Saturday, June 25, 2016

Guest blog: new LGBT fiction

If I Was Your Girl
by Meredith Russo
280 pages
Realistic LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) fiction
Recommended for 14 and up

High school senior Amanda Hardy just transferred to a new high school for her senior year. She plans to go to her classes, maybe make some friends, but not draw attention to herself. She just wants to get through the school year. But then she meets a great guy at school named Grant. He is handsome, sweet and has a great sense of humor, and he is also crazy about Amanda. She wants to get close to him, but is afraid that if she does, both of them will get hurt by her secret. What is she hiding? The truth is that, at her last school, she was Andrew.

This is one of the best books about a transgender teen that I have read in a long time. Not only is it a beautiful, touching story, but it allows readers to see another side of the transgender experience: what happens after a person transitions. I really liked this book because it normalizes Amanda's experience and shows us all her fears and hopes and how she is not so different from other girls. I think it also helps the reader understand more about what it means to be transgender. This is really needed, since there are so many misunderstandings in our society about what that term means. This book is partially inspired by the author's experience as a transwoman which I think adds to the authenticity of Amanda's character, voice and story.

I have mixed feelings about the cover of this book. I like how it looks mysterious and makes the reader want to know about the contents of the book. On the other hand, when I first saw the cover, I thought it was a book for adults, not for teens. I don’t think the cover will necessarily drive teens away, but I’m not sure it will draw them in either.

My rating is 4 stars out of 5, and I'd like to add that people who enjoyed the book Luna, by Julie Anne Peters, would probably like this one as well.

Reviewed by Elizabeth B., reference librarian
(soon to be a teen librarian in Solano County--we're sorry to see her go!)


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