Just Girls – YA LGBTQ Book Review


Just Girls is a young adult LGBTQ novel that stands out to me as innovative and aware while simultaneously touching on the topics that affect many teenagers as they enter the college scene for the first time.

The Story

Just Girls is the story about Ella Ramsey, a MTF transgender woman who is starting as a new student in college and hasn’t come out to people there even though she has gone through the coming out process in her hometown.

She becomes friends with Jess. She’s a cisgender lesbian who has overheard slurs and bullying comments about the transgender person on campus and pretends that she is transgender as a way to raise awareness of trans and LGBTQ issues. She doesn’t know at first that her friend Ella is the person she’s defending in this way.

The story is about their individual and shared experiences in these early days at a college campus.

What I Love

Author Rachel Gold does a great job of raising awareness of myriad LGBTQ issues in this book while still retaining the story itself as the primary focus. Reading it, I was concerned about the characters and their inner lives and their relationships. I wasn’t focused on anything as a “trans issue” and yet noticed that there was a lot of information and advocacy happening in those pages. I love that Gold was able to balance her writing in this way.

A Memory

Reading this book transported me to another time, when I was about the age of the characters in the novel, and I would spend time browsing through the queer bookstore in my Tucson hometown. I had worked at a big box bookstore but found all of my unique discoveries in the indie book store. I remember feeling edgy in there and also feeling at home, feeling curious and creative and inspired.

I also remember that I found the non-fiction LGBTQ books informative and interesting but couldn’t find many fiction books that inspired the same feeling. The fiction was interesting because it was new, because at that time there weren’t a lot of LGBTQ books. (Heck, I don’t think the T was even on there at the time and I’m sure the Q wasn’t.) But the writing wasn’t great and the characters weren’t easily relatable in most of those novels. We’re in a different time now and Gold stands out as an author in this genre.

About the Author

Rachel says in one of her bios: “I’ve written stories since I was 10 (and would like to thank my early readers for their support!). After college I went looking for a job where I could be paid to write and landed a spot as a reporter at a GLBT newspaper in the Twin Cities. I worked there for seven years and made many friends in the transgender community.”

Connect with Rachel on her website, Facebook, Twitter,or GoodReads.

Want to Read It?

You can buy Just Girls on Amazon as well as other places around the web. Or you can read the first two chapters here.

The Book

This post is part of the blog’s book tour. Here’s the schedule:

Blog Tour Schedule:

Monday 20-Oct Melissa Storm’s Writer Blog
Tuesday 21-Oct My Life of Books and Beauty
Wednesday 22-Oct Deal Sharing Aunt
Thursday 23-Oct Fun, Crafty, Savvy Mom
Friday 24-Oct A Tiffy Fit’s Reading Corner
Saturday 25-Oct Live to Read
Sunday 26-Oct James [c] Femmer [dot] com
Monday 27-Oct Diary of a Smart Chick
Tuesday 28-Oct The Unconventional Librarian
Wednesday 29-Oct Literary Meanderings
Thursday 30-Oct Naimeless
Friday 31-Oct On Books!
Saturday 1-Nov Tracy Riva’s Blog
Sunday 2-Nov b00kr3vi3ws
Monday 3-Nov A Book A Day
Tuesday 4-Nov The Phantom Paragrapher
Wednesday 5-Nov Asheligh’s Books
Thursday 6-Nov The Avid Reader
Friday 7-Nov Shanae’s Blog
Saturday 8-Nov WTF Are You Reading?
Sunday 9-Nov Jacqlineveve’s Blog
Monday 10-Nov Cynthia Shepp’s Blog
Tuesday 11-Nov Let’s Talk about Books!
Wednesday 12-Nov Workaday Reads
Thursday 13-Nov
Friday 14-Nov Emlyn Chand’s Blog & Journal
Saturday 15-Nov Dalene’s Book Reviews


About the prizes: Who doesn’t love prizes? You could win one of two $50 Amazon gift cards or an autographed copy of Just Girls! Here’s what you need to do…

  1. Enter the Rafflecopter contest
  2. Leave a comment on my blog

That’s it! One random commenter during this tour will win the first gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win–the full list of participating bloggers can be found HERE. The other two prizes will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form linked below or on the official Just Girls tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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