MEREDITH RUSSO lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee with her two children. If I Was Your Girl is her debut novel. You can check out this author here.
Title: If I Was Your Girl
Genre: Contemporary YA - LGBTQ
Author: Meredith Russo
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication: May 3rd 2016
Cover Rating: 5/5
Everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE, needs to read this book. With everything going on in the world at this very moment, I believe this book couldn't have came out at a better time. It is beautiful and made my heart ache. I was always on the edge of my seat waiting for something horrible to happen. I would flinch or stop reading when I thought something was going to happen. The fact that this book is set in one of the most religious and homophobic states adds to the atmosphere.
If I wasn't given a backstory on Amanda then I never would have guessed that there was anything going on. When she moved in with her dad she lead a very NORMAL teenage girls life. She met a lot of new people that she became friends with and she even had boys trying to date her. Most people don't even think twice about living a normal life and in my opinion NO ONE should ever have to think about it. It should just BE.
Amanda's parents were pretty good about everything that was going on. I loved her mother. And people need to realize that our parents are effected by the things we do. Amanda's mother said she lost Andrew. And I can understand that feeling entirely. Yes, Andrew is still technically there, personality and all the important things didn't change. But for a parent, the person who gave birth to you, to see so many changes in their child... It's difficult to understand but the mother came around and was so amazing. Amanda's dad on the other hand... He tried. He really tried. And in the end I think he was finally accepting things for how they were but it's hard, as a parent, to watch your child go through something you know could end up getting them hurt really bad. Parent's, normally, just want the best for their children.
The only big thing that caught me off guard about this book was how horrible Bee was at the end. Trust someone is such a huge deal but after seeing what Bee did to Amanda and a bunch of other classmates I can honestly say no wonder most people keep their feelings on the inside. If someone wrongs you or things don't go your way and the first thing you think of it revenge then you are living your life entirely wrong. I understand the school was full of teenagers who were hiding their own secrets but that is their business. It is not for some angry, drunk girl to share. But I am so glad that most of the other people in the school seemed to be able to form their own opinions about Amanda, which was shown when she went back to school.
I really didn't expect the book to end the way it did. Yes, I expected the Parker thing to happen. But I expected Grant to be like Parker. Either way, I don't really know what the future will hold considering the things Ruby said about Amanda. It is sad that a mother is transphobic but her son can see past it. Ruby could learn something from her son. Be Kind. Be caring. You never know what the person sitting next to you is going through. And please, for the love of cookies, don't judge.
Right before I went to post this review I thought of something. Did Andrew ever really exist if she was Amanda this entire time? Just some food for thought.
Overall, I gave this book 5/5 stars.
1) Are you currently working on any more books?
Yes, a YA romance with a genderqueer protagonist, and an adult novel about two incredibly dysfunctional trans women going back to their hometown and messing up.
2) Tea or Coffee?
Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
3) What is your favorite book?
A Safe Girl to Love by Casey Plett.
4) Which do you prefer, a normal book with words and chapter or Graphic Novels?
I like graphic novels but they're always over so fast! So traditional books.
5) What is the best part about being an author?
Besides that I get to do something I find fulfilling every single day? I get to work in my underwear!
6) What is some advice you would give a teenager growing up in this day and age?
Find your tribe. The internet gives you such a huge advantage over previous generations. Even if you live in a crappy small town you can reach out now and find people who get you.
7) Do you have any hobbies? If yes, what are they?
I really love tabletop RPG's like Dungeons & Dragons. I'm currently running a Shadowrun campaign for my friends!