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If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
Transcript of If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
Quarter 3 Book Project
By: Ariana Mistretta
The novel If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo tells the story of Amanda Hardy, a transwoman in present time. Transwoman is what anyone can name a male at birth who surgically changed or wants to surgically change into a woman in their life. Transferring schools in the middle of senior year is not something anyone would do unless you had a major reason. Amanda Hardy moved to Lambertville, Tennessee in the middle of senior year with her dad she has not seen in six years due to being beat up in the bathroom of a local mall for being transgender. Before moving to Lambertville, Amanda made a promise to herself to not get close to anyone. This promise slowly falls apart when Amanda begins to let her walls down to Bee and Grant. Grant is unlike anyone she has ever met-kind, funny, loving, and honest. Soon, Amanda comes to realize that she is telling everything about herself to Grant, except for the fact that Amanda used to be a Andrew. Bee, being Amanda’s best friend, already knows about this life changing secret. While at homecoming, Bee gets extremely drunk after her girlfriend dumps her. Breakups, obviously, never go smooth so Bee takes it upon herself to get up on stage after Amanda won Homecoming Queen. Secrets about every kid in the school start spilling out of Bee's mouth saving Amanda’s for last. Once her secret was revealed to every teenager in the town, the news quickly spread. After running out of the school, Amanda was chased, harassed, and survived murder from Grant’s best friend Parker. Moving back to her mom’s house was immediately chosen by Amanda’s father when she showed up at their house bruised up. Hardy’s never give up which was reminded to Amanda by her mother after the previous events. The teen moved back to Lambertville in the next couple of weeks leaving Amanda, Grant, and the town right where they left.
Theme in the novel If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo seems to constantly change but it still mainly sticks to vulnerability of the meek. Transgenders already get enough unwanted attention as it is so they would usually not go out of their way to cause attention. “‘My birth certificate says I’m a boy.’ My chest felt tight. The room, despite it’s high ceilings, felt suddenly cramped. ‘I have a… I have boy parts. I have boy chromosomes. God doesn’t make mistakes. So I’m a boy. Scientifically, logically, spiritually, I’m a boy… I know I like boys… You don’t have to be a girl to like boys, though.’” (Russo 29-30). School, life experiences, and society is extremely rough on every person which causes everyone to be vulnerable. Every character in If I Was Your Girl becomes vulnerable due to past experiences, their sexuality, or their family situation. For example, Grant is vulnerable because he has to work multiple jobs to pay for his family after his dad passed away while Amanda is constantly bullied and beat up due to her gender change. Meek is what you can use to describe the main character, Amanda Hardy hence the theme vulnerability of the meek.
Writing style is different for most author’s across the board. Even though authors can write about the same topic, they all explain the topic differently. Meredith Russo’s writing style can be described as expository or argumentative. She tells readers the story of a transgender woman while keeping her opinion out of the book. ‘“No… I was never his boyfriend.’ ‘Well, what were you then?’ he said. ‘’Cause you’re not a girl.’” (Russo 229). Life as a transgender is not easy and Russo talks about the topic of being a transgender in today’s society.
Conflict is something that occurs a lot in the novel If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo; most of the conflict being Man vs. Self and Man vs. Society. Internal struggles is something everyone has to deal with on a day to day basis and society makes it harder by making us stand out for being different. Being a transwoman, female to male transgender, in a homophobic town in today’s society, Amanda Hardy was forced to move from her mom’s house to her dad’s house after being beat up in the bathroom of a local mall. When at her dad’s, the only struggles she had in the beginning was dealing with all of the hate society put onto the LGBT community. Bee, someone Amanda thought she could trust, later went up on stage drunk at homecoming and told everyone’s most valuable secrets, including Amanda’s. This changed the whole entire situation.
Meredith Russo is an extremely private person who only shares with the world very few thing about her life. Chattanooga, Tennessee has been the home of Russo, and currently her spouse and two children, since she was born which has inspired the setting and scenery in her novel. Growing up in the south, Meredith was taught the negative culture about trans people and people who like the same gender. A big sign of being trans is when you do not feel comfortable in your own body which if what Russo felt from a very young age. If I Was Your Girl is Meredith Russo’s debut novel which ended with her landing a $100,000 book deal. Being a transgender woman herself is what inspired Meredith to write this novel along with the fact that she always wanted to write the book that she needed as a struggling teen who was not comfortable in her own body.
S. E. Hinton and Meredith Russo surprisingly have multiple things in common. For example, both of the authors write books having the genre young adult fiction. Having both written popular novels, they have both won an award for writing young adult fiction. Lastly, both Meredith Russo and S. E. Hinton live and grew up in the south which inspired such things as scenery and the way the characters talk.