Published by Flatiron Books on May 3, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Realistic
Buy on Amazon
Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school in Lambertville, Tennessee. Like any other girl, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret. There’s a reason why she transferred schools for her senior year, and why she’s determined not to get too close to anyone.
And then she meets Grant Everett. Grant is unlike anyone she’s ever met—open, honest, kind—and Amanda can’t help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself…including her past. But she’s terrified that once she tells Grant the truth, he won't be able to see past it.
Because the secret that Amanda’s been keeping? It’s that she used to be Andrew.
A young woman learns to embrace herself in this coming-of-age Young Adult novel. Let’s review!
Let’s start with the major difference between this book and most other books in this category – the transgender protagonist. I really liked Amanda’s story, particularly the snippets of her former life interspersed with the current timeline. As someone inexperienced with transgender people, the timeline helped to provide me details to better understand the character. The ending seemed genuine for the protagonist. Additionally, I appreciated the author’s note at the end of the novel speaking specifically about the transgender experience being unique to each individual.
Other than an interesting protagonist, I found the rest of the novel disappointing. The setting was not well constructed. It very much felt like the town of Lambertville, TN didn’t exist until Amanda arrived. I enjoyed most of the female friendships, although I would have preferred them to be more developed by the ending. Finally, I was not a fan of the love story. Grant, the love interest, didn’t have much of a personality. The relationship between him and Amanda was the least interesting part of the novel.
Did you know? I live tweeted my experience on Twitter #LeighaReadsIfIWasYourGirl
tl;dr An interesting protagonist thrust into an uninteresting novel. Contemporary romance fans will enjoy it.