YOUR GIRL tells the story of a trans teenager, written by a transgender author and informed by real experiences of the transgender community. Any cisgender (non-transgender) reader looking for an engaging YA introduction to the transgender experience will find this book to be an excellent gateway for understanding.

It's worth acknowledging, as Russo does in her author's note, that Amanda's experience is very different from that of most young trans women. Amanda is straight, cis-passing, feminine, and had access to medical transition at a very young age with relatively little pushback from her parents. Russo's intention was to remove any barriers for cisgender readers in understanding Amanda as completely female. The story is therefore focused much more on interpersonal prejudice than Amanda's own struggles with dysphoria or navigating institutional transphobia. Trans readers who are not cis-passing or straight may struggle to relate to Amanda, as most of the book's tension is built on whether or not she should disclose her gender history to her new friends and boyfriend. However, given Russo's intended audience and her knack for telling a good romance, I would still recommend it to any cis or trans reader of contemporary YA.

e
elliottolin
Nov 14, 2018

A wonderful transgender coming of age story. At first, it seems like a sweet teen romance, but it turns out to be much more.

a
adoo
May 21, 2018

WOW!!! AMAZING,WONDERFUL,BRAVE,BEAUTIFUL ,HILARIOUS.
I wanted to cry and laugh at the same time. Wish I could go and live in the story with her.

k
kygrey
May 15, 2018

A lot of good reviews about this book I think are only warranted because it comes from the perspective of an actual trans person. For transgender readers looking for a validating and encouraging story, I advise looking to the back of the book where the author pens a letter to her fellow trans people, as well as one separately for allies. It will tell you in advance what you can expect and why she is disappointed she could not paint a more realistic picture of life as a transgender teenager. I also feel it appropriate to warn that the love interest's reactions to the protagonist's transgender status is violent and awful to read about. Not something that made me as a reader want to revisit the book any time soon. There is forced outing, small degrees of acceptance, but overall not an uplifting tale. I think it's fair for the author to write a book like this, but definitely seems like a book for ally's understanding more than healing or optimism for trans readers.

r
ruthiebayot
Feb 21, 2018

This is an amazing book with a great purpose. When I first saw it on the shelves of the library, I thought it was just another romance novel but it was so much more than just that. The story is really one of a kind and it's now one of my favorites. I highly recommend this book to anyone.

This book is an amazing account of what it is like growing up transgender in the south.

l
lucyowen
Nov 12, 2017

A truly amazing book that tells a story that is so many others. Has important lessons and really portrays a struggle. I definetly reccomend!

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Quotes

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a
adoo
May 21, 2018

A book about loving yourself and being loved for who you really are.

a
adoo
May 21, 2018

Important and Brave. Read this wonderful book. Just read it.
-Jennifer Niven.

a
adoo
May 21, 2018

''Real and Raw and Layered and Wonderful.''
-Alex Gino

s
shayshortt
Jun 14, 2016

From the Author's Note: “It’s okay if you’re different from Amanda. She isn’t real, and you are.”

s
shayshortt
Jun 14, 2016

“There are enough people waiting to crap in your cereal without you doing it for them.”

Notices

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Other: Suicide

s
shayshortt
Jun 14, 2016

Sexual Content: Attempted sexual assault

s
shayshortt
Jun 14, 2016

Violence: Attempted sexual assault Gay bashing

Age

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green_alligator_9902 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Summary

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s
shayshortt
Jun 14, 2016

Looking for a fresh start, Amanda Hardy transfers to Lambertville High, going to live with her estranged father for the first time since her parents’ divorce. She plans to keep her head down, blend in, and finish her senior year of high school. Then she wants to move up north for university, and hopefully escape some of the prejudice and fear that drove her out of her school in Atlanta, where everyone knew that Amanda had recently transitioned. But when she meets and falls for Grant, her plans to lie low in Lambertville become a lot more complicated. She wants Grant to accept all of her, including her history, but coming out in Lambertville may be even riskier than it was in Atlanta.

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