If 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.
[tweetthis]#IfIWasYourGirl -A YA book featuring a trans protagonist, written by a trans author showcases good self-aware writing[/tweetthis]
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.
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