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Posted 20 hours ago

If I Was Your Girl

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Amanda is surrounded by accepting people, despite being in small town Tennessee, where everyone is a Baptist and many of them have homophobic bumper stickers.

When he asked me what was wrong with me, I wrote six words on a notepad, my throat still too sore from the stomach pump to speak. I really liked him – I really like all of the characters – even though they didn’t always do the right thing or act the right way in the moment, they, especially Grant, knew when to say sorry, so the communication between all of these characters was really strong, and something I appreciated on a whole other level. I imagined how I must look to him, and my mind leaped to fill in all the worst things I had ever felt about myself. In Lambertville, Amanda quickly makes friends with a rather diverse group of girls and, she draws the attention of a handsome boy, Grant Everett.Not once but at least twice (I’m too lazy to flip through the book to check all the kisses), he says he wants to kiss her and then asks, “Is that okay? We definitely don't need another trans horror story, but I wish one of the first mainstream YA trans books by a trans author didn't play it so safe. Like, she’s in Lambertville High for less than a day before the boys come sniffing around like she’s a piece of fresh meat on display. Being trans in a transphobic society means that we are constantly having to confront bias and educate people and have difficult conversations. And keep in mind: this is only Russo's first novel; if there's any justice in the world, we're all witnessing a YA powerhouse in the making.

I would run up and hug him, and he would kiss the top of my head, and for the first time in a long time, I would feel safe. I’m so relieved that they used an actual trans girl for the cover model because there’s enough erasure to go around with Hollywood casting cis people to play trans characters left and right. Never didactic, this debut is a valuable contribution to the slender but growing body of literature of trans teens.She needs to make new friends, figure out who she can trust, figure out who she is and who wants to be, and figure out how to date a teenage boy when her dad doesn’t fully approve. He just wants her to stay safe long enough to graduate high school and move somewhere more accepting. I found it difficult to like them at times because there were scenes where they were just making the entire situation about them, mourning their son even though they’ve got a SUPER FAB daughter in front of them. Plus, as we learn through the flashbacks interspersed, Amanda’s father played an important role in rejecting her gender identification and enforcing masculinity.

I’ll admit that this is a flawed book, and for a while after I started reading it I wasn’t overly enamored with it. As a cis woman, I felt I really learned a lot about the experience people like Amanda go through and it was a very informative and valuable read.So, I’ve been hyped about this book for a really long time and I’m so happy I’ve finally got to read it because I LOVED it. It's easy to act like my past never happened, but it feels like I've put up this wall around my heart that stops me from being really close with him.

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