Reviewed by Kelsey (Library Staff)
Amanda was like any other teen girl; she worries about making friends at her new school, about fitting in. This year is looking like it might be the best one yet though. She makes four new friends on her first day and there is a cute boy who keeps talking to her. But Amanda is hiding a secret, one that she is terrified of anyone finding out, terrified that she will lose the life she has worked so hard for, or worse that it will get her killed. Because Amanda’s secret is that she used to be Andrew.
If I Was Your Girl is an amazing YA novel about a transgender teen dealing with her transition into her new life, both as a girl and in a new town. This book does an amazing job of covering a variety of issues (bisexuality, alcoholism, transgender, divorce, suicide, and bullying to name a few), never sugar coating anything, but giving readers a realistic look at what teens dealing with LGBT+ issues face on a daily basis, balancing out the serious issues with well placed humor. The time line of the story can be a bit confusing for the reader as some chapters act as flashbacks. This requires the reader to really pay attention and line up when in Amanda’s history the specific flashback is taking place, as each gives vital information to understanding Amanda and her transition. Russo does a fantastic job of illustrating the fact that no matter what a persons ‘label’ might be, everyone has the same emotions and that everyone should be respected as a person, first and foremost.
I would suggest this book for readers 14+, given there is some semi-graphic violence and descriptions of suicide.
Located in Teen Fiction (TEEN FIC RUSSO)