Review: Having Her Back by Ann Gallagher


Note: This ARC was provided by the author via Signal Boost Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Having Her Back is my third read--the other two being Lead Me Not and All the Wrong Places--from Ann Gallagher, one of the three other names used by author L.A. Witt, and it's a young adult (YA) story about two best friends who lose contact with one another only to find their way back but with one significant change. Trevor Larson and Brad Gray both belong to military families, with their fathers both belonging to the Navy. Moving from one country to another is a simple fact of life for them, but Trevor believes that even when his family leaves Japan, he and Brad will be able to maintain their friendship. That is, until Brad cuts off any and all communication between them. Fast forward four years, and Brad touches base once again and lets Trevor know he and his family are headed for Spain, where Trevor and his own family are at. Trevor looks forward to rekindling his friendship with Brad...only Brad is now Shannon. Getting over his shock at his best friend's transition is easy, but the ostracism that Shannon experiences is more difficult to hurdle. The added complication of falling in love though may cost them even more.

This novel was a friends-to-lovers story with a twist and it was one, in my many years of reading, that I've never come across before. Oh, I've read books that had a main character who was trans, but this was the first one wherein the main character had been best friends with the other main character and then they lose touch and then when they meet again, and the former has transitioned to a certain degree but enough so that it's more than obvious that he is now a she. Trevor's initial reaction upon seeing Shannon felt very real and honest, but I liked that he came to certain realizations and made amends. Their friendship developing into something romantic was quite sweet, and it was in such stark contrast to how Shannon--and the rest of her family--was being treated by others on-base. I loved the courage that both Shannon and Trevor were able to show in the face of varying degrees of adversity, making this inspirational aside from romantic. While Having Her Back doesn't knock Lead Me Not as my favorite Ann Gallagher read, it gave it a run for its money, and I would readily recommend it to YA lovers. Five stars. ♥

Date Read: 04 August 2017

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