Last month I read Birthday by Meredith Russo and enjoyed it so much that I tracked down her previous novel, If I Was Your Girl.
Blurb on the back:
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…
You can read an interview with Russo here, where she discusses If I Was Your Girl.
This book deals with big issues – being who you really are; transitioning from male to female; suicide; first loves; surviving high school; LGBTQ representation; bullying; family struggles. At it’s heart is the story of Amanda and her journey from self-loathing to self-acceptance, and from lonely misfit to developing meaningful relationships.
I must admit that I didn’t find it quite as engaging as Birthday, but I’m very aware that, as a middle-aged cis man, I’m not exactly the target audience for a YA novel such as this!
Still, representation is important, and this is a wonderful book for the right audience.