Book review: “If I Was Your Girl” educates and enthralls


The novel’s cover.

Isabel Richmond, Contributor

 The novel “If I Was Your Girl” by Meredith Russo takes you through the challenging, complicated, journey of 19-year-old Amanda Hardy. Russo takes a sensitive topic and turns it into a valuable book in the journey to educating and captivating readers. It takes you through a roller coaster of every imaginable emotion, and you can’t help but enjoy the ride. 

While reading, you’ll realize you can’t help but feel empathy for almost every character, especially Amanda. Although she is finally exactly who she wants to be on the outside, being the new kid at a high school is tough enough, and especially when your past is eating you alive.

On the surface, Amanda is the epitome of the pretty, friendly, popular teenage girl. The thing about when you judge someone for what’s on the outside is that it’s almost never what’s on the inside. In Amanda’s case, it wasn’t what was always on the outside either. It wasn’t until early high school when people started calling her “Amanda” instead of “Andrew”. 

The novel tackles the deeply rooted, persistent issue of society outcasting people of the LGTBQ+ community. By taking readers through what Amanda went through, it educates them in a very hands-on way. The novel flips back and forth from the present to past flashbacks, ranging from six to two years in the past, from when some of her first gender-related thoughts started, to when her physical transition ended. 

Russo takes you back through Amanda’s surgeries, putting you right into the room where everything changed. You’re thrown into her highest and lowest times, from when she took one too many pills, to when she was finally accepted as her true self. 

You watch her fall in love, though not blindly. I felt almost selfish reading this and realizing how the simplest things I took for granted were things she felt were hopeless. 

The risk of her losing everything if her secret gets out drives you crazy and almost makes you not want to read ahead. However, once I picked the book up, I couldn’t put it down. 

Reading this, I almost felt ungrateful by how much I took being able to be who I am without the complications Amanda had for granted. This book gives you a clear passage to another life, and if you’re ready for it, I recommend stepping in.