Powerful, personal and universal truths.

Summary:

Amanda Hardy (18) is starting a new high school in Tennessee. She's living with her dad, making new friends, and is starting to fall for a boy named Grant. She likes Chloe, Anna, Layla, and Bee, and she also feels safe and wants to trust them. But she is terrified to tell them her past: she used to live in Georgia with her mother and was going by Andrew. She's here because she was brutally attacked in a mall bathroom in her old hometown.

Despite her anxiety about her secret, she becomes more popular and gets closer to Grant. She isn't ready to tell him about her past, so she writes him a letter. The two become a couple, but when word gets out about her past, it looks like Georgia all over again. But is it? The book tells the story of Amanda's new life, her past life, the future she wants, and what she never wants to be revealed, but comes out in the end.

NOTE: Contains potentially triggering content readers should be aware of.


BTSYA / Teen Reader (18):
If I Was Your Girl is about a lot of things: love, betrayal, mental illness, recovery, and more. At first glance, Amanda is a normal high school girl and Grant is a cute football player. If you dig deeper - just like the book does - you see the different levels of the story and more profound aspects of the characters. I loved this book when I first read it as a high school freshman, and, after reading it again as a senior, I still love it. While I cannot relate to Amanda and her specific situation, I could feel sympathy for her, and I was engaged in the book and her story.

I would recommend this to teenagers and older. Be aware that there is drug use and may be triggering topics. 


Content Awareness Factors:

The plot contains sexual situations, violence, drug use, and negative stereotypes. Some content could be triggering for some readers.


Type of Book:
This is a fictional story about a trans teen, told in the first person.
Educational Themes:

Lots to explore and discuss. There are character-driven elements, including Amanda's personal experiences, Bee's struggles, and Grant's history; as well as to broader themes of friendship, trust, acceptance, and prejudice, among others.

  • Ask readers to define courage. Did any of the characters in the book show courage? What about the opposite (cowardice).
  • Ask readers about heroism. Were there any heroes? What makes them a hero?
Reading Level:
5.2
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
15 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
14 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer's Age: 18
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow. This is an excellent read, definitely worth your time.

Title If I Was Your Girl
Author Meredith Russo
Publisher Flatiron Books, Imprint Macmillan Books © 2016
ISBN 9781250078407
Material Hard Cover
Cost $17.99
Genres Contemporary Fiction, Social Issues, Romance
be the star you are Cybils
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