ERIC: There was the day we were born. There was the minute Morgan and I decided we were best friends for life. The years where we stuck by each other’s side―as Morgan’s mom died, as he moved across town, as I joined the football team, as my parents started fighting. But sometimes I worry that Morgan and I won’t be best friends forever. That there will be a day, a minute, a second, where it all falls apart and there’s no turning back the clock.
MORGAN: I know that every birthday should feel like a new beginning, but I’m trapped in this mixed-up body, in this wrong life, in Nowheresville, Tennessee, on repeat. With a dad who cares about his football team more than me, a mom I miss more
than anything, and a best friend who can never know my biggest secret. Maybe one day I’ll be ready to become the person I am inside. To become her. To tell the world. To tell Eric. But when?
Six years of birthdays reveal Eric and Morgan’s destiny as they come together, drift apart, fall in love, and discover who they’re meant to be―and if they’re meant to be together. From the award-winning author of If I Was Your Girl, Meredith Russo, comes a heart-wrenching and universal story of identity, first love, and fate.
Birthday by Meredith Russo was my first read of this year that features a transgender MC and, holy s**t, I’m so glad it was. From the author of If I Was Your girl, Russo brings us another moving, raw piece of work that literally had me hooked from the very start.
Not only was this book a completely moving experience from
the first page, but being that it was written by a trans person for a YA audience… I don’t think there’s a better book to really grant insight on what it’s like for a trans person to come out and finally be able to become themselves, especially since the book’s setting is in a small town in Tennessee. It truly instills a deep empathy in its readers. And for the readers who have experienced growing up within the LGBTQ+ community in a small, conservative town, the ache of that trauma makes you really identify with Morgan and Eric.
Other than the hard truths of being trans, this book encapsulates so much more, like self-discovery, love, and the happiest ending, I think, possible for our MCs. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy realistic fiction and romance, but also to those who may find themselves lacking understanding of their trans brothers and sisters. Birthday was a quick-paced read that I finished in a total of five hours because I simply could not put it down. Absolutely wonderful read.
You can purchase the book here.
Or on Amazon here.