This was just an absolutely wonderful book. I first borrowed it from the library, but had to bring it back (can only have 2 books at that one library). So I bought it, waiting for it to arrive, and then waiting for the right mood to arrive as well.
I just flew through this book, I devoured the book, I wanted to know more about Amanda. About her life, about her previous life, but also about her life at her dad’s place. I wanted to see her get happy, she so deserved that. She deserved friends who loved and cared about her. She deserved a sweet guy.
The book switches between the now, and the then. While I loved that this was done, it gave more insight in Amanda and who she was before she truly became Amanda (her struggle (and also her suicide attempt), her path to becoming a real woman) I wish it was done a bit more chronologically. Instead of jumping around in the past (from a few months to a few years), it would have been better if it started with Amanda’s childhood, and then build up to the moment of her moving to her dad’s place.
Amanda was a wonderful girl, she was sweet, caring, but I also so loved her nerdier side (her love for Star Wars was just a delight). She is also a great friend, even though she had trouble at times (like with the Chloe x Bee situation). You see her change so much in this book. From a shy, worried, often afraid girl who doesn’t really know how to do a lot of girly things, to a girl who is brave, who can stand up for herself, and who is happy. She learns a lot from her friends, from bras (oh, girl, when that gym part came up, I was just feeling the pain) to ear piercings. 😛
Grant was such a sweet guy. He isn’t really the smartest, but he does try his best. He is sweet, caring, and he works his butt off. I instantly took a liking to him. Though his reaction at the prom had me wanting to slap him. 😐 But other than that, I loved him, and all he did for Amanda. Their dates were just adorable, and I loved how supportive he was of her.
Layla, Chloe, Anna? These girls were just amazing. They were sweet, understanding (not only during the book, but also afterwards), the pulled Amanda in their fold and didn’t let her go. They dragged her to all sorts of fun events, and I was just so delighted with them. I was worried that they may change, or may just turn against Amanda, but oh no, these girls are gold. hugs all 3 of them
Amanda’s Mom and Dad. While I can’t imagine how hard it must be to find out that your son is actually your daughter (since I would call it that), I loved that these 2 still tried their best to accept Amanda. It wasn’t easy, and they had a few bumps along the way, but eventually they picked up, and they were so sweet and supportive. Amanda is really lucky with her parents. Especially if you hear the stories from her best friend Virginia about their support group and how some of the people there ended. 🙁
Parker and Bee, I will just put those in the same category. They were pretty terrible characters. Parker had a small chance of redemption at one point (during the promposal), but then he completely and utterly destroyed everything. 😐
Bee? I never quite liked her. Or maybe it should be better to say that I never trusted her. I just had a feeling. An instinct.
The only thing I didn’t like in this entire book, and which prevented me from rating it 5+ stars… was the fact that Amanda sure took her sweet time to tell him, and even then, didn’t push when he did that to the letter she typed out for him. And after that she just didn’t care to tell him any more. I just was so frustrated. I know, she had a rough past, she is in a small town that is also religious, but something big as this, the fact you used to be a boy, should be said. It shouldn’t be hidden. It shouldn’t be a secret. If it is just a fling, sure, go ahead, don’t tell him, but if you are envisioning a future together, if you are falling in love, then tell him. Be honest with him.
Now I can hear people say that I shouldn’t judge, but I have my fair share of baggage, and I shared that quite soon with my boyfriend. As soon as I could see us staying together, I told him. We spoke about my baggage, and he told me things about his own. I think it is only fair.
What happens at prom, and afterwards. Wow. Just wow. Can we please throw Parker from somewhere high? Bah. 😐 I was so horrified when that happened (and no, you will have to read to find out what happens).
The after afterwards (starting at chapter 32), it was definitely a sad couple of chapters, but I also feel happiness, because things happened, talks happened, things were said, things were finally closed and came together in a good way.
The last chapter was just so sweet, and I was so happy with how everything ended, and what Amanda finally did. I can see a promising future for her and a certain someone, but I am also sure that her friends will be her friends forever, they just have such a connection.
Phew, I believe I have everything mentioned that I wanted to mention. Sorry if it is a bit chaotic, this book just brought out all the feels. It is a story that grabs you by your nose and just doesn’t let go. Fantastic characters, beautiful, and at times, intense story, and much much more. I would highly recommend this book to everyone!