ARC Review: If I Was You Girl by Meredith Russo

If I Was Your GirlAuthor: Meredith Russo

Genre: Young adult, contemporary, LGBTQIA+

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Publication Date: May 3, 2016

288 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

This book. Wow. If I Was Your Girl is not only great because it is important (though it is SO important) but also because Russo has an easy, authentic, beautiful writing style that made me fall in love with this book and its characters. It’s a quick read but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to read. It’s difficult to read at times, but Amanda is an incredible, brave, and wonderful character and you really want to meet her.

I ordered this book as a physical book, e-book, and audiobook for my library because I really want everyone to read it. I think it is important for everyone to read it. I even convinced my very conservative, religious supervisor to read this one as an audiobook and she’s loving it.

However, I did have a few issues – mostly with the bit of instalove and subsequent not-as-developed-as-I’d-like relationship between Amanda and Grant and also the ending, which I felt was a bit rushed. The beginning was so developed and emotionally resonant that the ending didn’t feel as genuine, I guess?

The bottom line: HIGHLY recommended for EVERYONE.

Rating: I’m not rating this one because even though I had some issues, this book is so freaking important and everyone should read it.

Pride Month Display & Book Recommendations

If you follow me on Twitter, you might’ve seen me post about my (small, inclusive, non-offensive) Pride Month display (pictured below) that I put up in the library that was taken down.

Pride Month Display

 

I couldn’t care less about the work I put into the display. What I care about are the teens who didn’t get to see the display before it got taken down, who didn’t get to find a book that they could find themselves in, who didn’t get to see that at least one librarian cares about them in this state. I’m sad because none of the teens who could’ve benefited from this display were asked what they thought about it. I’m sad because before the display was taken down, FOUR of the books in the display were checked out, which means at least one teen saw that display and thought, “Wow. This is for me,” but no other teens were given that option.

I can’t say much about the display or why it was taken down, unfortunately. There was a much longer post here, but all I’m going to say no is that the display was taken down. Kayla, the young adult librarian at one of the other libraries in our system, also had to take her display down (pictured below).

Kayla's display

What Kayla had to say:

What you’re saying is, “The kids who need these books, this visibility, and this support are not as important as the people who might get upset about it.”
….
What I just got told, by the people who refer to us all as a family, is that I can only be proud of myself if other people don’t have to see it. What I just got told, by the people who are supposed to uphold the idea of freedom of information for the public, who are supposed to serve the community as best they possibly can, is that some parts of that community matter more than others.

Good to know.

Kayla and I are not giving up and we will continue to find a way to continue to support our LGBTQIAP+ youth and ALL youth in our communities.

————————————

So while all of this was happening, someone asked me on Twitter so share a list of the books I put in my display so he could add them to his TBR. I wanted to share them with all of you, so here’s the list of books I had in my display plus a few I wanted to include but were already checked out. I hope that you’ll find at least one of them that will benefit you.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour
Anything Could Happen by Will Walton
Ask the Passengers by A.S. King
The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley by Shaun David Hutchinson

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
What We Left Behind by Robin Talley
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Two Boys Kissing and Every Day by David Levithan (honestly, everything by David Levithan)
In Real Life by Joey Graceffa
Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz
Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Binge by Tyler Oakley
Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler
Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan
Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin

A Work in Progress by Connor Franta
Breakthrough: How One Teen Innovator Is Changing the World by Jack Andraka
More Than This by Patrick Ness
Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin
The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson

Far from You by Tess Sharpe
Lizard Radio by Pat Schmatz
The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie

Other books that I wanted in my display but they are already checked out (which is even better):

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio
Winger and Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

Jerkbait by Mia Siegert
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee

There are so many other books I wanted to include. I would also recommend checking out Dahlia Adler’s LGBTQ Reads website for more recommendations!

If you are interested in hearing about what happens with this situation, I’ll be tweeting updates, so follow me @StefaniSloma.

Waiting on Wednesday: If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

If I Was Your GirlPublisher: Flatiron Books

Author: Meredith Russo

Release date: May 3, 2016

Synopsis from Goodreads:

A big-hearted novel about being seen for who you really are.

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. 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 in. 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 she used to be Andrew.

Will the truth cost Amanda her new life–and her new love?

If I Was Your Girl is a universal story about feeling different–and a love story that everyone will root for.

Why I’m excited: I’ve never read a book about a transgender person – woman or man. And I’ve definitely never read a book about a transgender woman actually written by a transgender woman. I honestly couldn’t be more excited to do so. Reading, for me, is all about learning about people and experiences different from my own. The fact that this story is written by someone who’s actually been through this experience means that it’s going to be real and honest and powerful. Plus, when Dahlia Adler says a book is good, I take note. And thanks to Dahlia, I now have an ARC of this one waiting on my shelf. I cannot freaking wait to pick it up. (Thanks again, Dahlia!!)