Wednesday, February 15, 2017
#OwnVoices: If I Was Your Girl Resists the Single Story
Interspersed with Amanda's experiences in her new school and in getting reacquainted with her father, we learn about her background--how her parents coped (or didn't) with her wish to transition, some aspects of her medical experience, and how her friends and acquaintances treated her or, in some cases, were violent toward her.
I have to admit, I was scared out of my mind for Amanda coming of age in a small southern town. I kept waiting for something gawd awful to happen because that seems like it's usually the case in books that approach this subject matter, but Russo's handling of Amanda's story was much more balanced than that, though there were hard moments.
More than anything, I appreciated Russo's note at the end of the book with explanation about how she chose some of Amanda's characterization and how that allowed her to take specific paths within the story. She points out that there is no one experience--no single story--of being trans, and Amanda's experiences are relatable though also idealized in specific ways. I won't say much more than that, but I felt it was a really important disclaimer for the YA audience, and for anyone reading the book, in fact.