My god. This is absolutely stunning.
It’s an aching, haunting look at navigating true friendship, love, trauma, mental health disorders, being transgender, and unequivocally loving someone transgender, despite negative public perspectives.
It also has the most positive depiction of healthy masculinity that I’ve seen in a YA book in ages. This split journey of Morgan trying to grow into her true self and Eric trying to hold strong and be his true self, despite being surrounded by such toxic views of masculinity, is a combo that was just utterly glorious and enchanting.
I don’t remember the last time I enjoyed a story this much, and I read almost 450 books a year. There’s something about this one that is just so special that I’m sure I’ll read it again and again and again and again.
And I listened to the author interview at the end, and It’s just as wonderful as the book. Now I can’t quit crying and also feeling so happy that such an amazing book exists for every kid, teen, and adult who always needed and wanted a story like this and also for all of them who never wanted it or never knew they needed it but still did.
Meredith Russo is a force to be reckoned with. You never know with a debut author, when their first book is so sublime, if they’ll ever write anything again that you love that much. But I love this as much, or maybe even just a smidge more than IF I WAS YOUR GIRL, which doesn’t even seem possible.
Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for providing me an arc for review. My apologies that this review is a bit late.