Author: Meredith Russo
Genre: Young Adult, LGBT, Contemporary
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Year Published: 2016
Format: Physical Copy- own it
First Line: "The bus smelled of mildew, machine oil, and sweat."
"A new kind of big-hearted novel about being seen for who you really are.
Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school in Lambertville, Tennesse. Like anyone else, she wants to make friends and fit in. But Amanda has a secret-something that sets her apart from all her peers. She's determined not to get too close to anyone.
But when she meets sweet, easygoing Grant, Amanda can't help but let him into her life. 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 the truth, no one will be able to see past it.
Because the secret that Amanda's been keeping? It's that at her old school, she used to be Andrew.
Will the truth cost Amanda her new life- and her new love?"
My Rating: 4/5
I haven't read many books with diverse characters but I'm sincerely trying to pick up more over time and this is one I've been interested in since the first time I heard it. It caught my attention as my sister is a huge supporter of LGBT rights and has gotten to know people all over the spectrum. It was very interesting to hear about the main characters thoughts, feelings and experiences especially since this is an own voices novel. I was very impressed with the opening letter written both to cisgendered (those who are not trans) and trans readers. It made sure the reader knew that this wasn't for only people who identify as cisgendered but for everyone. I could not agree more with the story it is important for all different kinds of people to read. I think that the telling of Amanda's story helped me understand those who identify as transgendered and what that means for some people (everyone has different life experiences LGBT or otherwise). I think the author made a good point of reviewing the past and present to show an overall story of our main character and the ending left off in a good place; leaving the reader wondering, but also to an extent content. The reason I ended up docking one star off of this review is because I didn't agree with some of the main character's choices (see the spoiler for more details) and it left me feeling frustrated about the love interest in the book.
Thanks for reading,