Feb 5
2017

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo | Book Review

If-I-Was-Your-GirlIf I Was Your Girl is a prime example of book publishing done right. It’s a contemporary YA novel featuring a transgender woman as its main character, written by an author who is a transgender female herself. And if I am not wrong, so is the audio-book narrator, and the model on the cover of this book. So, it has this aura of authenticity around it.

But that is not to say that this is by any means the author’s life story.  It’s a completely fictional tale, oversimplified at places, so as to enable a broader audience to relate to it. And I guess it hits the mark on that one – this book can be indeed read and appreciated by a wide variety of audiences, irrespective of their gender or sexual orientation.

Now talking about the actual elements of this story – this is essentially a character driven tale, which of-course makes sense in this case, considering the subject matter it deals with, so Amanda’s journey takes center-stage – the physical transformation, as well as her emotional development.

The plot is relatively lack-luster, the romance pretty generic, and some of the friendships and relationships a little too stereotypical. However, the author (in the author’s note) admits to oversimplifying the story intentionally, so that the cis-gendered readers would have no possible barrier to understanding Amanda as a teenage girl with a different medical history from most other girls. I can’t say that I completely agree with the author’s line of reasoning, but I do understand it.

And I must mention one thing here, in-spite of my reservations about the cookie cutter approach to some relationships in this book, I loved how the author handled the parent-child relationship in this story, and gave it as much importance, as she gave to the romance, which though it was of the generic vanilla variety, was sweet in its own way.

All in all, I cannot deny that this is an important read. It has given me insight into a lifestyle that I have been completely ignorant about. It has helped me to better understand the folks who deal with gender identity issues, empathize with their struggles, and rejoice in their victories. Which is why, I feel like this is a book everyone must read.

And finally, whatever you do, when you read this book- do not, DO NOT, miss the author’s note at the end.

Rating: 4 stars

You can get this book on Amazon here – If I Was Your Girl 

That’s all from my end folks. I would love to hear from you guys.  Have you read this book? Or any other book featuring an LGBTQ person as the protagonist? I haven’t read any outside of this one, but Simon Vs. The Homosapiens Agenda is on my radar.

-Shantala

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Comments

  1. I’ve been hearing about this book quite a lot. True, it is an important subject (which I’m also ignorant about), and even if it could have been handled better, it still brings some of these topics to the forefront.
    Sreesha recently posted…Mr. Heckles and IMy Profile

  2. This genre is on my reading list for the year and I’d shortlisted Simon Vs. The Homosapiens Agenda. This one seems like a good option too.
    Beat About the Book recently posted…An Unsuitable Boy – A ReviewMy Profile

  3. I would love to read it. This year I have been surprised by reading some excellent LGBTQ stories. I am not homophobic but was not sure if I would enjoy the stories. But I did and I found no difference to my reading experience. This book would be a good genre to explore.

  4. I think I’ve put this book and Simon vs The Homosapiens Agenda in my TBR list. Hope to get my hands on this book soon!

    I have read only one book on the LGBTQ theme, and it’s ‘Carry On’ by Rainbow Rowell. She’s a super awesome author, and the book is really brilliant. Even though it’s just one book, it has created a world of magic that seems pretty real!
    Mithila Menezes @fabulus1710 recently posted…The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love – Book ReviewMy Profile

  5. I’m so eager to get my hands on this book. It’ll be the first of it so kind for me. Great review.

  6. The stereotypes could be sure ignored when the main concept of the book is relatively different. Haven’t read transgender books before and if this book does being out facts candidly …. It sure makes it a good read.

  7. I would too agree that this is a topic that even I am ignorant about. I have only watched a documentary on Gender identity but it doesn’t express how the person might actually feel. Great review 🙂
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…From Princess to PhlegmMy Profile

  8. Hmm, 4 stars you say Shantala? I generally don’t pick books of this genre, kind of out of habit. Maybe time to start changing my usual feel-good picks.
    Kala Ravi recently posted…To Gift or not to GiftMy Profile

  9. I have not read any books on transgender and this makes me want to read this book. There’s so much going about inequalities around the world, that we seem to totally ignore the third gender. I do see the glitch about the way the book has been handled, but still, it does intrigue me.
    Menaka Bharathi recently posted…Child Molestation Murder and More – Should Parents Become Indifferent HereafterMy Profile

  10. I don’t like such stereotypes. I am not sure if I’ll like it, but I have heard about this book on my TL.
    Tina Basu recently posted…Live in the Moment: Prestige Glenwood, Luxury Villas in BangaloreMy Profile

  11. Sounds great. I can surely pick this book for LGBTQIA Reading Challenge as well as Audio Books. I have Vivek and I by Mayur Patel with me and it’s on gay love. I will be picking it for #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks!! 😀
    Shilpa Garg recently posted…My Anti-Bucket ListMy Profile

  12. The only LGBT book that comes to my mind is actually short stories by Isamt Chughtai, particularly Lihaaf! She was an amzing writer who wrote much much ahead her time and her writing on this is eloquent to say the least.

    This book sounds like an interesting read – shall try to pick it up.
    Love your reviewing style!
    SHALINI BAISIWALA recently posted…#BookReview: Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur (Poetry)My Profile

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