Friday, June 23, 2017

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
Published May 3, 2016
Summary on Goodreads
I haven’t read a good LGBT novel in a really, really long time and I am so glad that this book fell into my lap.  I had originally picked this book, along with a few others, for a variety of reasons – my Read Harder Challenge or the book bingo challenge that my YouTube channel, Shut Up & Read, came up with.  Then I also realized that my book club’s July pick was also this book so it was pretty much written in the stars for me to read this book.  And I am so glad I did.

This book pretty much had everything I can hope for in a book: a beautifully written novel with relatable and easy-to-fall-in-love-with characters as well as a romance that just tugs at my heartstrings.  Amanda was just a character that I simply adored.  Her struggles as she transitioned from a boy to a girl physically and mentally, her obstacles with her peers especially since she lived in the South where tradition and religion is heavily forced upon you, and her issues with her parents and the straining relationship she had with them.  All of these were so wonderfully crafted and it was so easy for me to simply fall into the book and forget the world around me.  I even got on the wrong train (twice!) while listening to this audiobook and I basically “wasted” 30 minutes getting back to my apartment but it was also 30 minutes extra that I spent listening and I would not take that back.

As some of you well know, I’m a relatively harsh critic these days – maybe it’s because I have simply read too many wonderful books that anything less than that standard has become subpar to me but this book was a gem.  The one and only issue I had with this was the flashbacks because the flashbacks ranged anywhere from a few months ago to 10 years ago so there were times I had to really focus on when exactly this flashback took place and how it was relevant to the overall plot.  However, the flashbacks, while a bit disorganized, played crucial roles in the development of the story.  It really made Amanda’s struggles more realistic.

The relationship between Grant and Amanda was so sweet.  I knew, obviously, that disaster was going to strike once he found out initially (it’s pretty much a given) but I wasn’t sure if this was something he could ultimately look over.  And I loved how even after he found out, he still cared about her to make sure she was safe so he scored some major points in my book.  I also thought that the pace of their relationship was realistic and neither of them fell right into love immediately.  Instead it wasn’t until they learned more about each other and grew closer for their feelings to actually develop.

Overall, this was definitely one of the best books I have read/listened to in a very long while.  I literally finished listening to this 8 hour audiobook in two days.  More like less than two days and that’s a lot of listening!  Definitely highly recommend this novel if you’re interested in learning more about trans people because honestly this was a topic that I didn’t know too much about.  I don’t think I personally know any so not only was this book interesting but I also learned a few things as well.  It also helped that the author herself was trans.  So yes, I would definitely recommend this one!



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