The award-winning, big-hearted novel about being seen for who you really are, and a love story you can't help but root for
Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school. Like anyone else, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret, and she’s determined not to get too close to anyone.
But when she meets sweet, easygoing Grant, Amanda can’t help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she realizes just how much she is losing by guarding her heart. She finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself, including her past. But Amanda’s terrified that once she tells him the truth, he won't be able to see past it.
Because the secret that Amanda’s been keeping? It's that at her old school, she used to be Andrew. Will the truth cost Amanda her new life, and her new love?
Stonewall Book Award Winner
Walter Dean Myers Honor Book for Outstanding Children's Literature
iBooks YA Novel of the Year
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
An Amazon Best Book of the Year
A Goodreads Choice Award Finalist
A Zoella Book Club Selection
A Barnes & Noble Best YA Book of the Year
A Bustle Best YA Book of the Year
IndieNext Top 10
One of Flavorwire’s 50 Books Every Modern Teenager Should Read
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
An iBooks Best of 2016 pick. Being a teenager can be unbearably confusing, but it can also be exhilarating. The beauty of Meredith Russo’s If I Was Your Girl is that it pierces right to the heart of the adolescent experience, flooring us with moments of heartbreak and joy. It’s a universal story, but it’s also a very specific story—about transgender teenager Amanda Hardy, who moves to a small Tennessee town to live with her absentee father and try to escape recent traumas. Amanda is an unforgettable teen heroine: kind, thoughtful, intelligent, and lovely. We were in her corner every step of the way as she tries to navigate a new school, form true friendships, and figure out if she’ll always keep her story a secret.
In an illuminating debut guided by hope and overwhelming kindness, Russo demonstrates the challenges teens face in finding "the truest version" of themselves. Though she was born Andrew Hardy, Amanda always knew she was meant to be a girl. After enduring classroom bullies and her father's admonishments to toughen up, Amanda moves to Atlanta with her mother for a long, difficult physical transition. Afterward, Amanda returns to her father and a new town in Tennessee, eager to finish high school and move to a big city. Amanda wishes to go unnoticed, but her beauty attracts friends and potential boyfriends. The more she begins to feel like "a normal teenage girl," the more she becomes aware of the secrets those around her keep secrets that, like hers, have the power to both destroy and liberate. Shifting between Amanda's past and present, Russo gently examines the emotional journey of one trans teen, covering acceptable language, gender expectations, and the politics of going "stealth." Though the Southern setting and religious undertones aren't free of stereotypes, they serve as a sounding board for larger issues of identity and orientation. Ages 13 up.