Posted 20 hours ago

If I Was Your Girl

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Joined in 2023

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I imagined how I must look to him, and my mind leaped to fill in all the worst things I had ever felt about myself. We definitely don't need another trans horror story, but I wish one of the first mainstream YA trans books by a trans author didn't play it so safe. THEN the next round of Zoella’s Book Club was announced and you’ll never guess which was the first book on the list? As I stared out at the swiftly moving trees, my mind was in a mall bathroom back in the city, the images shifting and jumbling like a kaleidoscope: A girl from my school, her scream as she recognized me. She says heaven don’t want her and hell’s afraid she’d take over,” the girl said, pulling a notebook and pen from her apron and walking over.

She reads contemporary, historical, a little paranormal, urban fantasy and romantic suspense, as well as erotic romance and more recently, new adult. I think it was probably better than both Parrotfish and Luna (even though I haven’t read Luna for years so it’s kind of hard to say) and overall, I recommend it wholeheartedly.After a particularly vicious attack in a mall bathroom, Amanda becomes so depressed that she is at risk of suicide.

I think books like these are so important, both for trans girls to see themselves represented in fiction but also for cisgendered people to learn in a “safe space” about what it might be like to be trans. This book has trigger warnings for suicide, assault, rape, and the general trauma of being a high school kid in America. IF I WAS YOUR GIRL is an intense pressure cooker drama centered on the chaotic affair between two interrelated lesbian couples. Amanda offers to go for a walk to talk things out and they go to the park and play catch just like her dad always wanted from her when she was younger and he wanted her to be the typical son.I do like the second half, though, with Amanda coping with her identity and struggling with the truth.

There was one part where a character proposes a theory that homophobes are just closeted gay people hating on other gay people out of insecurity and inability to accept their own secret gayness. Recommendation: I’ll be honest and say that this book didn’t feel super validating for me personally because there are many ways in which my experiences differ from Amanda’s. It is possible that, given their ages, I didn’t hold on to the idea that they’d stay together forever.I’m still looking forward to reading more YA books that don’t feature a big honking dramatic romance, but hey, that’s not this book, and that’s OK.

They didn’t go from not knowing each other at all to being in an intense relationship, it built up to it!So, I’ve been hyped about this book for a really long time and I’m so happy I’ve finally got to read it because I LOVED it. Please note: it is wonderful to feel like your opinion is valued, but this is a trans book by a trans woman and I am a cis reader - please consider the limitations of my perspective and seek out the reviews and commentary of trans readers.

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