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If I Was Your Girl Hardcover – May 3, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—After a violent incident in her Atlanta suburb, Amanda moves to small-town Tennessee to make a new start with her estranged father. Finally living openly as her true self three years after she, then known as Andrew, attempted suicide, Amanda needs the safety and relative freedom of a fresh beginning. A new set of risks and opportunities open up to her as she makes friends with a group of girls harboring their own secrets, navigates a tense relationship with a father who is terrified of what the world will do to his child, and begins the first romance of her life. This is everything a coming-of-age novel should be—honest, complicated, and meaningful. Amanda navigates the teenage world with a cautious bravery that will grip readers by the heart. Russo, herself a transwoman from Tennessee, handles every issue in the story—from pot and promposals to hormones and support groups—with a deft hand, both gentle and honest. The result is a narrative that transcends the typical "issue" novel to be a beautiful tale in its own right. VERDICT A highly recommended purchase for any collection serving teens.—Amy Diegelman, Vineyard Haven Public Library, MA
Stonewall Book Award Winner
Walter Dean Myers Honor Book for Outstanding Children's Literature
iBooks YA Novel of the Year
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
A Zoella Book Club Selection
An Amazon Best Book of the Year
A Goodreads Choice Award Finalist
A Barnes & Noble Best YA Book of the Year
A Bustle Best YA Book of the Year
IndieNext Top 10 List
One of Flavorwire's 50 Books Every Modern Teenager Should Read
"This new novel for teens breaks new ground...powerful." ―O Magazine
"A beautifully rendered YA novel . . . the first written by a transgender woman about the transgender teen experience." ―San Francisco Chronicle
"A vivid, compassionate portrait of a teen finding her place." ―The Washington Post
"An illuminating debut guided by hope and overwhelming kindness.” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review
“A necessary, universal story about feeling different and enduring prejudices…full of love, hope, and truth.” ―Kirkus, starred review
"This is everything a coming-of-age novel should be―honest, complicated, and meaningful. Transcends the typical 'issue' novel to be a beautiful tale in its own right." ―School Library Journal, SLJ Popular Pick
"Amanda's story is neither overly sentimental nor didactic. A thoughtful, truthful, and much needed coming-of-age tale." ―Horn Book Review
"Russo, a trans woman, writes with authority and empathy, giving readers not only an intellectual but also an emotional understanding of Amanda and her compelling story. Never didactic, this debut is a valuable contribution to the slender but growing body of literature of trans teens." ―ALA Booklist
“Beautiful, smart, and so urgently needed, If I Was Your Girl should be required reading for every teen―scratch that, every person―in America. This book is exactly what YA is for: to break ground, to break hearts, to teach us empathy, to find the universal in the specific. I loved every word. You will too.” ―Julie Buxbaum, New York Times bestselling author of Tell Me Three Things
"Poignant and rare. If I Was Your Girl is the type of book you read and want to immediately share, because it's too important to keep to yourself." ―Julie Murphy, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dumplin'
"If I Was Your Girl is important and necessary and brave, and deeply, electrically inspiring. Read this wonderful book. Just read it." ―Jennifer Niven, New York Times bestselling author of All the Bright Places
“If I Was Your Girl will change minds and open hearts.” ―Nina Lacour, critically acclaimed author of Everything Leads to You
"If I Was Your Girl is real and raw and layered and wonderful." ―Alex Gino, Stonewall Award-winning author of George
"If there's any justice in the world, we're all witnessing a YA powerhouse in the making." ―Forever YA
"Pure magic." ―Book Riot
Top customer reviews
The author is also extremely clear in explaining that it is a work of fiction, that it does not represent certain specifically called out aspects accurately for the sake of the story, and that it is _a_ story of transgender experience - not the only one. At 281 pages, it is substantial without being extremely long. Recommended reading
I wish the book head started with the epilogue, so that trans kids didn't start thinking "right, as if." Amanda had it pretty good. Back in the day I'd have been delighted to have had it so good, and I'm a straight hetero monogamous married woman. I still face other challenges.
But that's not the point. If this book helps one person have the courage to go on at the time when a new president wants to reverse the law about which public bathroom a person must use, I expect it's even harder on kids who don't fit society's norms.
Anyhow it's s good and Important read for anyone of any age who comes from a similar social background. Don't know if it would read as well for an African American kid growing up in the projects.
But it doesn't have to. If it helps one kid in pain to call a number at the back of the book, if it helps one kid feel prouder and less afraid, it's worth it.
The book is very well-written and captures and holds attention. I recommend it to anyone of any age, regardless of gender and its accompanying challenges.
One more thing. Please call one of the numbers at the back if you feel at all suicidal. I've tried suicide twice and devastated my family and myself. Please hang in there. You're gonna die anyhow. Please give life another chance. Everything feels so impossibly black and white when you're in your teens and early 20's.
Life gets greyer and easier with time.
Lastly, thanks to the offer for publishing a good and righteous book.
This was a outstanding read! It made me laugh, angry, nervous, devastated, smile, and informed me. I may have to re-read this in the future.
I have so many thoughts on this book that I needed about a week after finishing it to put them into words:
1. The author's writing is fantastic
2. I love the female friendships in this book. Especially Amanda and Chloe (around the middle of the story)
3. The romance was super cute--my cheeks were often hurting from smiling too much
4. I loved the dad. He was flawed by he clearly loved Amanda and wanted to protect her
5. It was refreshing to read a story with a singled-parent household (from divorce)
6. I love how the author didn't shy away from the darker parts some trans people's-journey (i.e.: self-harm, bullying, assault, transphobia)
7. There was diversity in addition to Amanda--lesbian and bi-sexual characters
8. The author managed to get her point across about Amanda and Andrew's (trans people) journey without it feeling like a lecture
9. The characters and their relationships felt fleshed out. This is especially amazing because this is a short book
10. I appreciated that the story wasn't wrapped with a pretty bow; because life isn't like that, and neither are many teenage trans-peoples'.