Tell Me Something Real
Author: Meredith Russo
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Genre/Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ+
Release Date: May 3rd 2016
Page Count: 272
Once again, I am completely amazed by yet another book that is just such an important read. If I Was Your Girl is one of those books that you know will completely change the lives of many teens who will read it.
If I Was Your Girl is about a young transgender teen named Amanda. She has recently experienced a traumatic event in her hometown where she lives with her single mother. Her mother decides that it isn’t safe for her there and they agree that Amanda should spend some time with her father. She will begin attending a new school and ultimately starting her life from scratch, where no one knows her secret.
The characters were one of the best aspects of this novel. We have our main protagonist, Amanda, that is just trying to start over. She has gone through quite a lot in the last few years and it is time for a new start, a new life. Amanda is such a strong character. She’s inspirational, especially to transgender teens, but also to cisgender readers like myself. She’s brave and smart and beautiful and so important. Amanda has a loving mother that only wants what is best for her child. Amanda’s father is still struggling to understand and cope with who Amanda really is. Amanda meets many new friends when she first starts at her new school. A few of the guys are hitting on her and the girls all want to be her friend. Amanda finally feels like she’s able to start over with her new self, this new environment and her new friends.
I absolutely loved the writing style. The characters were believable and realistic and there wasn’t a typical fairytale ending. At the end of a majority of the chapters, we get to see some flashbacks to when Amanda was discovering herself and the way that it effected her. I loved this aspect as it really rounded out the entire story. This book was really fast paced and it had me hooked the entire time. I basically read this book in one sitting as I just really could not put it down. A part of me wished it were just a tad bit longer, but I do think that it was a well rounded story. Meredith Russo wrote this story beautifully. It felt real and pure and true from start to finish.
I highly recommend that everyone read this novel. It is so incredibly important and I seriously hope that we see more books like this one in the future. I look forward to reading more from Meredith Russo!
About The Author
MEREDITH RUSSO was born, raised, and lives in Tennessee. She started living as her true self in late 2013 and never looked back. If I Was Your Girl was partially inspired by her experiences as a trans woman. Like Amanda, Meredith is a gigantic nerd who spends a lot of her time obsessing over video games and Star Wars.
If I Was Your Girl is her debut novel, but definitely not her last. When she’s not busy writing she can be found reblogging pictures of cats and babies, reading high literature (and definitely not fanfiction and fantasy novels), arguing with strangers about social justice, and, of course, raising her two amazing children, Vivian and Darwin.
You definitely, absolutely should not be shy about contacting her, even if it’s just to talk. She’s always open to new opportunities and chances to speak with new people.
I read this book as part of the #ReadThemAllThon for the Cascade Badge!