Wow. Just wow. This book is amazing, educational, heart-warming and heart-breaking all at the same time. If I Was Your Girl is an own voices novel that will stay with me forever…
Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school in Lambertville, Tennessee. Like any other girl, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret. There’s a reason why she transferred schools for her senior year, and why she’s determined not to get too close to anyone.
And then she meets Grant Everett. Grant is unlike anyone she’s ever met—open, honest, kind—and Amanda can’t help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself…including her past. But she’s terrified that once she tells Grant 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.
Ok so this book is just absolutely amazing. I haven’t read that many books with a transgender protagonist, so that was one of the reasons why I picked up this book. I wanted to be educated, as my knowledge of the transgender community is very lacking.
The story of Amanda is told through the present day and also through flashbacks. The flashbacks serve as the way how we are shown Amanda’s transition. We see her go to a support group and then we also see her talk to her mother as she is going through the transition.
I found the character of her mother to be amazing! I loved her mother. I loved how supportive she was but I also like how she was honest and how it was hard for her to see her child struggle and be bullied, but at the end of the day, she was proud of whoever Amanda wanted to be and that made me so happy to read.
“I wasn’t sorry I existed anymore. I deserved to live. I deserved to find love. I knew now – I believed, now – that I deserved to be loved.”
― Meredith Russo,
Now the father is a completely different story. Ugggghhhh. Ok so he has a really good character development but I really didn’t like him at the start of the book and during the flashbacks. It was only when the book was coming to a close that I started to warm up to him. In the novel, the family lived in one of the southern states in the U.S (I can’t remember exactly which state it is, can someone help me out in the comments?) and where they lived, there was a big religious community that was very conservative and didn’t believe that members of the lgbtquia+ community deserved equal rights. So when Amanda’s father realised that his son actually identified as a girl, he was also scared of what the religious community would say. This is also the case when Amanda moves to live with her dad and starts a new school.
One of the things that I absolutely loved about this novel was the ending. Amanda makes decisions about her life that just strengthen her so much as a person and she makes decisions that benefit her and she puts herself first which is amazing. I was so proud of her for realising the things that she did and the ending was just so emotional. It was the perfect ending.
If you’re looking for a heart-wrenching, heart-warming read, then this is definitely the book for you. I 100% recommend because it’s just fantastic.
Warning: this book contains triggers for trans bullying