First things first: I love this cover. Gorgeous. The moment I saw it I was like YES PLEASE. When I read the description? There was no doubt in my mind I had to buy it.
This book is written by a trans author about a trans teenage girl trying to fit into a new school without anyone knowing she used to be a boy. She makes friends, falls in love, and struggles with her secret. The emotional aspects were conveyed beautifully, and I never once believed Amanda was anything but what she was. It felt so real, something you just can’t get from anything but an #ownvoices book.
I am not trans and cannot possibly know what a trans person feels or has to go through, but as a queer person I could relate to a lot of internal struggles of the MC and her friends. At six years old I wished I was born a boy because then how I felt inside would make sense. I thought my mind was broken, though I never hated my body. It wasn’t until my teenage years that I found out what it really meant, much like Chloe, the lesbian character in the book. It brought up a lot of memories and feelings for me.
The story itself was…cute. And sweet. And heartbreaking, but in an ABC Family special kind of way. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if this book was made into one. I can see why many reviewers are turned off by it. An understanding family. A loan for the surgery. An appearance that passes for a beautiful girl. Immediate friends and perfect boyfriend. These are things that trans people struggle with the most and this book seemed like one big dream come true.
However, I feel like this is what it was meant to be, and I can’t fault the author for trying to show us how it could be in real life. I was reading it and dreading the ‘big reveal’ (pun intended) and how it would go over, and I was happy to have a satisfying conclusion.
Overall, this was a nice story that everyone should have a chance to read. It wasn’t depressing and it brought up a lot of powerful emotions. I enjoyed it from start to finish and while it didn’t show the harsh reality of being trans in today’s world, it does offer a glimpse into the mind of someone who is trans, and that’s always a good place to start.