Tuesday, May 3, 2016

If I Was Your Girl ~ Meredith Russo (earc) review [@Mer_Squared @Flatironbooks]

If I Was Your Girl
Flatiron Books
May 03, 2016
272 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

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.
If I Was Your Girl is an emotional, thoughtful and fast read. In its focus on Amanda, a trans girl  who is moving in with her father and starting school in a new town where no one knows she was born a boy and named Andrew. It's her chance to start over, away form all of the bullying, violence and judgment.

Things go even better than she expected and soon Amanda has her new life, new friends and a boyfriend. They all only know her as Amanda. Except, she's not sure she wants to keep such a big secret. Should she? Can she? And what would happen inf they knew the truth?

I really enjoyed Amanda's story. The flashbacks to her life when she was still Andrew give us some great insight into who she is, how life was and some of the transition from Andrew to Amanda while allowing the main narrative - and Amanda - to stay focused on the now.

I did find everyone in Amanda's new life maybe too accepting. Not because of her being trans, but simply her being the new girl. She seemed to have friends right away, guys interested in her right away and that immediate-best-friend(s)-for-the-new-girl is a thing for me.

It also seemed like everyone was sharing their secrets incredibly quickly. The main narrative of the novel takes place over just a few months but Amanda seemed to find out/be told things by characters that they'd been keeping from everyone. It worked for deepening their relationships quickly, but sometimes felt a bit off. I know if this had been a book about any other main character I would have had a harder time with nearly every character having something that made them different. It was almost too much.

Still, I loved Amanda's story, the way we saw how her being Amanda and not Andrew impacted hr parents and those relationships, the debates she had with herself (and others) over keeping her past a secret, how and what transpired. I liked that while the book skimmed over a lot of Amanda's transition to being Amanda, pieces were still included.

If I Was Your Girl is a nicely done book, on an important subject that keeps itself about its characters and isn't just a 'message' book. You should read it.

review copy received from publisher, via NetGalley

No comments:

Post a Comment

Book Trailer Friday [@RandomHouse @TransworldBooks]

Beth Dorey-Stein's From the Corner of the Oval  - a tale of being the White House stenographer during the Obama administration will be ...