Posted 20 hours ago

If I Was Your Girl

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It normalizes trans experiences, which is a great thing, showing a girl who undergoes the medical procedures, finds accepting friends, gets a boyfriend, works things out with her parents, wins homecoming queen and lives happily ever after. To her credit, the author does acknowledge this fact in her author’s note, and that she smoothed the path for Amanda in ways that don’t reflect reality. We also get to see how things change once she receives the help she so desperately needs, and is able to begin transitioning with the support of such wonderful people.

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.As she is getting the crown placed on her head Bee storms the stage to air out everybody’s dirty laundry. Amanda has the blessing of having transitioned before puberty fully took hold so she is quite feminine in every traditional sense of the word. The entire book I knew exactly what was going to happen and it fell pretty much in line the whole way. While it’s true that internalized homophobia is a real phenomenon, this generalization is really harmful because it pins the blame of homophobia back onto the very people it victimizes. Can we talk for a moment about this whole “Bee and Amanda don’t have to go to art class because the teacher was injured?

Some characters i didn’t connect with, some plots i found a little bit out of the blue and unnecessary. Amanda is easily relatable, but I found that was because she didn't have a very distinct personality. Here you’ll find anything and everything friendship, bookish and gay, with maybe some writing and film reviews thrown in. THEN the next round of Zoella’s Book Club was announced and you’ll never guess which was the first book on the list? Similarly, Amanda and her dad have a kind of “cold war” going on throughout most of the book regarding her dating.

Every few chapters they’d be a snippet of Amanda’s life two years ago, six years ago, or six months ago. I never got to have those experiences and I’ll probably never pass, be stealth or find love with someone who sees me as a girl/woman, and all I feel when reading it is a deep sense of envy and despair.

There, Amanda’s dad assumes that it was Grant who hurt Amanda, and he storms away to Grant’s house to confront him. It makes me feel really immature and petty, like I can’t appreciate a story about a narrative different from my own.

And even for myself, a bisexual woman who has known several trans individuals personally, I still feel underexposed to their experiences. That's the story we're used to when it comes to YA novels with a trans protagonist, but If I Was Your Girl, for the most part, tells us Amanda's story after her transition is complete. The story is lovely, sweet and although as the author admits it's a little easier for Amanda than many Trans people experience, this doesn't take away anything from the story IMO.

Then she has an awkward encounter with Parker, the boy from the beginning of the book that liked Amanda initially and is the reason that Grant went to talk with her in the first place.Update: Since reading If I Was Your Girl and reviewing it, I have learned about allegations of abuse against the author. Being trans in a transphobic society means that we are constantly having to confront bias and educate people and have difficult conversations. When she isn't upsetting Yankees by smiling and making eye contact on the 3 train she spends her time lifting weights, playing fighting games, blowing up the mic at karaoke, glancing anxiously at her TBR pile, and, of course, working on her next book.

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