Review: If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

Title: If I Was Your Girl
Author: Meredith Russo
Genre: YA Contemporary / LGBT
Publisher: Usbourne Publishing
Published: June 1st 2016
Page Number: 304
Rating: 2/5


Amanda Hardy is the new girl at school. Like everyone else, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is holding back. Even from Grant, the guy she's falling in love with.

Amanda has a secret.

At her old school, she used to be called Andrew. And secrets always have a way of getting out.

If I Was Your Girl was on the list for one of my most anticipated releases of this year because it was a book about a Transgender girl who's making her way through school and finding love. And since I've not read much LGBT fiction, I was really looking forward to this. Especially since the US edition has a Transgender model on the cover.
However. My expectations were way to high for the book and I ended up disliking mostly everything about If I Was Your Girl. I can say honestly that it is an important novel. Meredith Russo is a transgender woman so all the important facts about being transgender (Hormones, etc) were all factually correct. But sadly, Meredith Russo doesn't have the storytelling skills to have show cased the story in the way it needed to be done.
Amanda has only recently come out as Transgender and yet she's already passing as a normal teenage girl. Is this realistic? No. According to the author's note in the back of the book the reason this was done is so that people could just see Amanda as a girl. But that kinds of subtracts from the book when the only interesting thing about Amanda is that bold fact she's Transgender. Amanda has no personality, she's very two dimensional. We see snippets into her past but we only just got a little taste and nothing else. It felt forced and almost as if Meredith was lazy and didn't want to add any depth into the story.
And that's not the only thing that was so far fetched. Grant - who's Amanda's love interest - seems to accept her for who she is so quickly after her secret is exposed. And I'm not saying that there won't be people who accept Transgender people, there's tons of them, however. The trust between them was broken and trust takes ages to rebuild but it almost seemed like nothing had been affected between them.
I understand that acceptance. We all sort of crave it in a way that makes us seem pathetic, but I just wish that Meredith Russo wrote a book about a Transgender girl who's life was realistic and not fictionalised. I wanted the truth - stripped back, raw honesty that showcases the life of a transgender girl.

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